Window Garden!

The whole time Friendly Gentleman and I were planning our wedding, I wanted to start a window garden and worm composter in our apartment. But I never had the time to get to it. And now that the wedding is over and we’ve recovered from all the excitement, we’ve been working hard on our little garden.

ImageThe garden is in the two windows of our living room. The three purple pots on the right are for the snap peas, and the other window has garlic an onions in the large white pots and spinach and lettuce in the small silver pots.

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Our windows have I-beams at the top of them because our apartment is a factory conversion. We clamped C-clamps to the edge of the I-Beam, and then hung the pots off strings we tied to the clamps. For the snap peas, we tied C-clamps and then used the strings that hang down to make the trellis.

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It’s a baby garlic! A friend of ours cooked some food at our house, and left a couple of cloves that had sprouted. So we planted them, and they seem pretty happy!

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Baby spinaches! Except the garlic, we got all of our seeds from the local seed savers exchange.

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The lettuce is of the Green Oakleaf variety, which was known as Philadelphia Oakleaf in the 1880s. So we know it will grow well in the Philadelphia climate. (Though I guess the question is if it will grow as well in the Philadelphia apartment climate. It seems quite happy in fact, as do all the plants.)

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Except maybe the onions. I’m a little worried the window doesn’t get enough sunlight for them. Only one of the seeds sprouted, and it’s just so tiny. I’m hoping it hits a growth spurt here soon. They are Yellow Boretanna onions, which we chose for their small bulbs. SAM_1605And finally, my favorite, the Amish Snap peas! When I first went to see Friendly Gentleman’s farm, he took me to the garden, fed me a snap pea, and told me they were his favorite thing in the garden. I agreed, so when we decided to grow a vegetable garden, I wanted to devote and entire window to the snap peas. It’s going to be great to just walk over to the window and have them fresh. And they are in the middle of a huge growth spurt in the last few days. They’ve grown maybe four inches in two days. It’s crazy!

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We also have a little olive tree going. A coworker of mine gave it to me during our company’s Secret Santa. I’m not sure it’s so happy. It keeps dropping leaves, and I’m not really sure what to do about it. But for the time being, it makes me happy. If it dies, I will probably put something else in that pot, though. Maybe some aloe, which is the only herbal medicine I grew up using.

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And we have a peace lily. It was the first plant we got for our apartment because they are very difficult to kill. Every once in a while, it will look completely droopy and sad, and as soon as you water it, it pops back up to health.

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And that’s my worm bin! The worms live in the plastic bin with the airholes. The bottom bin is to collect excess moisture in case it gets too wet. Wouldn’t want the wormies to drown! The brown box on top has strips of newspaper to get wet and use to bury food scraps, and then there are tools for digging around to see what they are up to. I’m SO EXCITED about my worm bin, for a lot of reasons. I don’t feel so bad about food waste and peelings and scraps as I did before, and it’s a good place to put organic offerings. The worms seem happy, and I’m happy to be helping along an ecosystem, and it will be good food for my little food plants.

It feels really good to finally get this project underway and to have it going so well. Looking at my plants and watching them grow gives me so much peace and joy. It makes me feel like an active participant in my life.

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5 thoughts on “Window Garden!

  1. How “Green” you are and how delightful. (Friendly gentleman is the most wonderful phrase I’ve heard in a long, long time.) I’m not quite sure of the worms though..do you feed them garbage? Do you eat them? Please forgive my ignorance, I’ve a little “green behind the ears” when it comes to organic farming. Anyway, I absolutely loved all the pics and your writing.

    • Haha! I like Friendly Gentleman, too. I call him that because he’s always calling me his Lady.

      You put your food scraps and other organic waste (you can put in paper and coffee filters and garden waste, too) in the worm bin, and the worms eat it up and turn it into dirt to use in the garden. Since I live in an apartment, I can’t use a regular composting bin of the put it all in there and let it get hot and let microbes eat it up variety. Worm composters serve the same purpose, but the worms are able to process the waste much, much faster, and so you can do it on a smaller scale. Also it doesn’t smell, which makes it great for apartment composting.

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