Projekt Balkonien

In den letzten Jahren hatte ich mich ja aufgemacht meinen Balkon zu einem kleinen Nutzgarten zu machen, was den Bonus eines hauseigenen Dschungels mit sich brachte und schließlich darin endete dass die Fläche das unbetretbar klassifiziert wurde. Dies soll sich in diesem Jahr ändern. Das Projekt heißt ‚Balkoien‘ – wie in ‚Urlaub auf‘. Projekt Balkonien weiterlesen

Der Frühling kommt!

Ich habe heute die ersten Tomaten aus den Niederlanden im Supermarkt gesehen und Salat aus Deutschland gekauft. Die Balkontür steht weit offen und ich ernte selbstgezogene Erbsensprossen vom Fensterbrett. Es tut sich langsam was.
Die Sonne hat schon richtig kraft und ist euch aufgefallen dass wir schon einen Sonnenstand haben der vergleichbar ist mit dem von Mitte Oktober?


Versteckspiel bei Familie Faba

Aus gegebenem Anlass ein kleiner Nachtrag zum gestrigen Artikel:

Meine Eltern bauen schon jahrelang Bohnen an.
Immer die gleiche Sorte. blaue Stangenbohnen
Ich hab mich immer gefragt: warum blau? Weil sie schöner sind? Beim Kochen werden sie nämlich grün und sind von der ursprünglich schon grünen Variante durch nichts mehr zu unterscheiden. Versteckspiel bei Familie Faba weiterlesen

Good news everyone!

As of now I’m moving my gardening articles to Experiment Selbstversorgung.

Michael and Lisa have invited me I’ve invited myself to write non-regular guest posts about my experiences on urban gardening on their blog.
I’m looking forward to contributing to this extraordinary project.


My first post may sound familiar (I’m doing some recycling) – it also may sound german, do not be alarmed …

Urban Permaculture

I have a new book. It’s called ‚Jedem sein Grün‘ (which roughly translates to ‚Green for everyone‘, here’s the Amazon link.

It’s a book about permaculture. If you’re not familiar with the term, the Internet has a lot to say about it.

Basically it’s about sustainability, self-sufficiency, making do with what you’ve got and, of course, saving the world.

This book is not only about permaculture, it’s about urban permaculture, which means the same but not as an romantic, ideal dream about a big farm far out in the countryside, working in accordance with nature itself – no, it means starting right were you are, making the best of what you’ve got (a little garden, a small balcony, maybe only a window …).

It’s not a book that teaches you very much. It’s more the sort of book which reveals possibilities, shows you what others are already be doning. It gets you in the mood to do more yourself.

There’s a lot I could do with my balcony. A lot of space unused. I think next year will see some chances. More balcony boxes, maybe a salad tree, more vertical gardening, compost, insects, birds … much planing to do.

In the book there is one example of a urban farm.
There is a property in the middle of Pasadena, about 1/10 of an acre of garden, which is self sufficient. They even produce more food than they need, they sell some of it.
1/10 of an acre! That’s about 404,7 square metres!
If you don’t believe me, that’s the way to the homepage.
There’s even a short film which you find here.

This all starts me dreaming. Dreaming about turing my parents home (which is much more than 400 square metres) into a sort of village farm, maybe selling a some of my art, selling bikes too … growing stuff, transforming the whole ground, doing crater paches, sun traps, insect hotels …

Maybe …

First of all I need to turn my balcony into some kind of mini farm
– and I need less working hours to do all the stuff I want to!

My balcony

When in spirng we moved into this flat which includes a BALCONY people – including me – asumed that by now said balcony would be some sort of impassable … jungle, looking something like this one.

The truth is … I’ve been very restrictive with myself and YES you can still stand on the balcony, YES there are three (!) chairs on it and one table, although it’s not usable because of plants standing on it. I like my semi-jungle and I have great plans for it.

For now I just want to show you some pictures of my little urban garden.


The table 🙂
One of my two ‚Balkonkasten‘, also called the salad bar. There’s basil, rocket salad, lettuce, buck’s horn plantain, coriander, more lettuce and garlic …
The pots contain more basil (it’s cuban bush basil), rose scented geranium (pelagonium graveolens) and lemon cented geranium (pelagonium citronellum)

balcony balcony

Basil and lattuce.


The coriander is – against all my efforts to stop him – desperatly trying to bloom.

On the ground there is




bell shaped chili pepper (Capsicum baccatum ‚Glockenpaprika‘)


coctail tomato and celery (not in the picture)



In the other corner:


runner beans (visual-cover-to-be) and the flower pot the sparrows sowed

(originally there was some oregano in it. When I put the pot onto the balcony in early spring it stood right under the bird house. Some day the sparrows hijaked the house, looted it and accidentially sowed some sunflowers and cereals … last year they planted the cereals into the roof gutter – my landlady was not amused!)


The second ‚Balkonkasten‘ containing parsley, indian cress, more lattuce, some herb I don’t know, but which tastes great, thyme rattail radish (raphanus caudatus) and some forgotten radishes (blooming right now)

Also you can see a bottle containing my efforts in trying to make nettle fertilizer.


thyme and basil


parsley and lettuce


The blooming rattail radish (you eat the young seed vessels)

Not in the pictures are a big pot of oregano, wild basil (Ocimum species ‚Cresto‘), more trying-to-bloom-coriander and the stuff I collect for my parents

What do you think!?! I like going out there and collenct my food (I don’t like having to water them every day … )

I don’t think there will be much more in 2012, no worm compost, no mushrooms, no lettuce tree, no hanging cucumbers, no …