Growing Your Own Ingredients

Growing up in Niagara-on-the-Lake we were spoiled with the abundance of fresh local produce as well as fresh herbs and fruit from our own backyard. This was something I really missed when I moved to downtown Toronto in 2005 for University. I love cooking with fresh herbs and while my local markets have them year round, nothing is more rewarding than growing, cooking with and eating your own homegrown herbs and veggies. While growing produce in downtown Toronto might sound crazy to some of you, it’s actually quite do-able, even if you don’t have a backyard or large rooftop patio.

This summer marks the 5th summer of my urban gardening adventures and to celebrate, I’ve rounded up the some of my favourite small space garden projects and tutorials that I’ve found helpful and inspiring. Enjoy!

Pallet Garden via Design Sponge

This is probably my all time favourite find for DIY garden projects. It’s perfect for growing herbs on a balcony if your space is limited or if you only get sunlight in a certain area. As a bonus, it looks good too! For full DIY step-by-step  instructions head over to Fern Richardson’s Life on a Balcony.


growing lettuce in a vintage crate via apartment therapy

Growing lettuce, arugula and other leafy greens in old containers is easy to do. Lettuce and baby greens are easy to grow and grow quickly so you don’t have to wait too long to reap the benefits. When growing in containers, I prefer to use wood containers as some plastics are not meant for growing food in and contain toxins can actually leach out into the soil and be absorbed by the plants you’ll be eating. Plus, a re-purposed vintage container (like the one pictured above) will look way better in your outdoor space. For step by step on this one, head over to apartment therapy.

raised garden bed via sunset

If you happen to have a bakyard, the very best way to grow your veggies is in raised beds.  We built one similar which is now home to lots of little tomato and pepper plants. For step by step on this one, and lots of other great growing tips head over to Sunset.

I hope this inspires you to get growing! Check back next week for some home grown herb recipes, straight from my garden.






2 thoughts on “Growing Your Own Ingredients

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