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Volume III
April 26, 2013

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Garden Here Garden There, You Can Garden Anywhere

By Sydney Hill

Some people get discouraged thinking they have nowhere to garden. There's hope, I'm here to say there is possibilities everywhere, no matter where you live! There's always finding a vacant lot or trying to do one with a neighbor, but that is definitely not all. It's a little something I'll call container gardening.


Why should I garden? The thing is, there are so many benefits I can't even begin to name them all! It's cost efficient, and you get the good stuff right from your own home, no need to worry about where it's been. It teaches responsibility, and then you're prepared if there is an outage or shortage of food. You never know what catastrophe is going to hit or if grocery stores will stay stocked through it all. It's good to have a supply, what better supply than one that keeps growing? One tomato plant will make millions more. That' ll keep you prepared.


This can be done on a front porch with bigger plants, or if you're planting something simple like herbs, just do it on your window sill. You see them often and usually remember to water them. If you live in a colder climate, you could always start growing your seeds in your window sill, and when they're too big for that, carefully transplant by massaging the soil gently and being careful not to cause too much stress to the plant.

Whip one egg and cook it in a well oiled small pan 1 to 2 minutes or until egg is set; flip and cook about 1 minute more. Carefully slide onto a plate. In this same pan, sauté 1 cup baby spinach until wilted, about 1 minute. Spread 1 teaspoon prepared olive tapenade on cooked egg and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese. Top with wilted spinach, roll up, and cut in half.

What to use?

The beauty of container planting is that you just need a container. There is no need to buy a cute, fancy pot at the store that will cost you a ton. Part of the reason to garden is that it's cost efficient. So try keeping it that way. You can start your seeds in little egg cartons. Bigger things include a soda bottle cut in half, a milk container, a yogurt carton, or little storage bins. I even saw a cute little herb garden where someone nailed a rain gutter to their wall. I saw my neighbor cutting one the other day I think for that purpose. I've also heard of using shoe hangers. If you get a material one there would be natural drainage.

How to do it:

Whatever you decide to use, make sure that there is some sort of drainage system. Cut holes in the bottom and have a tray to catch the excess water. Or, put bark or gravel in the bottom of your container as this will allow somewhere for the extra water to go. (Don't use gravel in large containers, you don't want to hurt your back moving it!). Then, use (good) potting soil. Someone at my church used some from the dollar store and nothing grew that year, not even weeds. Although there's a plus side to the no-weeds thing, you don't want sterile soil in your garden you spend so much time on. Then, make sure you set your container where it will see lots of sunlight. Whether this is outside or the most well-lit window, make sure it can do it's photosynthesis. Water every day. Plants don't like to starve and then get loaded with water (we don't either). If you've ever seen a tomato with the blossom end rotting and looking dark and water soaked, that could have been what happened. You can use a spray bottle and spray multiple times a day to keep the soil moist. ( I'm doing that with my little window sill garden.)

What to plant?

Do your research, but pretty much anything can be adapted to grow inside if you take proper care of it. There are also many that will do well in a container. I believe there are strawberries made for that very purpose. Also, herbs don't grow very big so they can probably just stay on that window sill. Advantage? Fresh herbs are amazing, whether to add that gourmet flavor or beautiful garnish to every plate. However, they are about 16 to 20 dollars a pound at the store. No fun. But if you grow them in your home, the cost is next to nothing. If it's on your kitchen window sill, you might be more likely to use them, too. Just take a snip snip when you're making that soup. Try basil, chives, rosemary, thyme, parsley, cilantro, sage, oregano, marjoram, dill, or mint.

If you can't get through your fresh herbs, no worries. Just freeze or dry them.

To dry: take a small bundle, tie with twine and hang in a cool place for a week or two until dry. Store in air tight containers.

To freeze: wash, mince, and freeze in ice cube trays. Then you just have to add a cube to what you're cooking!

I challenge you to go try some of these! I'm having fun with my garden, I want you to experience the same joy and pride I am. (Something sprouted the other day and I was so excited! Maybe that sounds childish, but it feels good when work produces something).


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