A UK Gardener Transforms His Small Patio Into a Farm

Yes, you can grow 30 kinds of vegetables in a tiny urban garden!

Dec 21, 2020
A UK Gardener Transforms His Small Patio Into a Farm | Yes, you can grow 30 kinds of vegetables in a tiny urban garden!

London is a huge, sprawling city. Yet tucked away in its northern end sits a tiny piece of paradise, an organic garden cared for by a man with a passion for nature. Alessandro Vitale is so excited by his garden, he is now sharing his knowledge with hopes of inspiring others to create healthy green havens in urban spaces.

Vitale has always loved growing plants, according to Intelligent Living. An immigrant from Italy, he grew up watching his grandfather grow spicy chilies from seed. When he first moved to London, his gardening options were slim, so he had to resort to growing mint and chili plants on his windowsills.

That all changed a year ago when he moved to a home with an outdoor space. Even though it was tiny, he was grateful for this area and set to work, constructing a greenhouse where he planted broad beans, spring onions, and peppers. Using recycled plastic bottles for herb planters, Vitale hung them vertically on a trellis, and everything else was grown in planters and pots.

Believe it or not, he was able to fit all of this in a shared patio that measures 16 by 26 feet. Yet in this tiny space, He was able to grow so much produce, he has not been to the grocery store since last March!

Vitale’s incredible first crop this summer included 30 kinds of vegetables including carrots, cabbage, leeks, cauliflower, garlic, broccoli, and fennel. He harvested over 75 pounds of tomatoes from just six plants and his 17 varieties of chilies produced 22 pounds of hot peppers. He uses his 12 types of mint to make homemade kombucha, a fermented tea.

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Vitale grew so much produce, he started to give it away to friends and neighbors, even putting up a sign outside his house asking people to take vegetables for free.

This urban gardener became so passionate about his hobby, he started a YouTube channel called Spicy Moustache to share his sustainable gardening tips. He is now gaining a following on Twitter and he wrote that hopes his viewers will also create green oases in the concrete jungle of the city.

Vitale is also very environmentally conscious. Everything he grows is organic and he uses his own fertilizer made from aloe vera, while his organic pesticide is made from wild nettles that he foraged.

My main goal is to help people create as many green spaces as possible because soil can absorb carbon from the air and reduce carbon emissions. Urban backyards and green areas help reduce carbon emission levels in cities, which makes the air cleaner and healthier for its residents,” Vitale told Intelligent Living. 

With winter here, he is now sharing his indoor gardening knowledge on YouTube, and his interior rooms seem to be filled with as much greenery as he has in the backyard! He has since turned his bountiful tomato harvest into sauces, using his grandmother’s secret recipes, and has made jams and salsas from his chili crop.

Be it indoor or outside, gardening is healthy, improves wellbeing, and helps heal the planet.

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Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.