Container Gardening

One of my goals this year was to better utilize my patio and balcony space to grow plants — specifically plants that we could eat. Like so many others I have been inspired by the idea of urban farming and local and sustainable eating. So I'd like to say I had high ideals in mind of lessening my carbon footprint and taking my money out of the agribusiness machine, but mostly I just thought it would be cool to try.

I did the majority of my planting around Mother's Day and things have been going very well. I wanted to share some pictures because I'm very proud of myself.

Here's what I planted in the beginning of May:

The top left corner is a potato plant. Next to it is the lemon tree I planted last year that I thought was dead for sure. But I pruned it and it came back. In the rectangular boxes, I planted a bunch of lettuce varieties. They are still growing. I haven't bought lettuce since May. Any time I want to have a salad or some lettuce for a sandwich, I just grab my scissors and clip some off.

In the lower left corner you have some cherry tomatoes which I was uncertain about. Tomatoes need hot weather and a lot of sun. The summer is pretty cold in San Francisco and foggy, so I wasn't sure how it was going to go. But it's worth a try, right?

In the smaller pots are some herbs.

I planted peas and squash on my front balcony. Peas are climbing plants and thry like cool weather, so I figured they could grow up the railing and handle the wind off the ocean.

I did some balcony harvesting last weekend:

Everything was delicious.

The potatoes were kind of cool — I grew and dug and cooked my own potatoes. After I planted it though I learned that I should have done it a little differently. So next time I'll get more than five potatoes. Still it was fun.

In the potato pot, after we dug out the potatoes, I planted kale and scallion seeds. They're still little, but I have high hopes. Notice, in the pot to the right, my fully recovered and flourishing lemon tree.

The tomatoes are growing like crazy. I have lots of little green tomatoes and a lot more flowers. If they ever turn red, it will be amazing. We've had maybe three ripen, so we'll see. Otherwise, we might have to look into fried green cherry tomatoes.

If we ever get a backyard, I'm going to go wild planting and growing (and maybe even raising chickens). If anyone wants to get me The Urban Homestead or The Backyard Homestead for Christmas, they would be used and appreciated.

Now some of you don't care about gardening, I'd imagine, so as a reward for making it through this post, here's a picture of Alton on his 9 month birthday. We went to the zoo. There is a farmyard area where you can pet sheep and goats and sit in saddles. The sweater he's wearing was handmade by a friend in Brooklyn. It's beautiful, Emilie. I get compliments all the time.

And here's one from today. He's getting so big. He'll be 10 months old on Monday. All of you are invited to his 1st birthday party on the 24th of October. Get your plane tickets now.


Anonymous brian said...

Nice work.

But you forgot to count my favorite potato -- the sixth one that was the size of a pea. You can even see it in my hands in the photo.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

I like Alton's saddle shoes in the last photo. Hope we can make the birthday party.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous best friend said...

Every time I read your blog I feel like I should be accomplishing more. I made banana bread last night at 10:30 pm and I'm feeling really good about myself, and then I have to read about you eating lettuce from your patio and your talented friends knitting way more gorgeous sweaters than I ever could. Now I'm just going to spend the day feeling sorry for myself while being the best mom ever.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Emilie said...

Thanks for posting a pic of Alton in the sweater! I can't believe how big he's getting. Your container garden is inspiring. Hopefully we'll get a chance to hang out again soon!

9:44 PM  
Anonymous sister said...

I'm so proud of your garden! I'm jealous that you'll be able to have it all year. Is that called garden envy?

5:55 PM  
Blogger Abbi Crutchfield said...

He's just about the cutest baby boy I've ever seen.

Way to go with growing your own food! I was skeptical when I began reading, but you really have yielded an amazing crop. I love the idea of having salad at your disposal, because 3 or 4 leaves a week is about all I manage to eat, and then the bag goes bad.

Purple potatoes are rad.

3:27 PM  

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