We have all heard of gardening, and for many years I thought of it as a complex activity where I needed a massive backyard with a nice setup, pounds of soil, and a greenhouse. Gladly, since I started figuring out the world of plants a bit more, I realized that herb gardens, microgreens, and edible propagations were such a simple task with several benefits, including clean eating and a peaceful activity to spend these days inside. Thus began my journey to an easy indoor garden.
The first time I realized that I could get my own sprouted seeds, it was not because of research or a documentary. It was because I left beans soaking in water for too long and they started to sprout. Then, I started thinking about how many products I had in my kitchen that I could actually grow and consume.
Having activities like growing your own food can have many benefits in our wellbeing. The reward of consuming something we grew ourselves can create more appreciation for our food. This can also become a therapeutic, joyful, and calming activity.
Herb propagation in your easy indoor garden
Herbs like basil, mint, or cilantro are easily found fresh in markets and even easier to keep for longer or even grow into a new plant. Spring and summer are great seasons to grow different herbs in your easy indoor garden.
- Take several cuttings of fresh basil or mint of about 3-5 inches long.
- Remove the bottom leaves and leave the top ones.
- Place in a jar with enough water to cover 1-2 inches of the cutting.
- Place near a bright place.
- Change the water every other day to keep it fresh.
- In approximately 5 days you should have roots growing.
- You can leave in water for a while or you can plant them in potting soil.
- It will keep growing as long as it is in a bright place with some regular watering.
Reuse food scraps in your easy indoor garden
Have you ever left garlic for so long that it starts budding? Have you brought home too many green onions and forgot them in the fridge? Here is a simple solution to reuse them and keep them growing to use and enjoy in your easy indoor garden.
To grow green onions:
- Place a bunch of green onions in a jar with water covering the little white onions.
- Change the water every other day.
- Cut the green top part as it grows to use it fresh in your meals.
- If it root is long enough, you can plant them in soil and they will keep growing.
To grow garlic sprouts:
- Place the garlic bud or just the whole clove in just enough water to cover the bottom. Make sure you peel the garlic.
- Put in a sunny or bright area, like a window sill.
- In a few days, the clove or bulb will start to root.
- When the garlic has grown around 3 inches of green top, you can start cutting to enjoy in different dishes like potatoes, salads or some dip.
Sprouts are seeds that have started to grow into very young plants.
What seeds can you sprout? Alfalfa, lentils, broccoli, mustard, peas, radish, garbanzo, sesame seeds, etc. You can find them in supermarkets or online.
What are the benefits? They are packed with nutrients, due to the fact that since they are germinating, there is a breakdown of starch and the nutrient percentage becomes higher. Sprouted seeds are also easier to digest and can provide different textures and flavors for salads, smoothies, or sandwiches. They are a great variation for your easy indoor garden.
How to sprout your seeds
- Wash the seeds thoroughly to get them all clean and ready.
- In a jar or tray place 2-3 tablespoons of your desired seed.
- Soak them overnight with enough filtered water to cover the seeds.
- Drain the water, spread the seeds so they are not on top of each other.
- Add water again and let it sit for about 6 hours.
- Rinse and drain seeds again and repeat with adding water and leaving the seeds to rest for another 6 – 8 hours.
- Repeat until sprouted.
- After your seeds have sprouted, continue to rinse and drain regularly (every 8-12 hours) until sprouts reach the length you want. I leave mine to grow for 1 or 2 inches.
- Consume *raw or cooked. You can mash them into a paste and put them in baked goods or different dishes. You can keep them for up to 1-2 weeks if they are refrigerated.
*Like any raw food, keep in mind that sprouted greens have been associated with a risk of food poisoning when consumed raw or even lightly cooked.
The important thing always is to work with what you have available, what is easiest for you, and what makes you feel good. For me, the idea of an indoor garden is to have enjoyment and satisfaction that I can grow and eat produce that I have reused. Hopefully, you get to try a new challenge and who knows? You may become a master of your easy indoor garden.