Edible gardens feast for eyes and mouths

by Mark Klassen from Urban Eatin’
Updated: June 1, 2013 from the Winnipeg Free Press

Many of us in the urban environment would love to be able to provide more food for ourselves, our families and our communities, safely assured the seed saved from our own food plants will produce in future years, that our soil is free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and that our compostable waste aids the sustainable cycle of soil health.

In our own growing spaces, large or small, there are many elements that still remain unadorned by the splendor of food crops available to us — there is so much space yet to be maximized! So, let’s take a walk through our outdoor area and identify its various components.

Our vertical spaces

THE property where we live is likely to be bordered by a fence — a vertical structure bordering our precious and limited garden space that can not only provide privacy but support for climbing vines and tall-growing feasts.

The genus Cucurbitaceae, for example, contains many of our most used foods: cucumbers, zucchinis, pumpkins and squash. But most often we see these large-leaved beauties crawling across our garden, crowding out bush beans, lettuce or kale, leaving our wooden fence untouched.

It takes little encouragement to drive these plants upwards on a chain-link fence, but the installation of even a simple mesh or chicken-wire structure, capable of holding the weight of such plants, will be enough to turn your fence boards into a living wall….

Read full article in Winnipeg Free Press online edition.