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Getting Back to the Basics: How to grow your own food?

Child with a curry leaves plant in home balcony

Have you ever thought about growing your own food? It doesn’t interest me, to be honest. It’s too much work. However, during the lockdown, I had some time on hand, and I wanted my son to experience the joy of growing something from seed then harvesting it to eat.

We have a small balcony garden, so I wasn’t sure how to accommodate growing vegetables. We started small by growing some methi (fenugreek) from seeds from the spice cupboard. We just used a paper cup with holes poked at the bottom. They were quick to sprout, and the handful of micro-greens were enough to make one roti for my son. He was mighty pleased.

Cute child happy with his small harvest of microgreens

Armed with some confidence, we turned an unused under-bed storage box into a flatbed by drilling holes at the bottom and filling it with soil. We planted some spinach and amaranth seeds. 

Once they grew about 7 to 8 inches long, we harvested the leaves by cutting just the matured leaves and leaving the stem as is. This way, we got another harvest of leaves from the stalks.

This time, we had enough for a meal for all three of us. I made some onion and mixed greens parathas and had enough left to make daal the next day.

parathas made with home grown greens

It was a bit of an effort to maintain the flatbed, making sure it remains pest-free without adding pesticides, then hovering over it every day to check how the seeds are sprouting. My son lost interest in the daily upkeep of the plants but loved the harvesting and cooking aspects of it. 

I doubt I’ll take up farming, but it is nice just to snip a few leaves from your kitchen garden and use it in your cooking once in a while.

Have you tried growing anything edible? Let me know your experience in the comments below.

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  1. Pingback: Kitchen Garden from Scraps | Love, Life, & Beyond

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