You would have to be living under a rock not to have noticed the climb of the latest (eco) trend. You know, the new ‘green living’ which has taken over the city in the past year?
Designer natural fibre shopping bags have taken over plastic, hazelnut milk has replaced soy (because soy is so 2011) and if it isn’t’ organic/grain fed/happy (formally cow)/beef.. send it back.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am 100% loving the fact that people are starting to be more conscious to what they put into their bodies, or how their lifestyle may affect the environment, but I am also realistic and know that not everyone lives in a space that allows you to have hens to provide free range eggs, or a glorious overgrown orchard to feed friends and family. Hell, even just being financially able to afford bucket loads of local produce to sustain clean eating isn’t realistic for a majority of the population.
Thankfully people are not put off by these obstacles (ie greenie bullying) and are still trying to do their bit. From swapping their household chemicals to natural cleaning products, riding their bike to work, buying more local food or simply recycling. It’s nice that we are pulling together to give the planet a well needed helping hand.
My latest ‘bit’ and contribution is pretending I don’t live on the 7th floor of an apartment building (and much to by boyfriends horror) ‘attempting’ to turn our balcony into a vegetable and herb garden.
Turns out this is not as easy as one might think. First there is the space issue, then there is the sun-to-rain ratio issue (please stop raining Sydney), oh and let’s not forget the ‘pouring a whole packet of tomato seeds into a pot thinking they won’t grow’ problem.. because they did. They all did.. and momentarily our balcony was turned into a large green (weedy looking) oasis! Well my boyfriend might object to the oasis statement which may explain why they turned from green to twiggy brown while I was away in Nepal..but they are back on track and I finally have little home grown tomatoes!
Yes, sometimes it IS just the small things that puts a smile on your face.
Key things I have learnt being a rookie urban vegetable grower:
- Read the instructions before you plant seeds, shockingly, they may actually grow so make sure you have space and enough pots to accommodate this.
- Make sure you plant them in the correct season, obvious yes but I did say I was a rookie.
- Tomatoes in particular, are very thirsty and needs bucket loads of water daily, and plant ‘food’ to bring them back to life (see below point).
- Make sure you leave clear instructions of boyfriend/girlfriends of how to keep said plants alive when you go away.
- Take plenty of photographic proof of your growing produce as nobody will believe that you could possibly grow anything in the city!
And here is proof of my delish tomatoes and mixed herbs grown from my very own garden balcony.
- Tomatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Lycopene and Potassium.
- They are one of the lowest calorie vegetable containing just 18 calories per 100 g.
- They are excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Because of their all-round qualities, dieticians and nutritionists often recommend them to be included in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs
- Lycopene, a flavonoid antioxidant, is the unique phytochemical present in the tomatoes. Red varieties are especially concentrated in this antioxidant. Together with carotenoids, it has the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful oxygen free radicals. Studies have shown that lycopeneprevents skin damage from ultra-violet (UV) rays and offers protection from skin cancer.
- Is known as a popular mood booster and remedy for depression
- reduces inflammation throughout the body
- Anti-bacterial: less bugs, more goodness
- Improves cognitive function: making you all alert and perky and stuff
- Antispasmodic: reduces cramps and spasms in the gut
- Boasts wide range of antioxidants (polyphenols) on par with berries.
- Green basil is rich in flavonoids.
- Decreases platelet aggregation, preventing blood clots.
Give it a try!
Fitness (and good health) In The City x