Hello there, world! We’re in the middle of summer (a mostly cool and rainy summer here in Portland, but we’ll take what we can get). It’s a season where we’re lucky to enjoy bountiful fresh produce at farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and even from our own backyards. Most of the year, a lot of the fruits and vegetables we buy at the store are picked when they’re green, shipped hundreds of miles, and end up mealy and bland by the time they end up on our plates. But then summer comes, and that first fresh tomato slice or juicy bite of strawberry is a revelation! In my opinion, summer’s fresh produce taste even better when you’ve grown it yourself, because you know how much hard work went into sprouting each seed, nurturing the baby plants and harvesting your rewards. Why would anyone want a store bought tomato when they could have one plucked ripe from the vine?
Of course, apartment living can really put a damper on one’s dreams of cultivating rows of heirloom veggie. So up until this summer, our gardening has been limited to a couple tomato and pepper plants on a balcony, where they’ve survived, but haven’t exactly thrived. Then a couple weeks ago, we moved into an apartment that has an actual backyard. Anticipating the move, I started dozens of seeds a couple months back – heirloom tomatoes, peppers, a miniature melon! – which are now growing happily in raised beds the previous tenant left behind. Our seedlings went into the ground late, but I’m hoping for a long season that will yield at least a little backyard produce.
Since I was on a gardening kick, and watching tomato plants grow in 60 degree weather is about as entertaining as watching paint dry, I decided to try my hand at an indoor gardening project with a super fast turnaround time. Added bonus: unlike our outside gardening ventures, this was one our cat, Bisou, would enjoy as much as I would. And so I picked up a packet of cat grass seeds, aka oats, filled a shallow pot with all purpose soil, and got planting! I made sure to use an organic potting soil (since Bisou would be eating the grass), and one without any manure (because…well, I don’t want manure in the apartment). I distributed the seeds, laying them sideways on the surface of the soil, and close enough that they were almost touching each other. Putting them this close together ensures a uniform, dense patch of kitty grass. I sprinkled a shallow layer of soil over the seeds to just cover them, spritzed everything with water, then set on the kitchen counter in bright, indirect light.