You’ve baked a cake from scratch. You’ve lost too many hours of your life to Tiger King. You have a jar of sourdough starter on the counter. You know what it’s time for? Something (anything) outside. You could take advantage of this rare period of time when you’re not driving through the Chick-fil-a on your way to soccer practices and take a walk with your quarancrew. Do it in a place where you can keep practicing social distancing, though! You could forage for mushrooms (but only after educating yourself on the subject, please). Better yet: you could grow some food in your yard, on your patio, or even on your counter!
If you’re thinking about producing some of your own food, you’re not alone. Some seed companies are short on stock and local nurseries are running out of starter plants. There are still options though and you don’t even need a traditional garden with rows or some ambitious plan to feed your family for a year. Even people with a small patio or simply a sunny windowsill can produce a satisfying crop at home.
Here are 5 ways to produce your own food (even without a big yard).
- Raised bed plots: This is a great option to get you outdoors and growing a few goodies with minimal investment of time and energy. You can grow a surprising amount of food in a 4×4 plot and you don’t even have to tear up your yard. If you find you love it, you can add new plots next year. Here’s an intro to the method of Square Foot Gardening.
- Potted porch plants: Without any yard at all, you can grow some herbs, greens, and maybe even a few tomato plants right on your back porch or patio. Herbs are a great place to start because they cost so much in the store and go bad quickly once harvested. Growing your own means you can step outside for a breath of fresh air and come in with a handful of aromatics. Bonus: you’re less likely to forget about something you see regularly than a plot in the corner of your yard. No porch? We got you, too! 👇
- Sunny windowsill: Some plants–especially herbs like basil and mint–thrive without the traditional requirements. To avoid disappointment, look for varieties that do well indoors before you buy.
- Indoor growing systems: You can invest in a system like this one with lights and the capacity to grow dozens of plants at a time or you can get a small tabletop aquaponic system to grow some greens and entertain your kids at the same time. The large systems require a big up front cost and regular nutrients, but the big bonus is that you can do this year round. The small systems aren’t especially economical for the amount of food you get, but some say the experience is priceless. Plus right now, Back to the Roots is offering 30% (code LOVEMOM30) off with a mother’s day special.
- Indoor/outdoor fruits: We saved the most ambitious for last. Even if your climate isn’t known for growing fruit, you may be able to grow fruit trees in pots. Many of these grow well indoors most of the well and benefit from being outside during summer months.
This is admittedly a departure from our usual topics, but after weeks of hunkering down indoors, we felt it was time to talk about doing something (anything) outside. While a big perk of gardening is of course the good clean food you’ll harvest, it also carries the bonus perks of helping you get a little exercise. Whether you’re concerned about food security or simply want to have the yard you’ve dreamed of, now is a good time to get out and grow some stuff.