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Growing in the City

In cities across the UK, getting down and dirty is a thing and green fingers are the future. That’s according to Matt Franks, founder of Connected Roots, an urban food-growing social enterprise. Famed for encouraging city-dwellers to grow food in offices and gardens, he’s a big believer that it’s easy to grow your own food – no matter how small your plot. ‘The City Grower’ is his newly-released guide to urban gardening and The Metro offers an in insight into Matt’s inspiration, thoughts on urban living and top tips…

What got you interested in growing in the city?
This heaving mass of people, more in 30 square miles than the whole of Sweden, that make up the capital is highly unsustainable, and superbly dirty. I wanted to change that because it’s no way to live. We need contact with nature. So why not take growing to where the most people are?

Why is city growing so important?
I think it’s the way humans were meant to be, they should interact with nature. The other real benefit is the huge support you’ll be giving to wildlife. City bees usually do better than countryside bees because they have a much more diverse selection of plants to feed from. Beyond bees there are hundreds of insects – and the birds that eat those insects.

Any clever space-saving growing tips to share?
Vertical growing is the way to really exceed with city growing. Find something – anything – plants will climb up to produce more in a limited space. Old ladders, drainpipes, a pallet or even an old bike work perfectly to allow crops access to more sun.

My tip would be, for all those with a roof or balcony, don’t just think upwards. Trailing crops can really add to a space and give excellent coverage. They’re easy to pick too!

Futon Company says: Making the most of your outside space is something we take seriously here at Futon Company. Whether you have access to a small balcony, a lawn or the local park, there’s plenty on offer to make the most of the great outdoors. And if space is limited we have plenty of great ideas – after all, we are the experts in small space living…

 

Picnic Bag with Mat

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Colourful Picnic Rug

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Oak Gaijin Chair

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