Serving a plate of home-grown food is an immense source of pride for people who enjoy gardening and have the time for it. You can also enjoy this amazing feeling with, frankly, very little effort on your part. You don’t even have to go outside! Here are two indoor veggie gardens you can plant in pots underneath a sunny window that if you just water diligently, will provide you with a delicious and healthy meal… in a few months! Believe me, it’ll be worth the wait.
Tomato salad on a bed of tender leaves
To grow the veggies:
All of these plants like sunny places, so put them underneath a south-facing window (I think this indoor garden would look amazing as a feature in a bay window) so they can get the sun and warmth they need. If you want to be precise about temperatures, they all enjoy temperatures between 16 and 24 degrees Centigrade.
You can start the basil from seed or simply re-pot a small supermarket plant and watch it grow! Basil is a bit more delicate than the others, so this may be easier than growing from seed. You can also re-grow pre-bought and cut lettuce stalks as shown here. Tomatoes can easily be started from seed (with the right seed propagating kits), as can lettuce. For watering, you’ll want to water the tomatoes a lot, and a bit less for the lettuce and the basil.
All of these plants need loam soil: this is the most balanced type of soil containing clay, sand and silt. You can find this type of soil at your local garden centre or ask your gardener to source some for you.
These veggies are an amazing combo because they are so easy to grow together! Sow the seeds in March and harvest them all in May. Growing is so easy that you won’t have to do much research, so this home-grown recipe is well within your reach even if you are an inexperienced indoor gardener.
You will need:
- Your home-grown tomatoes, lettuce and basil
- Mozzarella (optional)
- Thinly sliced red onion (½)
For the dressing:
- Extra-virgin olive oil (6 tbsp)
- Balsamic vinegar (2 tbsp)
Slice the tomatoes fairly thinly, and slice the mozzarella to the same thickness if you are including it.
Arrange a bed of tender lettuce leaves on your display plate.
Arrange the tomato slices with the optional cheese and scatter the red onion.
Shake your dressing together in a pot and drizzle over your salad.
Veggie Thai curry
To grow the veggies:
Carrots and chillies like relatively warm places – this is even more true for chillies – and need abundant watering (usually once in the evening). Place these plants under a south-facing window to ensure they get enough sun.
Sow your chillies in February. Again, using a seed propagation kit might be most helpful here. Alternatively, buy a small plant in the supermarket and re-pot it so it can grow. You will be able to harvest them after 5 months, in July. Since carrots only take 3 months, sow the carrots in May to be harvested in July.
Sow the potatoes mid-April to harvest in July. You can make your own grow bag for your potatoes or buy one. These can be placed indoors or outdoors, provided they get enough sun. Fill the container halfway with soil, place sprouted potatoes root side down in the soil, leaving plenty of room to add more soil as the potatoes grow. Harvest after 10 weeks.
You will need:
- Your home-grown veggies:
- Carrots (2 large, chopped into bite sized pieces)
- Potatoes (3 large, chopped into bite sized pieces)
- Chilies (2 de-seeded and chopped)
- Vegetable oil (1 tbsp)
- Curry paste (1 tbsp of whichever you prefer)
- Sliced onion (1 medium)
- Crushed garlic (2 cloves)
- Crushed ginger (1 thumb-sized piece
- Coconut milk (1 can)
- Sugar (1 tbsp)
- Chopped coriander (1 tbsp)
- Lime (½)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Steamed rice to serve
Heat up the vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat, and saute your onion, garlic, ginger and chillies. Once the mixture is soft and fragrant, add your curry paste to saute a little, releasing the flavour.
Add in the rest of your veggies, coconut milk and sugar. Mix to combine, adding extra water if needed and simmer over medium heat until the veggies are cooked through, or until the sauce reaches desired consistency.
Add salt & pepper to taste, sprinkle chopped coriander and squeeze your ½ lime over your dish and serve over hot steamed rice!