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How to garden in your tiny urban apartment

A green thumb and a micro-studio are no longer mutually exclusive

With easy access to bike shares, farmers' markets, and public transportation urban life has plenty to offer the conscientious consumer — but apartment living can be limiting. If, like me, you live in an apartment that's smaller than Kim Kardashian's shoe closet, you've probably given up on the prospect of growing your own food. Fortunately, urbanites have come up with some great solutions so you don't have to choose between 2 a.m. taxis and homegrown herbs.

Vertical gardens

A great way to maximize space is to grow up instead of out. There are a wide variety of vertical gardens available depending on your space, price range, and DIY prowess. The Vertical Gardening Kit and The Garden Tower both make products that don't require much assembly. The Garden Tower is particularly green, as you can feed your kitchen scraps directly into its built-in compost system. The only drawback is both of these planters require a deck or balcony. If your outdoor access is more limited, try a DIY bottle garden or install one of these vertical planters.

Aqua Farm

If vertical gardening is too daunting or you worry about your apartment turning into a jungle, then the Aqua Farm might be more your speed. It's a self-cleaning fish tank that uses fish waste to grow herbs on top. The tank comes with organic seeds and a beta fish coupon. It doesn't get much greener than that.

Back to the Roots Mushroom Kit

While studying at UC Berkeley, the same entrepreneurs responsible for the Aqua Farm also invented a mushroom growing kit that turns waste into food. When they discovered that mushrooms could be grown from old coffee grounds they decided to turn what was once an experiment in a fraternity kitchen into a sustainable business. The kits are available online and at Whole Foods.

If you still don't think your space can support any life besides your own, check out your local community garden.

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