Guest Post: My Balcony Nanofarm


My massage therapist and I were discussing the Grow Your Own Food movement the other day as I lay on the table at his clinic.   We waxed enthusiastically about urban farming, and the joy of watching our plants bear food for us; clean, organic, and fresh from our little micro and nano farms.

Brian Simms, RMT, grows a full season of nutritious veggies from his apartment balcony, proving that there are novel and inspiring approaches to “zero mile” locavore cuisine opportunities for almost everyone!


Inviting Brian to guest post and share his little urban farm space with you, he provided this wonderful narrative and photos. As the temperatures drop, enjoy his last little taste of an urban harvest!


My Balcony Garden

I was lucky enough to find  an apartment with a south-facing balcony in Ottawa’s “The Glebe” neighborhood.  When I first moved into the apartment, I could see that the previous tenants had tried to grow some flowers in old tires, which they had left as trash after they moved out. When my  landlord let me into my new home and noticed the neglected rings of decaying plant life, had quickly offered to dispose of them for me.

Seeing an opportunity, I asked him to just leave them, and took full advantage of the long growing season this year!




Some of the herbs and vegetables were store bought and others planted from seed (as were the sunflowers and four o’clocks), but all of them found a comfortable place to flourish in their now-loved rubber tire “planters”.




My little balcony farm gave me quite a few rounds of produce; zucchini, tomatoes, red / green / yellow peppers, green onions… and an endless supply of herbs throughout the season; rosemary, thyme, basil (many rounds of pesto), chives, corriander, spearmint, mojito mint, oregano, lemongrass… and now the garlic bulbs have been planted in anticipation of next spring.



Not anticipating that we will get many more frost free nights, I have started harvesting as much of the remaining herbs as possible.  As the last, sweet days  of warm weather are dwindling, the  decorative  Norfolk Pines will soon be moved inside soon, too (where they will play the role of Christmas trees  during the upcoming  season).

Looking forward to getting a head start next year and starting more plants from seed!

– Brian Simms

All images are used with permission.

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