Sometimes the Accidental Locavore is just overloaded with interesting things to use or taste! I was recently contacted by the start-up Green Towers. They’re working on several solutions for sustainable farming, including vertical farming and subscription boxes for you to grow your own produce. And coming soon, an indoor-outdoor beekeeping system, which looks fascinating (but since we’ve already had 20,000 honeybees removed from the house, I’ll pass on that).
Since I’m not the world’s best gardener, having me grow one seemed like a good test to see how foolproof it was. About a month ago, a large carton arrived holding a big, black plastic tray, filled with dirt and seeds, and a clear cover. Once it’s set up, you add water until the soil is moist, place in a sunny spot and wait. In two weeks you should have sprouts — in my case radishes. As it turned out, mine was one of the early models, so many of the issues I had—mostly with the packaging — have been addressed.
I put the box on the edge of my herb garden and remembered to water it every other day or so. Sprouts appeared almost immediately and looked like mini plants by the end of the week. After about ten days they were big enough to harvest, so I did. For my almost-daily lunch salads, I’d just chop off a handful and dump them into the bowl. They taste like extremely mild radishes and add a nice flavor note to whatever greens I have.
It’s a fun thing to have and if you are really into sprouts, you’ll love it! As I said in the beginning, if I can grow them, anyone can. Besides the packaging issues, which they say have been resolved, the box is awfully deep. It wouldn’t fit on most window sills, which may be a problem, especially in the winter. Two narrower boxes would probably work better, especially for apartment living, and you would also have the chance to have more than one crop at a time.
Which brings me to my second issue. I’m not a huge eater of sprouts, and we’re only two people. The box holds a LOT of sprouts! Even though Green Towers have some beautiful recipe photos on Pinterest, I’m not sure what a normal person would do with all this greenery (share it with a friend or neighbor?). I’ve cut a few small bunches and tossed in salads, but am afraid that it might all go bad if not eaten in time. And if you’re getting them monthly, maybe mixing in some mesclun would add variety and make the $45/month a little more palatable, especially in the middle of winter when something fresh, green and local would be a big treat indeed!