It feels like shit is going to start getting shitty again, aka getting trapped inside forever, so I’d like to talk about a small light that shines while trapped inside and that is the light of this indoor plant thing.
My mom got it for me back in March, when this COVID nonsense started, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
At first I was like, this will not work and all of these plants WILL die and I will never eat or enjoy any of them. But I set off to set it up just to see what would happen.
Actually my boyfriend set it up first and then we harvested that group so then I cleaned it out and started up the second group of plants.
For the first round we just grew what came with the indoor plant thing: basil, parsley, and dill.
Parsley is just…meh. What even is parsley? What doesn’t it even DO? DO I EVEN CARE?! The parsley was the first plant I “culled,” as this article in the NYTimes unceremoniously refers to the slaughter of a ton of minks in Denmark.
Dill reminds be of pickles and is therefore highly undesirable and I didn’t even care what it was doing. Dont even speak of it, it disgusts me.
So for round 2 I procured the “Salsa Garden” and “Pesto Basil” seed pod kits on Amazon.
As the instructions say, first you add water, then you plop in the seed pods, add some plant food, and voila, you’re a legit horticulturist.
There’s some kind of timing involved with the growing light but my boyfriend set that part up so I can’t tell you about it firsthand. I think it’s probably pretty simple but plants quickly die in my care so don’t take my word for it.
The light schedule mimics the hours of sunlight in a typical growing season, or maybe it’s more than a typical growing season and I’m making this up. Either way the plants are super obsessed with the light and they grow toward it.
Except for the basil, which grew the slowest and the jalenpeno and tomato plants both grew over it and stole its light and then it died.
Sorry about that birdies, no basil today.
As they grow toward the light you’re supposed to trim them so they don’t touch the light. But for a long time, perhaps weeks, maybe more than a month, I was afraid to trim them. They were growing! Why would I impede that?! But they WERE touching the light and they WERE NOT yet producing fruit so I guess I had to do something.
I started with just trimming the tops so they weren’t touching the light anymore. And cutting off the dead parts too. Beyond that I was still scared!
But then I went home to my parents’ one weekend and saw that my mom had cut her tomato plant very, very short. And it was a short stubby tomato plant but it was bursting with tomatoes! So this gave me the courage to go home and trim mine a little more.
Soon we had some jalapeños! They were the first to pop out, before the tomatoes. The plant has a pretty white flower that grows and then the pepper grows through the flower. It’s pretty bad ass. There are both red and green ones on this plant!
The tomatoes came a little later but then they kind of took over, there are way more of them. I put some straws up to support them because they’re a vine and they like to grow up things. I think. I could be making this up.
So far I’ve used a jalepeno for a marinade for chicken per this recipe from the NYTimes. I used breasts because thighs gross me out. It was delicious! It’s funny that the leaves also have that spicy smell, if you rub them and then smell your fingers.
The tomatoes of course have that beautiful tomato smell. You don’t rub your plants and then smell your fingers? Lame. If you like the tomato smell you should try the Jersey Tomato candle from The Lucky Honeybee because they have captured it PERFECTLY and it BLOWS MY MIND.
I’ve used the tomatoes in a scramble and it was so fun to pick them off the plant and throw them into the pan. FARM TO TABLE, BABY.
This indoor plant thing is technically called an “AeroGarden” and you can get one on Amazon and I’d like to submit that you totally should. I know we’re not supposed to be supporting Amazon right now so you can also get one at AeroGarden’s very own site. It may become the only thing that entertains you while trapped inside. It may be the only thing that preserves your sanity. Trust me, I know. K bye.