Today we're talking about programing small spaces for food production.
Here we have a portion of a hypothetical backyard.
We're going to be focusing exclusively on the deck but I thought labeling the basemap would give you a little context.
We look for spaces that might be less useful for circulation or for outdoor furniture and we add containers for growing food.
The 2' X 12' raised bed could be high enough to provide storage underneath. Perhaps something like this. (Hat tip to Jared)
Next we use some shaded areas near the downspout to collect rain water in barrels. Incidentally it's possible in some climates that you could raise fish in these barrels. Also water is heavy so be sure the deck can handle the weight.
Next we add some more space for growing- a narrow bed on the right hand side for plants like beans that can climb the fence. And we add a place at the southern bottom of the deck for cold frames. They can remain open during the summer and fall and serve as way to extend production during the colder months.
Lastly we go below the deck and create another bed, the idea being that here too vegetables that like to climb could use the deck itself for support.
You'll still want a place to sit and probably to eat so be sure to add that to the design. Here's a combination of bench/planter. And the Hosta are edible!
Don't forget you can hang things on the rails.
You probably won't grow all your food in this manner but you'd be surprised how much food you can grow in a small space.