My Little Edible Balcony Garden
I have always talked about having an herb & vegetable garden, but I’ve also exclusively lived in apartments for the last decade so it hasn’t been much of an option. I’d look up cute ideas to have a balcony garden, but never really had the time or money to make it happen.
Then came quarantine.
The 10 months before Coronavirus I had barely spent a single night at home. I was always on the go – out to dinner with friends, hosting events, board meetings, Broadway shows, traveling – my apartment was simply a place to sleep and wash my clothes before the next adventure.
Suddenly I was stuck inside my 700 square foot apartment with no real escape except for my little balcony. I went from having an empty fridge & pantry to consistently cooking for the first time in my life. I mentioned in passing that I’d always wanted a balcony garden to my friend, who I was quarantining with, and he showed up a few days later with a saw, wood & the next thing I knew I had the cutest little two-level box to fill with whatever I wanted.
I went a little crazy at Home Depot, grabbing every plant that sounded cute or fun or delicious. I picked peppers and jalapenos, tomatoes and lettuce and spinach. For the herbs I chose basil, rosemary, mint, thyme and lavender.
In the middle of a global pandemic I found such joy in taking care of these little plants. It also brought a ton of anxiety making sure I was giving them enough water but not too much, were they getting enough sun?
I love to learn new things and this was an opportunity to do just that. I was constantly googling which flowers were normal, that cilantro can “bolt” and that romaine lettuce is definitely the most dramatic of the plants – wilting at the slightest bit of dryness. I definitely made a few mistakes – planting them way too close together, I had no idea they’d grow so much!
So far I’ve definitely used the romaine lettuce the most. It’s funny how you don’t seem to hate salads as much when you grew the lettuce yourself! I’ve also used the mint to make Moscow mules and watermelon, feta & mint salads. I find myself now searching for recipes to use up my fresh herbs. I’m also officially that friend that will send you home with fresh herbs & veggies!
Most of quarantine I’m hoping to leave in the past, but honestly I can’t wait to one day have a home with a backyard filled with a vegetable garden.
Also, look how big they got!