Tiny Harvest: DIY

Think your apartment is too small for a garden? Guess again. This teeny DIY edible garden will tickle your tastebuds (and your inner interior decorator). Great for any sunny sill.

By Amy McDermott

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No space is too small to garden. Even in the smallest flat or high-rise office, urbanites can foster a connection with nature by growing a little something green. But when space is limited, we want a big bang per gardening inch. Enter: the mini kitchen garden.

The great thing about kitchen gardens is that you can eat the plants. Sunflowers, lettuces, and other greens are all easy to sprout indoors and make a delicious addition to salads and sandwiches (they're tasty on their own too). Although a mini garden won't sustain you, growing even a little of your own food is a rewarding way to connect with nature, while observing the rhythms of life.

I especially like sunflower sprouts in my small gardening projects because they are quick to harvest and super tasty. They have that savory, nutty, sunflower flavor, without the oiliness of the seeds. Sunflower sprouts from the farmers market are delicious, but homegrown are less expensive, fresher, and (to me) they just taste better.

From seed to sprout only takes a few days in a sunny window. In the warm, wet conditions under a cloche or closed glass dome like this one, the seeds will germinate FAST. Give the soil a spritz every day or two to keep things nice and humid. 

(psst: the glass container pictured here is actually a repurposed cupcake holder. Yard sales, thrift stores, and the recesses of your closet are all great places to hunt for planters.) 

Once you've harvested your little beauties, toss the old soil into the compost, add a little new potting mix, and a few more seeds. Every week or so, you'll have a teeny new harvest to savor.

You will need: 

1 packet of seeds (sunflower, lettuce, arugula)

~1 cup potting soil 

Dish, pot, or planter (extra points if recycled or repurposed)

Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, water thoroughly, and walk away! Easy. Beautiful. 

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Born and raised in California, Amy founded Hawkmoth in 2014. She earned her master's at Columbia University, studying the evolution and conservation of coral reef fish in the tropical Indo-Pacific in 2015 and is now a banana slug in UC Santa Cruz's Science Communication Program. 

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