28 October 2009

My Indoor Garden

I'm sure I could google the benefits of growing plants, herbs, veggies and flowers in your home or apartment and a BILLION list will come up on how doing so makes your life better and the earth happy.

Google is always my impulse. Google and Google Scholar. I love using Google scholar to find research and such.

But I decided to just list my reasons for growing plants and herbs in my apartment and why I like it.

My jade

I bought this jade a long time ago from Ikea. It was such a baby plant. Like how a kitten fits into the palm of your hand. The jade fit into my palm and was a little bitty baby. And now, oh my goodness. I've repotted it four times. And it keeps growing! And its very very pretty.

That's reason number ONE: Keeping plants enhance the aesthetics of your home.

I mean some people have a jungle growing in their apartment, but then some have enough that its just plain beautiful.

Ummm. I think this is lavender that hasn't completely bloomed yet. I planted about eight pots of things and can't remember what they all were. (Spearmint, cilantro, basil, jade, green onion,...don't remember what else). My friend Sam has some beautiful lavender growing in her apartment.

Reason number TWO: I feel connected to the earth. There is a power in putting my hands in the dirt, planting the seeds, watering them, and watching them grow.

One of the things I noticed about the lavender was that it would bend towards the sun each day. My lavender was doing sun salutations everyday. Plants do yoga! :) Because the plant would bend towards the sun at an almost intense angle, I would have to turn the pot every day so that it wouldn't bend too far in one direction and then fall over.

Watching the plant thirst and reach for the sun was crazy. Or watching the basil sort of drivel up because I didn't water it and then blossom open again the moment I did...there is just something about being connected to nature. Do you know what I'm talking about?

This is a little glimpse at my basil.

Basil will keep growing. That stuff is no joke. So long as it has room to spread it's roots...that stuff just will not stop.

Reason number THREE: I am able to provide for myself.

There was something immensely satisfying about being able to use the things that I grow in the things that I eat. I was cooking a stir fry one day and thought to  myself, "it would be great if I had bought basil when I was at the grocery store." But before my pout set into my face, I realized I had basil growing on my windowsill. Grabbing some leaves off and adding it to the skillet was magical. Oh my pride had a good moment. And usually I spend over $4 for a little thing of basil and half of it goes bad before I even use it all. But I paid fifty cents for basil seeds and only used half the packet and I have a plant that to this day is still growing and making my food oh so good.

Some times I also have bamboo but right now I do not. Bamboo is beautiful and low maintenance. And since I live alone and do not have a pet (for now.....)....and so by having plants I have a bit of life in my apartment too. I guess that could be reason number four.

Just found this picture. This is the second pot the jade ended up in. That's funny seeing how little it used to be. The jade is so big now its in this huge pot that sits on the floor now. Nevermind the windowsill. :)

Okay. So the picture above is of spearmint I think. In it's baby stage. And the picture below is when it starts to bend towards to sun.

But sometimes..the bend would be so severe I thought the plant was going to topple out the pot, climb out the window and try to fly to the sun. So everyday I'd have to rotate some of the plants. Does anyone else have to do this? Should I be rotating them? Am I doing something wrong?

So...I've thought up a reason number five.

 Reason number FIVE: the anticipation and then the actuality of the first spout is like wanting the first kiss from a person of interest and then getting it and its the best ever.

Well, that's a long reason but that's all I could compare it too. Waiting and waiting and looking at the dirt and watering it and wondering when a first glimmer of life will appear. And then one day you come home and you start to see little specks of green. And its like, "holy crap, this is amazing!"

Although I would love a garden to grow all my vegetables and herbs and plants, I don't have one. I live in a studio apartment in chicago and there is nowhere physical to put those desires. But I'm not limited. I have a window sill and my window sill is a platform for endless wonder. No matter your situation, there is a way. Maybe its a different way, but its still a way.

What do you grow?

oooh. I thought of reason number six. The herbs and vegetables that you do grow...well...at least you know they were grown locally. :) They weren't shipped from god knows where. They traveled like three feet from the windowsill to the skillet or counter top. Therefore, you are able to be an eco-conscious eater.

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