One of my favorite pictures from my college photo album is of my roommate SC kneeling in front of our cupboard and laughing at the contents: a bottle of organic vinegar, an onion, and a very smelly bag of potatoes with several foot-long-plus roots growing out of it. We were not the world’s least forgetful produce eaters in those days, and it wasn’t the only time that we went looking for the source of some god-awful smell only to find a root system taking up residence in some cool corner of our kitchen. Our apartment was great for growing things, just…not things you’d actually want to eat.
There’s another set of photos of SC and I putting together an herb garden. We were brilliant at working out these crazy schemes that required us to spend hours at Home Depot looking for bits of this and that to create our brainchild–one of my favorites being a rolling tray for a flip-lid record player that lived in a china cabinet. For the particular project in the photos, we were trying to work out a way to grow some basic herbs in our sun-deprived apartment.
The solution was elegant in theory. We bought a fluorescent grow-light, installed it on the upper shelf of the same china cabinet, and planted some seeds in plastic dishes. We failed to do our homework properly in advance, however, and in our fifty-degrees-on-a-splurge-day apartment, the heat-loving Mediterranean immigrants decided that some nice mold cultures would be able to make better use of the space. They sublet their topside realty and went back to sleep.
By which I mean they died horrible, mold-infested deaths. Not one single plant managed to survive and SC and I were forced to rely on the farmer’s market for our fresh herbs that summer.
I’d like to say that I learned my lesson, but I’m crazy. I can always get a kick out of doing the same thing over and over in the vain hope that this time the results will be different. John and I live in a north-facing apartment that we keep at a toasty 68 degrees and we have decided, wait for it…to grow herbs.
We have at least done our research and tried to choose herbs that other herb gardeners have had some success with in sunlight-deprived areas. We’re not starting small, however, so we could be setting ourselves up for a world of disappointment if it turns out that the interwebs are full of lies. Our logic is that at least a few of the plants are bound to take hold and produce…something. And if not the plants, the experience should be good for a few laughs, right?
We spent half of Saturday morning driving around to local nurseries looking for seeds and plants for some of the stranger herbs that the internet promised us that full shade wouldn’t kill before deciding that we were just going to have to order our seeds online and wait to do our planting until our seeds come in. Coming soon, however, I promise a detailed picture-post on what we’re trying to grow for my garden-loving pals out there.