Looking around my tightly bound and nearly sunless property for places to grow food, I suddenly know how the architects of New York City must have felt when they tilted their heads back and saw all that real estate up in the sky. As limited as the sunny patches of ground on my urban farm may be, they reach infinitely high, so I've begun planting in three dimensions.
My first step was to replace the petunias in my hanging baskets with strawberries, pictured above. Migrating from decorative to edible plants means that I need ready access to the baskets for harvesting, so I bought longer chains to lower them to eye level. So far, this strategy has had several benefits:
1. I can inspect my lush fruit plants every time I enter or exit the back door.
2. The red berries are finally out of slugs' way.
3. I am no longer saddled with the chore of dead-heading petunias, which now seems like an inane time-suck and one that I can't believe I bought into previously. Life is too short to dead-head petunias.
I'm now scouring the property for other opportunities to go vertical: window boxes, trellises, Topsy Turveys and more baskets.