In Part 1 How To Satisfy A Serious Gardener's Itch But You Live In an Apartment, I discuss becoming a volunteer master gardener. The benefits of this type of gardening is that you gain a wealth of horticultural and agricultural education and experiences, as well as provide invaluable services to your community.
Part 2 on satisfying a serious gardener's itch is about participating in community and urban farms. This too is generally a volunteer service. The focus, however, is to grow and provide fresh produce in urban communities where such foods are simply not available.
Moreover, it empowers a community through agricultural and environmental hands-on education. (I once heard a little boy's first exposure to an urban garden say he thought food just came from the grocery store. He had no idea that a seed is planted in the ground, is cared for, grows and is then harvested!)
The American Community Garden Association, which serves the United States and Canada, is a great place to start to learn more about community gardens.
Shout Out to Growing Power Inc.
This gardening project was started by Will Allen. His project is located in my old home town, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Perhaps I'm just bias. But here's why:
Rent Space For Urban Garden For Your Own Consumption
Another type of community gardening is where a municipality rents small plots of land to individuals to grow food, herbs, etc. for their own consumption. Often a large plot is allocated, such as the corner of a block. The plot is shared by renters with individual spaces separated with a short fence, such as a chain link or chicken wire.
These types of gardening plots are difficult to find given the value of land in a city. But it's definitely worth looking into. Also, there may be farmer(s) with land just outside of the city who rent small plots of land to individuals. Check with your local municipality, county master gardening office and other local community gardening programs.
Okay, in short you could say that Parts 1 and Part 2 on How To Satisfy A Serious Gardener's Itch But You Live in an Apartment is all about volunteering and giving back to the community. And you're right! But what better way to learn so much about horticulture, agriculture and the environment? You meet and work with a fabulous group of people. You share what you've learned with others. You enrich your own life.
In Part 3 on satisfying a serious gardener's itch I will focus on a variety of ways you can actually garden on your apartment balcony porch.