Growing your own food is a key part of living an ecologically sustainable lifestyle, and Britain’s allotment societies have never been busier. But if you don’t have a garden or access to an allotment, is there anything you can do?

Ever since
The Good Life gave a generation the self-sufficiency bug, growing your own food has been a key part of the green lifestyle. Producing your own fruit and veg dramatically cuts down on your personal carbon footprint by eliminating the environmental costs of shipping vegetables from abroad, to the supermarket, and home to your fruitbowl. With careful planning and a little hard work, you can enjoy a steady stream of delicious organic produce which, thanks to the way plants store up the carbon in the atmosphere, is not just carbon-neutral but carbon-negative.

Allotments are great for those of us without a garden to grow in, but with more and more people wanting to grow their own food, allotment societies often have long waiting lists.

But the truth is that you don’t need an allotment to start producing your own food. If you live in a flat or apartment, it’s perfectly possible to create an indoor micro-allotment.

Most of us have a window box with a few herbs, but many people are surprised to discover just how many types of fruit and vegetable can be grown indoors. From
carrots and potatoes to tomatoes, strawberries and even avocados are all suitable for indoor cultivation, and with a little planning, you can produce a surprising amount of organic, carbon-negative food.

They key to getting good results with an indoor crop is to provide your plants with as much sunlight as possible. Window boxes are great for catching rays, as are pots placed on windowsills. Balconies make especially good urban allotments, so if you’ve got a small balcony that you rarely sit out on, why not dedicate it to a couple of rows of carrots?

If light is a problem, you can always turn to a green tech solution. LED grow lamps are hugely effective in encouraging germination and growth, and because they are so energy efficient, they can be powered by solar panels which you can fit to the exterior of your property. This way, you can grow food even in the darkest corner of the darkest flat.

If you’d like to get a clearer view of how much work is required, and what an indoor farming schedule looks like, then head over to green design site
Inhabitat, where you’ll find a handy set of printable infographics which include charts for planting, maintenance and harvesting.