Our dream has always been a house with a garden to grow our own vegetables and fruits in. Although this dream has not become true yet, we have come pretty close to it in our home in southern Germany: A large balcony!
2014 was our whirlwind ‘start-up-year’ in balcony farming. By golly, what a year it was! Yes it was a bit of a jungle but a lovely one to spend summer evenings on … exciting and refreshing … leading to a balcony full of colourful, yummy, vegetably and fruity goodies … heaven!!!
We grew a total of 27 different vegetable/fruit/herb plants:
Veg: tomato, pepper, aubergine, baby carrots, baby leeks, cucumber, brussels sprouts, white cabbage, red cabbage, celeriac, kohlrabi, broad beans, broccoli, chillies
Fruit: lemon, blueberry, gooseberry, woodland strawberries
Herbs: basil, purple basil, thyme, oregano, sage, marjoram, parsley, chives
I wouldn’t have thought that a balcony could be such a perfect place for growing such a variety of vegetables and fruits. Yes, there are books and web pages describing which vegetables can be grown well in pots…but still, I didn’t believe it would work so well. Also, many a neighbour passed by, pointing and saying ‘wow, I didn’t know you could grow so much on a balcony’…Maybe that was to say ‘look at those crazy British people trying to grow stuff on their balcony’, but it did put a smile on their faces. We do enjoy the breadth of local produce we can obtain from local farmers’ markets, but we also wanted to exploit the climate and the pleasure of growing our own crops. Showing our excitement of countryside life also helped us to integrate into the local, very rural, community. It feels great!
At the same time as enjoying the gardening, I found a passion for plant photography. So much, that one could make a flip book animation from all my photos, showing the development of every individual seedling!
Finally, we LOVE cooking for ourselves and for others. Our ‘farm on a balcony’ enabled us to cook with the freshest produce one could get. Could not be better!
My aim is to create an informative and fun record of our balcony gardening. For us but also to inspire others! You know you want to do it! 🙂 I would also like to share our favourite recipes (both our own ones as well as ones adapted from other sources). Relating to our love of food, I will also include here a record of our favourite eating places and food shops around the world, which we come across during our travels. We do hope some of you may get to go to these as well!