By Beth Starkin, GreenPepper
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been somewhat fascinated by the idea of growing my own produce. Maybe it’s the corn my brother planted in the backyard as a child, which my mother is constantly reminding me of (he will always be the better child), or maybe it’s the tomatoes and zucchini we would get from friends’ gardens, which were always so yummy, but I’ve always wanted my own garden. Alas, my adult life has been spent in urban or suburban apartments, where growing vegetables never seemed like an option.
There was a failed attempt years ago at having an herb garden on the fire escape. But apparently, only chives were hardy enough for the harsh summer sun on the fourth floor (those chives do still reappear annually, though). Now that I’m in California, I have a renewed interest, and have started a small garden in my living room. It’s yet to be seen whether my efforts will yield any fruit, but I’m trying my hand with tomatoes, blueberries, basil and rosemary.
Seems I’m part of a larger trend of urbanites gardening, either in small yards, on fire escapes and decks, in sunny corners of their living rooms, or even in actual farms on city property. And though I didn’t do it to be part of a movement, it’s exciting to be part of this greening of our cities.
Personally, I was inspired by the Hayes Valley farm, a surprisingly large farm where the former freeway ramp was. Watching asphalt turn to lettuce was amazing and I wanted to get in on the action and see if I could turn my apartment into a farm. And while I may not having a huge impact on the planet, I feel like I’m doing what I can to make both the earth and my apartment better places.
Planting veggies on the living room floor may not be for everyone, but for me it’s been a fun adventure and a lesson that we can all have an impact, no matter how small. Have you had a similar experience? Tell us about it.