I know you know why you might want to grow you own food… or take your food growing to the next level.
I interviewed Peter Burke
to find out from the pro what I can do easily to grow food through the winter. Peter published Indoor Gardening
. He spends about 2 minutes a day tending his indoor garden, and feeds his family of 5 fresh greens everyday. I thought, I can do that. You probably can too.
Indoor Gardening for beginners
Peter’s method is simple. He puts soil mix in bowls and sprinkles on seeds. He waters. He puts the bowls in a dark drawer for 2 days. Then, he puts them on a window shelf in the sunlight, watering them once a day. Within 7 days he harvests the 2 leaf plants – which are nutrient power plants or microgreens or superfoods. Pick your term. He plants a few little bowls a day and has greens coming out of his … well, windows!
Straight from Peter the expert:
“Indoor Gardening is easy to do. Small batches of greens fit into daily life and any kitchen without any special equipment or lights. Any window, North, South, East or West will provide plenty of light. Soil grown sprouts are ‘nutrient rich’ meaning they provide Vitamin A like egg, Protein like milk and Vitamin C like grapefruit. In short they’re good for you not just roughage.
And speaking of nutrition broccoli sprouts are great source of cancer fighting antioxidant sulforaphane. An ounce of greens is equal to four pounds of vegetable broccoli. Even though the trays are small (3” x 6”) they are very productive. Very productive. If you were to plant an acre of trays the harvest would be over 2,000,000 pounds of greens a year.
Because of the soil you only need to water once a day, and if you miss a watering the greens are fine. If you miss two day and you come home to wilted greens you can still save them with ‘sprout CPR’. You can’t mess this up. (Jakes story with the dust pan and me with the drawer full of sprouts). The fact that this is something you grow at home means there is no transportation in refrigerator trucks involved to move them across the country. And there is virtually no waste. From tray to salad bowl.”
How to grow vegetables indoors
I’ve been sprouting greens for the last 10 years, but after talking with Peter, I’m inspired to take it to the next level. I can dirty my hands for a minute or two a day. Check out Peter’s simple method:
“I plant five different trays with five different seeds for a wonderful mixed salad that rivals any gourmet food. Even my kids like these salads. I love to garden and one of the reasons I like it is because as I care for and nurture my plants I feel nurtured myself, and the same sort of symbiotic relationship seems to work in the indoor garden too, it is a great way to relax like a walking meditation. “It’s too seed intensive” one of my farmer friends said to me. But then I realized that no one says the it is too seed intensive when you grind wheat berries up for bread, or cook a pot of rice. The is just another way, a different way than cooking to prepare seeds for eating.”
Indoor Garden Supplies
Basically, you need trays, seeds, and soil.
You can also skip this section and just buy a kit from Peter. If you’re a kit kind of person – he’ll make it easy on you. If you’re a do it yourselfer – keep reading. http://www.thedailygardener.com/store-products-FARM-STAND-77-1234-Farm-Stand-Kit—32-tray—3x6_26861790.html
Indoor Garden Trays:
Peter uses aluminum foil bread pans. The one pound, half-loaf size and the two pound, whole-loaf pans are inexpensive, durable, and he reuses them for months before recycling them. The half-loaf pan measures 3” x 6” and it’s about 2” deep – he refers to this as the small tray. The large tray is a whole-loaf pan that measure 4” x 8” and 2” deep.
Indoor Garden seeds:
For the most greens with the least effort, Peter recommends:
- Snow Peas
Peter has a great online indoor garden supply shop. I’m going to start ordering my seeds from him. This farm stand kit looks particularly good.
Indoor Garden Soil
For soil Peter uses soil mix from your local nursery. The soil mix should contain peat moss, vermiculite and perlite. Then you’re going to add 2 things: Kelp and Compost. Here is how much:
I ask Peter in the interview to tell me how to contain the mess. Gardening outside is one thing. Inside… sounds dirt-y even for me. He
has a system in some drawers. I immediately thought of place in my kitchen I could excavate. When I get back from Mexico I’ll put some less popular appliances in the garage and create space the pantry. I’d rather have fresh greens that whatever else is still lurking in there. I know you don’t have enough room – but it’s a question of reorganizing your priorities. Whenever you reorganize your priorities you are reorganize your space.
Check out the sampler chapters from Peter’s book. You have enough info to get started. If you liked this …. like in on Facebook. Peter will very appreciative.
For Cate’s Healthier Kids Workshop: Click Here