You Don’t Need a Garden to Grow Your Own Food

Do you lack the time or space for a full-on garden? These are a few ways that you can enjoy home-grown food in less time and without a garden in your backyard.

Sustainability is finally getting the spotlight it deserves—geez, it took long enough! More and more people are becoming interesting in living with environmental mindfulness, whether that means using fewer single-use plastics, buy fewer new clothes or limiting water waste. But the biggest area to be hit by the eco bug? Food.

The problem is, our conventional food system is incredibly unsustainable. When you buy veggies at a supermarket, that produce has probably been shipped hundreds (if not thousands) of miles to get to you, sometimes in circles.

All that traveling means that something as simple as a pound of fresh peppers is likely to have produced up to five pounds of carbon emissions en route to your store. Not to mention a lot of this food rots or gets wasted!

The current system is a huge waste of resources and carbon emissions, which is no bueno at all.

When it comes to eating, there’s no denying that growing your own food is the most eco-friendly option. But not everyone can do that. Space can be an issue, especially if you rent or live in the city. Gardens also can take a lot of upkeep. There’s watering, weeding, fertilizing, harvesting—not to mention the initial planting. The whole process can feel a little overwhelming for sure. But don’t worry! There are other ways that you can reap the environmental benefits of gardening without full-on enrolling in horticulture school.

African-American couple roof gardening

Start a community garden share.  

If you know a little bit about gardening, talk to your neighbors, and find out if they would be interested in starting a community garden together. Then, all you have to do is find an area to construct a raised bed and decide what you should grow.

You all chip in. Everyone gets to enjoy the fruits of the labor—and it’s not that much labor since you’re splitting it between many people.

A garden share is a cheap, easy and highly sustainable way to get good local food. (Definitely consult your local government for support if you live in an urban area.)

Hands holding a grate full of fresh vegetables

Invest in a CSA.

The next best thing you can do is to invest in a CSA program. You’ll pay a couple hundred dollars annually to receive a share of a farm’s produce each week.

This usually doesn’t require any manual labor on your part. You can just pick up the food at the drop off location, and it’s a great way to support local, organic agriculture. Plus, it’s always a fun surprise to see what will come inside your box each week!

Micro Greens

Start growing your own sprouts and microgreens.

If outdoor growing is a complete impossibility for you (and even if it isn’t), you can still grow A LOT of fresh produce right in the comfort of your kitchen! Sprouts are incredibly simple to grow. They require no soil and no grow lights, yet they are many times more nutritionally dense than their full-grown counterparts.

For example, broccoli sprouts contains up to 100 times more cancer-fighting compounds than an equivalent amount of full grown broccoli. Yowza! Plus, rather than paying $6 to $8 for a couple of stalks of organic broccoli at the supermarket, a large bag of broccoli seeds is around $20 to $30 and yields dozens and dozens of pounds of fresh food. It’s a no brainer!

FYI: You can grow microgreens using the same seeds, but they require soil and a slightly different growing technique. This is because you harvest microgreens at a slightly later stage of development than sprouts, when their root structure is starting to develop.

There is no excuse not to up the sustainability of your produce, especially now that summer is right around the corner. Eat local. Eat organic. Grow food in your kitchen. Take care of your local environment. It’s not that complicated.

Related on Care2:


Lesa D
Lesa D5 days ago

thank you Jordyn...

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin22 days ago

community gardens can really transform and area!

Jan S
Jacob S1 months ago

Thank you

Olivia H
Olivia H1 months ago

thanks very much

Daniel N
Daniel N2 months ago

Good article. Thanks.

Gino C
Gino C2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Alice L
Past Member 2 months ago


Hannah A
Hannah A2 months ago


Carla G
Past Member 2 months ago


Alice S
Barbara S2 months ago

Thank you