5 ways to produce free food for yourself without having a garden

In the blogging spirit of lists of five, or ten, or seven random things that make you go, “ah, cool, maybe I could do that,” I thought I’d share a few of my favourite recent how-tos for urbanites, suburbanites or rural agricultural neophytes (yes, they exist, I used to be one).

The general take-home message here is that you don’t need a garden to make free food for yourself – just the water you’re paying your taxes for and light that naturally surrounds you. Oh, and a tad of patience.

1) Free scallions for life*

scallion roots how to

Don’t throw away your scallion roots!

*assuming you have a lot of window space or don’t eat that many scallions

Just hang on to those oft-discarded roots and store them by the window. Don’t forget to change the water. This how-to is about as clear as the water in the growing glass. Read.

2) Sourdough starter

Opening up the sourdough starter

Opening up the sourdough starter

As expectant father Josh in Top Chef said last week, “A sourdough starter can live on to be, you know, a hundred years or longer. You just have to take care of it, like a child.” It’s like the stinky wish-fulfilling jewel of the bacteria realm.

Kitchen Project gives you the basic formula, along with a bunch of tips and a history to boot! Read.

3) Garlic greens

Lighter and less breath-destroying than the root, garlic greens have long been used in ways similar to our traditional western “chives,” not to mention in much more creative ways as well. Breaking the trend of scallion wastage in your life? This a natural next step. Read.

4) Make fish babies


It’s pretty odd – if not downright disturbing – to label it that way. But you can take the water and light idea to the fullest extent by filling a tank with mating ectothermic beings and creating future fish: the tank’s the limit. (NOTE: The above video is useless and won’t help you at all, but it uses a great collection of weird fonts).

Anything can be sprouted (except plastic)

Anything can be sprouted (except plastic)

5) Sprout, sprout, sprout, sprout, sprout, sprout

Last but not least – and truthfully, not that dissimilar – from the first three items on this list: give new life (and matter) to your beans, pulses or grains: let them SPROUT. Technically, sprouted things equate to substantially more edible matter than their shrivelly cooked version, but the added bonus is that the nutrient burst (and absorption) is leagues beyond. It’s really not that hard, either: Read the City Farmer bible on the matter

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