There is a very particular kind of joy associated with consuming fresh produce. That’s ‘fresh’ as in fruit and veggies just picked moments ago, or eggs just gathered from the hen house this morning. When things are eaten fresh from the garden or farm, it often just seems to taste better. The colours seem richer, the fragrance heavier, the flavours…well…more flavourful. Perhaps it’s an illusion or perhaps it comes from the feeling of being more connected to the food we eat.

When food is harvested from your own garden, there’s an extra level of satisfaction on top of the simple joy of freshness. Homemade and home-grown just has a nice ring to it. And in this day of convenient shopping and pre-packaged meals it’s no wonder that many people feel divorced from what they put on their plates and in their mouths.

For city-dwellers enjoying home-grown or even just organic produce often seems unattainable. The former is usually impossible for those living in apartments and other city housing, while the latter can often be prohibitively expensive.

But every problem has an innovative solution waiting to happen!

Enter: the urban farmers.

Urban farming is a movement focused on promoting the health and environmental benefits of eating locally-produced, seasonal food. Not ones to be put off by a lack of dirt, these innovative city dwellers use a bit of creativity to grow their own food in the unlikeliest of places. Such as in the kitchen, on a rooftop, vertically in a window – wherever they can squeeze a pot and source some sunshine (except in the case of mushrooms, which will happily grow in a drawer – a great way to recycle coffee grounds.)

Not only do these urban and apartment farms provide a fantastic food resource (where you know exactly what is nourishing your leafy greens), they also add a fabulous design feature to any urban interior or exterior space. Live plants are also great air filters, using up carbon dioxide and providing fresh oxygen. Really it’s a win-win-win situation: good for the environment, good for your health and good-looking to boot.

Even the smallest home-grown efforts have a positive effect on the environment and your health – tiny changes can yield big results. You can get started with a sunny spot on your kitchen counter – a great place to grow herbs such as mint, basil and thyme. They’re hardy, smell great and will be readily available to add to your cooking for an extra hit of flavour. Once you’ve given kitchen counter herbs a go and you’re ready for your first mini apartment harvest, you should try this super simple recipe for a mint tisane – a great digestive soother.

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