Jonathan and I have finally started our balcony garden! The carrots, basil, and tomatoes are germinating, with plans to add paprika, courgettes, carrots, radish, and spinach in the coming weeks. We would like to grow as many of our own vegetables as possible, and I am lucky enough to have a close friend with a thriving balcony garden to get advice from.
In addition to the seeds and planters, we got a home growbox. This allows us to moderate temperature, light, and humidity so that we can grow plants out of season. Berlin is a wonderful city, but it’s not an ideal environment for some of my favorite veggies! As a minimalist, I struggled with the volume of ‘stuff’ I needed to get this garden going, but growing my own food is an important step towards zero-waste and the act of tending to the garden is a great stress reliever so I think it’s worth it.
Now that the seeds have germinated we will transfer them into their containers (carrots and basil in the open air, tomatoes in the growbox) and hopefully, after 12 weeks of loving care, our first batch should be ready to eat! The unit does cost some energy to run, but since our home is powered with 100% green energy I am not too concerned about a negative environmental impact.
Although it varies plant to plant, the general cycle is something like this. Germination phase (in a small container, or using the paper towel method) 10 – 20 days, plant and cultivate for 3 months, pick and eat. Once we have a healthy and thriving crop we are going to experiment with cloning our plants rather than buying new seeds.
I can’t wait for the first batch!