Container gardening on Chicago windowsill (H. HOUGH / Willem)

A nice message from Heidi HOUGH (Chicago) :

I’m delighted to know that our little synopsis was helpful. We continue to enjoy your site and send grateful thanks for including our project, which is just getting underway in year two. In the meantime, I’ve got some cool-weather greens growing in plastic boxes (with drainage holes) up on our second-story window sills. Arugula, spinach, chard, French breakfast radish, and lettuces. I like to eat them right out of the box (like a grazing animal–I am shameless).

Chicago windowsill

Click on the picture to enlarge it.
Chicago second story windowsill container with fresh vegetables.

lettuce

Vegetables in plastic trays high above the street

Young lettuce grown in the city

Radish

French breakfast radishes close to the kitchen

red lettuce

Lettuce on a windowsill can be decorative like flowering plants

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MY COMMENT (Willem)

On May 5th I posted the following message :

Some weeks ago I discovered that people in Chicago were growing plants in buckets. Bruce FIELDS, Heidi HOUGH and their friends developed a very interesting system. I asked them to receive more information on it and to be enabled to publish some of their marvelous pictures. Heide came up with a splendid solution : THEIR FLICKR PAGE. Here is her message :

“I have finally set to order my flickr page. I hope this helps you and others see how we set up our growing buckets. You may freely use any of my pictures at your site.

Here’s the link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1904grg/sets/72157603959350377/

We are excited that it could be useful to people whose water supply is not as bountiful as our own, 20 blocks from Lake Michigan.

Heidi Hough & Associates Inc
1904 W Division
Chicago IL 60622

Text going with the Flickr Page :

Our homemade earthboxes–really earthbuckets–were created from food-grade buckets we had left over from the leaky roof years. We’ve shown a very rudimentary step-by-step series on how to build these buckets. This link is far more comprehensive:
www.seattleoil.com/Flyers/Earthbox.pdf

Here’s a good video that shows the process:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZUCxBHeq04& eurl=http://www.h…

Art built the trellis, which worked beautifully for tying up the climbing cukes and tomatoes. With neighbor Bruce down the street in Wicker Park, Chicago, we had a lot of fun during this first year growing veggies on our rooftops. Go see his pix and descriptive text for more on this Year One of the rooftop garden experiment.

And our supportive friends helped us cook and eat the bounty.

MY COMMENT (Willem)

I strongly recommend all the visitors of my blog to have a look at that wonderful series of pictures, explaining how the Chicago team build their bucket system.

My sincere congratulations to Heidi, Bruce and their Chicago team.”


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Today, I received Heidi’s magnificent pictures of her “windowsill garden” (above). I believe that just a look at them will convince a lot of people to follow this splendid example, showing how simple and easy it is to produce fresh food in and around the house, even on a windowsill in a city like Chicago.

Did I recently hear food crisis ? Did someone mention high food prices ? Anyone of us, wherever we live, can partly solve that problem. Just grow your own vegetables and herbs (and some fruits) in containers in any location : balconies, terraces, windowsills, patios, platforms, open spaces around the house, flat roofs, etc. Even the cheapest containers, like plastic or PET bottles, yoghurt pots, buckets, sandwich boxes etc. can be transformed in mini-gardens or mini-greenhouses (see former postings on this blog). Give it a try and become a skilled gardener like Heidi HOUGH or Bruce FIELDS (see my former postings on their successes).

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About Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.
This entry was posted in advantages / benefits, balconies / patios / terraces, container/bottle gardening, containers, greenhouse / window boxes, Horticulture / Gardening, location, materials, platforms, small space gardens, terrace gardening, urban gardening, windowsill/window ledge. Bookmark the permalink.