Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The 'Living-Room Allotment'

Over the coming weeks, 3D Design and Sustainable Design graduate Lenya Paikkou will be sharing her past University projects with us.

The aptly named ‘Living-Room Allotment’ started out with an image of a garden hanging from the living room ceiling- how more local can you get than your own living room?

The project resulted in an adjustable shelving unit, with boxes deep enough for carrots and turnips, the ability to grow tomatoes upside down, a potato barrel and a step for easy watering, without requesting much of the room's space. 

The Living-Room Allotment is an ideal gardening solution for those with no or limited gardening space. As long as the unit is close to sunlight, you essentially provide your crops with a green house.

This project was not only providing a solution for unfortunate garden enthusiasts who lacked outside space, it took on some of the issues related to the way we grow, buy and dispose of our food in contemporary society.

We have all kinds of food readily available throughout the year, but many of our crops can't be grown and harvested all year round, in fact carrots are the only UK grown food stock grown and harvested 10 months of the year.

This food is generally imported, which increases the carbon miles considerably. The idea of them not being on the shop shelves is not even considered by many of us.

Food waste is another hot topic; this has been covered by organisations such as with their 'LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE' campaign for many years now. This includes food disposed of due to 'best before dates', the food we buy, leave in the fridge, don't use and then throw because it has gone off. You won't throw away the carrot you've been caring for three months.

Check out our Facebook page- every other Friday we will post suggestions for seasonal meals and what to grow this month.

By Lenya Paikkou, Action 21 volunteer