Thursday, May 19, 2011

The rest of the beginning

So, here's the rest of the beginning of the Indoor Vegetable Gardening handbook I'm writing. For my own part I'm packing boxes and planning the tinygardens in the new flat right now.

Something that was both a problem and an advantage was my nack for big and glorious plans. Time and time again I used some of the few pennies left to buy hardware for projects I never finished. Let's just leave these in the closet. On the other hand I'd never become an indoor vegetable gardener had I been the person only messing with sensible projects.

The advantages of indoor vegetable gardening were many. The first one was meningful me-time. My son was one year old when I started the blog Indoor Gardener / Parkettodlaren, and I wrote the first posts while he took his afternoon nap. When he got older gardening turned out to be a perfect task for times when he was awake; he could pour water, taste the seedlings, bury his cars in the soil and even grow some plants on his own. For my own part carrying around heavy soil boxes and big water cans gave me some much needed work out. And my inner gadgeteer had her time with the variuos speciality tools you may need for cultivating things.

As a hobby the indoor vegetable gardening was a success. The family benefitted from the result, and I found it more easy to feed my son vegetables. He didn't really like sallad, but he ate purslane directly from the plant. The strawberries I grew on the balcony proved to be too popular - we had to keep the door firmly shut to prevent him from finish off the unripe fruit.

The blog gave me outlook to the rest of the world. 90% of the gardening blogs I read are written in the US, currently the country with most influence over swedish culture, but the remaining 10% gave me a chance to step outside this sphere. Especially when I started to look at common environmental preservation projects I found amazing stuff. The french, with their taste for coool stuff, turned out to plan buildnings which can brake down pollution and were to be covered in grass. Well, the last thing may not sound so cool, unless you know it's a scyscraper we're talking about. In India I found grass roots projects, some of them usefull for indoor vegetable gardening, and some of them just plain amazing. To build a real garden under the staircase indoors or grow rice on the roof may never be within my reach, but it works in India. In China, a country not known to be environmentally friendly, I found dedicated environmental workers and companies building their business on green technology.

The biggest advantage to indoor vegetable gardening, though, was the vegetables themselves. I'm not a romantic who jumps for joy everytime I come across a homegrown tomato, so I have no scruples in admitting that the taste is not that different between them and storebought ones. On the other hand it was a difference you really noticed. What I didn't know then was that the tomato palnts cleaned the indoor air (which can be dirty) and added moisture to the indoor climate. In addition I could be 100% sure the vegetables were grown without pesticides. Last, but not least, I could pick ingredients for a sallad from my window sills while watching the snow piled high outside.

When I write this I've had a two year pause from indoor vegetable gardening. I'm about to pick up the hobby again, now with better knowledge about plants and indoor climate alike. This book, I hope, will make it possible for more people to become successfull indoor gardeners.

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Beginning of the beginning by Malin Nilsson Norén is licensed under a Creative Commons Erkännande-Ickekommersiell-IngaBearbetningar 3.0 Unported License.

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