This Man Transformed His Backyard Into A Vegetable Farm

Viral videos typically tell tales of success and have deep connections, which touch our human emotions. Alessandro Vitale, who has his own YouTube channel ‘SpicyMoustache’ has succeeded in living the horticulturist dream, whilst gaining a business and enjoying internet popularity among fellow home-harvesters. (1)

Encouraging others to create green spaces in their home, Vitale has grown 17 different chili types, 12 different mints and has even harvested 30 different vegetables, to make his own 100% organic kombucha and teas. He does not own a climate-controlled farm, or live in a country that doesn’t experience harsh winters. His backyard vegetable farm is an 8x5m shared patio area, at his flat in north London’s Walthamstow. (2,3)

Italian Seedsman Creates Backyard Vegetable Farm 

Vitale, 29, a tattoo artist from Italy moved to the UK six years ago, along with his girlfriend, and when they secured a shared patio he set about creating food. With a goal of ditching supermarkets, he rapidly produced more than they could eat, so he shared with the neighbors. He now has to give away surplus vegetables by leaving them at his front door with a sign – ‘free to take’.

Not neglecting his Italian roots he has praised his grandfather for teaching him everything he knows about the “living soil” surrounding us, and uses his Italian grandmother’s secret recipes, to create delicious pasta sauces with tomatoes and veggies. (2,3)

For Vitale, this is no lockdown hobby. He works a 45 hour week and still finds time to work in his garden for roughly 2 hours each day. He has created a wall trellis for herbs out of recycled water bottles, and installed planters and a greenhouse. Foraged nettle from a park is used for pest control, and homegrown aloe vera is his secret for fertilizer. Making sure to spread the word on home-farming environmental and societal benefits, he also has a website, where he sells his chilies online. A quote from his mission reads:

My main goal is to help people create as many green spaces as possible because soil can absorb carbon from the air, reducing carbon emissions. Urban backyards and green areas help reduce carbon emission levels in cities which in turn makes the air cleaner and healthier for its residents and also spending time in your own green area boosts your mental health and happiness!” (2,3,4)

The Future Of Food

Dense cities have been designed in ways that make it difficult to grow some foodstuffs at home, but Vitale has shown that from small beginnings large things can grow. He had started with window boxes before he moved to this flat, and was finally blessed with an outdoor area just last year. (3)
Fresh fruit and vegetables can easily be ours with just a small change in mindset. For urban gardening at it’s finest, set yourself up with low-cost hydroponic system that can be set up indoors or out.
Food is free when it comes from the earth, and millions of people are getting their hands dirty as food insecurity rises and society seems to be entering an economic downturn.
Localize food production to the max, by gardening in a small space in your home. Simply source some seeds, then put to work those ‘green’ fingers.

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