27 January 2010

R3project round-up 7: the Balcony

Although we don’t have much of it, living in the Centre of Barcelona, we love our outdoor space. Our apartment has 3 small Barcelona-style balconies, that just about fir some flowerpots, a compost bin and a washing line.

No matter how little space you have, you can always grow some of your own herbs and spices, and even vegetables on windowsills, balconies or terraces if you don’t have a garden. We really like the Leopoldo Urban Vegetable Garden for it’s slick and practical design. Used indoors and outdoors, with wheels and available in different sizes, the Leopoldo is the perfect alternative to your standard ceramic pots and fits even into small spaces. We have managed to grow anything from parsley to basil, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, chillies and strawberries.

One of the most important features of the R3project is the Can-O-Worms compost bin. We can’t get over the fact that thousands of worms on our balcony turn all our organic scraps from the kitchen and our plants into nutritious compost that we then use as fertiliser for the plants.

We had this worm composter for over a year and half now, and had had no bad surprises. Worms and homeowners are happy. And you would be surprised how much organic waste we recycle, since we ordered the organic vegetable box by Recapte. Every 3 to 4 months we get to collect some 8 kilos of fresh compost. Read here about how to install a Can-O-Worms (with video) and here about our first compost harvest.

Quite common in Barcelona, although not so in the United States where in some places they have even been banned, drying lines are the most eco-friendly way to dry your clothes. No energy is needed, no machinery, and the clothes end up smelling fresh.

Then, on sunny days, we take out our solar oven we made in a workshop by Fundació Terra, and cook some delicious biscuits or hot bananas with melted chocolate…

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