EcoBeat Staff- You don’t need a big yard to get inspired about gardening! Green space in your home can have many benefits and edible garden goods are no exception. The biophilia hypothesis states that humans evolved to spend time in nature and that we seek green space. This can explain why we feel more relaxed on a hike through the woods or sitting on the grass in a park. A more simple, and often more localized way to fulfill our innate love of green is to fill your home with it. Of course you may be entirely satisfied with flowers in a vase or the occasional plant here and there but nothing can quite compare to the satisfaction of eating what you grow, most especially if it requires little effort, money and space! Unfortunately, space can be hard to come by in many living situations such as apartments. Without a balcony or even a window sill to hammer a garden box from, the pursuit of a personal urban garden may seem impossible. Fear not! There are many indoor gardening options to fulfill a variety of lifestyles, budgets and experience levels. Here are four to get your green thumb growing:
1) Micro-greens- Micro-greens are packed with nutrients and have become a very popular addition to salads. Micro-greens are simply plants in the early stage and can be found in the form of broccoli, radishes, arugula and more. With a short shelf life after full growth, they won’t take up space for too long. Micro-green kits are available for under $30 and are easy to grow. They may not be the best bang for your buck in terms of volume; however, most kits come with reusable trays so you can easily start again. Sprout People offers reliable and organic micro-greens here.
2) Sprouts- Sprouts are an option that come in many shapes, sizes, containers and expertise levels. In less than 3 days, you could have your very own addition to salads or sandwiches. Admittedly one of the less attractive options, you can hide a sprout grower in your kitchen window and brag to guests once you serve them. Growers come in many sizes but ideally you’ll want a strainer lid and a clear or semi-clear jar to grow them in indoor gardens. Try this one here.
3) Fungi’s- It’s almost impossible to kill a basic mushroom patch. For those not blessed with a green thumb, this is probably a good starting point. For kids this can be a fascinating project with quick results. A tiny mushroom “farm” can reach maturity in 10 days! Many kits are also reusable, so get ready to bless your vegetable stir fry with oyster mushrooms often. Back to the Roots provides an option blessed by Oprah herself.
4) Herb garden- If aesthetics are your thing, then I highly recommend purchasing herb garden supplies. Many types grow all through the winter as long as they receive direct sunlight through most of the day. In addition, there are a variety of levels to chose from including regular old pots and more advanced hydroponics systems for the tech lover. Modern Sprout sells self watering herb jars and basic hydroponic systems well within the reasonable range. Herbs can be a bit more finicky but are fairly forgiving. Of course one does not need a kit to grow herbs and can start from seed. One great way to do this is to use egg shells, as long as half or more is in tact, with some soil and seed. The plant will be able to use the nutrition from the egg to grow healthy and strong. Simply pot the herbs once they are past 2-3 inches in height in a regular pot with soil, keeping the egg shell as the foundation for the roots.