100 thoughts on “How to Grow Food for Free in the City

  1. Those buckets aren't free by me. Dumpsters are enclosed with a shute from the building the stuff is dumped down, so u can't dumpster dive.
    The places that will let u have them charge $3 each. Also, u don't see wood like that around except at construction sites, & they have cameras, guards &/or fences. They will arrest u

  2. Thank you Rob! Inspiring and practical 😀 The only thing I would add is to be careful with the buckets, try to understand what they have been used before as they may have toxic residues. Grow food not lawns! 😉

  3. That neighborhood is trashed. How sad. Do not grow food in tires, or lumber that's painted, or old dressers. Do not use water from the air conditioner. Toxic.

  4. You're compost veggies are great places to get seeds as well. Almost all of my plants come from seeds and starts from my veggie scraps. Keep the bottom stems from lettuces, cabbage, green onions, carrots etc. All potatoes will grow starts that you can put in water to grow roots. Then plant them. Almost all other veggies have seeds. I save all my seeds in the late winter and get them planted in old egg cartons or whatever else I can get cheap at the dollar store. There are seed swaps online that make for some awesome selections. You can trade with people all over the country.

  5. I believe it is a researcher with the University of Alberta who determined that food plants grown in soil from a municipal dump do not contain more toxins than produce bought at the grocery store.

  6. Wow I’ve never seen such a dumpy city! Why doesn’t the city clean up those areas? Good on you for Cleaning up the city for free.

  7. I so know what I'm going to do with my sons Corvette bed when he's ready to move on up….LOL Can't wait to see the faces of my neighbors when I put it in the front yard!

  8. Wow thanks for the video, it gave me a lot of great ideas. I live in SF so living int he city could be hard but not impossible 🙂

  9. you're plants look so ill and inedible. sorry. please show a video of this principle when your plants actually feed someone.

  10. Whoah—this shows me how limited my thinking has become! Calm down everyone screaming “toxic!”: your garden hose (PVC) and seedling trays (polystyrene) are toxic. Your carpet in your house releases toxic fumes. If you aren’t eating all organic all the time, you’re ingesting toxic pesticides and contributing to fertilizer runoff that pollutes streams. Rob’s ideas are viable solutions with a little bit of knowledge: avoid plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7, but 5-gallon buckets are #5. Get them used from a restaurant to know they’re food safe. Tires biodegrade slowly and generally into non-absorbable components. AC unit condensate is condensation: purer water condensed from the air (like on a cold glass of your toxic diet soda) than out of your tap, not leaking chems from the inside.

    These tips could make a real difference, especially in urban food deserts (where convenience store food is certainly not a better option) and maybe even with homeless populations. I am so inspired by this! It takes five minutes of research to figure out what products are safe, and there were so many other wonderful tips here. Don’t let your immediate fear of the unknown scare you from doing something wonderful when what is known and common could be far more dangerous. (**Edited in the comments to add a note about soil.)

  11. Pallets are not 99 percent used one time. People steal pallets from behind grocery stores but that's private property and they are constant reused until unusable. Some roofing companies use one time.

  12. I just want to say thank you for such a great teaching video, I enjoyed it very much, and I also want to say thank you for sharing your seeds with others, how kind of you , I'm sure you put a big smile on our Hevenly Fathers face. Keep up the great work, have a blessed day.😊

  13. Lambsquarter are awesome. I even collected their seeds and grow them deliberately in my garden now. So nutritious. Better than spinach. But hey.. definitely DON'T use tires. Tons of bad chemicals in those. According to the EPA, benzene, mercury, styrene-butadiene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, arsenic, heavy metals, and carcinogens, have been found in tires. There might even be bits of asbestos from where they've been exposed to brake pads. You want to be careful with plastics also. Stick to food grade if you have to use them. Even skids, make sure you're using skids that were used for food or non-toxic substances – especially since they're so porous and able to absorb whatever might have spilled on them.

  14. Here in MI you can get veggie seeds and plants w/ a food card. Also can grow from actual food purchased in the grocery. Onion roots and avocado seeds ECT.

  15. What I would like to know is this. How much of what you guys grow in your gardens actually fills your plate? Did you have tomatoes, chives and herbs for dinner? People always talk about gardening like it’s the main food source for them. It’s great, and you can eat stuff from the garden but it seems to me like it’s part of what’s on the plate. Sometimes a very small part. I’m not saying it isn’t beneficial to garden, but stay in your lane with the declarations.

  16. Great suggestions. Also, to determine if seeds are viable put a few on a damp paper towel. Fold over so the seeds are well covered. Keep damp for about 5 days. When the towel is unfolded, good seeds will have started to sprout. Fresh food will always taste better than store bought.

  17. Its not free – It takes money to grow your own food.
    We have our own gardens and green house. Lots of man hours, time, planting weeding fertilizing fighting nature, pest, heat , rain.

  18. Awesy so inspiring .. I'm interested in seeds, foraging and I launching a community garden with my granddaughter gotta scout troop in April!!! THX for the tips and ideas!!!

  19. This is a great video to open the eyes of possibilities for anyone especially those with less funding options. Yes you do have to keep in mind leeching but overall Great job!

  20. Let's use nature for our own benefice… sin for electric ..water for grow the plants Land for food etc we need only the basic for living.

  21. Am waiting for a big load of wood chips from chipdrop.com but in the meantime … I am finding amazing mulch all over my property! 1. Where the woodpile used to be, 2. along my leach line close to where trees were and leaves and weeds were … (AMAZING SOIL/MULCH!), 3. Where my father-in-law is dumping grass clippings, brush, etc at the bottom of my property! WHO KNEW I HAD SO MUCH amazing mulch in my Arizona CLAY soil yard!

  22. dry areas like colorado have problems breaking food and grass down to use in the garden. how do you do that naturally? here they recommend a powder you buy at the garden center

  23. I don't have room for a compost structure so I compost in buckets or directly into the garden bed or container (I use mostly containers – rubber maid bins with holes in the bottom or sides for drainage). Just bury the left over food scraps, leaves, lawn clippings.. into the garden. It will break down as you water. Takes no additional space and works great. Can also let some soak in a bucket of water. After a few days it will start to smell, P-EWE. Pour the smelly "compost water" over your plants, makes for a great compost "tea". No need to spend money on fertilizers.

  24. I am wondering about the water from washing machine going on the plants….. it is just soap and I use melaleuca detergent so that is safer for the environment, but I do wonder if it is ok for food gardens?

  25. The US have/make a lot of waste, so you are right to utilise it. However there are a lot of places around the world where very little is for free. These places are already using whatever they can, so I guess your vids are for mainly for the US. Great ideas though, but very local.

  26. Doesn't it concern you that growing food on roadsides and front yards with a lot of passing traffic, can be polluted from exhaust fumes ?

  27. I have a freezer full of Trump steaks. Trump teaches real Americans to oppose all this new-age nonsense and belly on down to your local Canyonero dealer and pick up a BRAND NEW CANYONERO for just $59,889, then use it to commute to your local Trump steak outlet via your friendly corner Exxon. God bless America and I look forward to my reelection in 2020 !!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Omg you're in my area, I had no idea until you mentioned Atlanta/Bankhead, that's so cool! Now I have to subscribe because we're in the same zone! 😁

  29. I love this video! Thanks so much for covering all the basics so others can get started on the journey!

  30. This is really helpful! I got a lot of seeds from the food bank and I have been putting them in used plastic cups, containers I made from scrap cardboard, and some pots my mom had in her garden. I took some of her compost and mixed it with some leftover soil she had from a hanging plant, and now I have a bunch of seeds planted and possibly growing!

  31. Till the cats crap in the boxes….. The mice,rats, squires, chipmunks, raccoons all dig up the seeds…..and plates…..then theres the neighbors…..you would starve to death before you grow enough at this….ya the dumpster divers are going to have access to "Craig list" 😕

  32. Free seeds: my local public library repurposed the wooden card catalog cabinets and let the local garden club set up envelopes of seeds for people to “check-out”. Very popular.

  33. Just wandered onto your video and I really enjoyed it. I live in the country (in France) and grow vegetables in various types of containers. I use my well to water along with rain water, and grow organically…or as organically as possible. I was really impressed by the way and the quantity of food you "process". More power to you and thanks!

  34. Wait what, pallets are just being thrown out in the US? In Denmark we can sell them back to certain types of stores and receive around 15 dollers for each pallet. It's kinda funny how things work differently around the world ^^

  35. I’m inspired by your enthusiasm and creativity, thank you for this video. I’m wondering if you’ve ever thought about doing a project for a homeless community? I live in San Pedro, CA, this is the port of Los Angeles, a small coastal industrialized sleepy town. We have a large settlement of homeless that live just outside our main post office on Beacon St. It would be amazing to work with some of the homeless to teach them to forage and grow their own food and possibly learn to live waste free. I dunno it’s just a thought, but wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?

  36. Another idea for growing food WITHOUT PAYING FOR SEEDS- grow from foods you are already eating. For example, plant the bottoms of green onions to grow more, leave the bottom of a bunch of celery and let grow, organic potatoes and sweet potatoes can grow grow two or more plants each, plant the cloves from a head of garlic, sprout beans or grains, etc. You could even try growing fruit trees this way if you have the time, space, and are willing to experiment with a plant that will vary from the original. You can also take cuttings from almost any herb (here is a good link https://learningherbs.com/skills/herbs-from-cuttings/).

  37. I have gotten dying seedlings from the farmers co-op for free. Most of them thrive after planting, just a later harvest if you have a long enough season

  38. I am sorry, why create raised beds at all, why now just plant anywhere where there is level or slanted ground. Vertical gardening is ok it saves space, or if you don't have horizontal space then vertically you go.

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