An idea had been germinating in my brain the last few months. It started when I chanced upon the brilliant Indira Naidoo’s latest book –The Edible Balcony at a bookstore. The book describes how Indira started growing fruits and vegetables right on her balcony and also contains recipes using the produce she had grown successfully. I was really inspired after browsing through the book. Since then, I’ve secretly harboured dreams of starting my very own balcony garden.
Image from Penguin
The only problem was that my track record as a gardener was not great. In fact, it was very sorely dismal. We’ve had our fair share of plants in the past – from decorative tulips and poinsettias to edible chilli plants. Sadly, my gardening expertise was not good enough for neither of them survived past a month in my ‘tender’ loving care. Even a cactus plant that had been gifted to us went to the big garden in the sky in a couple of weeks after I had carelessly left it in the forty degree heat for a few days straight without water (yes it’s true- I killed cactus).
But I was not going to let my past failures stop me (that’s resilience for you folks! Sad about the cactus though). The thought of growing your own fresh produce in whatever limited space that we had was somewhat romantic and very appealing to me on many levels.
“Think about the money we will save!” I declared to The Dude, who looked somewhat skeptical at my latest venture. ” We’ll have lettuce growing out of our ears! We might have to set up shop to get rid of the excess!”
“Remember our chilli plant-Charlie?” The Dude replied, “It didn’t last very long after you forgot to water it for a week.”
I promptly informed The Dude that I had learnt from past mistakes and assured him that this time it would be different. I would set a reminder on my phone to prompt me to water the plants every other day. That would ensure that they had a much better chance of survival than their predecessors.
We headed to our local supermarket and bought a few all-in-one kits to start off our edible balcony garden. These kits had everything you need to get started – container, soil, seeds and most importantly, instructions! Here’s one that I picked up today which are for jalapeño chilli peppers (spicy yum yum!) which I’ll be planting very soon.
We decided to start small and begin by planting herbs. We planted coriander, basil and rosemary in the white pot on the left and chives (by Jamie Oliver- seriously the guy is into everything!) in the little green cup.
The last time I checked, which was a few hours ago, all was quiet on the soil front. Hopefully the seeds germinate and grow into plants soon! I’ll promise to water them regularly this round! Wish me lots of luck and I’ll keep you updated on the progress!