Monday, April 18, 2011

Seeds SOWN Sunday

The Bathroom Farm is becoming reality everyday and yesterday was the first step away from planning the vertical vegetable and herb garden in my bathroom and into the actual execution of the project. I truly believe that it is 100% possible to empower yourself by growing your own food and also believe that good results are attainable by anyone regardless of economic situation or skill level. After all, I am starting from nowhere with nothing and no clue! I do have, however, the willingness to learn and am fearless to fail forward until I make this work.I spent part of the winter reading about gardening and studying seed catalogs and websites. I decided the best way to proceed IS to make Bathroom Farming accessible to ALL.

In America,neighborhood food sources are vanishing every day especially in
urban areas where financial stress is increasing. Therefore, I decided to make the first version of my Bathroom Farm using grocery store seeds and materials commonly found around the house and neighborhood. I love all of the designer seeds available on the market through specialty garden shops. However, the seeds from the grocery store, as well as bedding plants, are produce department food items and are eligible items to be purchased with food stamps. I purchased the potting soil from my neighborhood dollar store within walking distance of my home. Everything else was upcycled, salvaged and repurposed from my very awesome personal collection of quality junk. Bathroom Farming affirms the idea of a food democracy.

I did buy a few varieties of seeds from fellow Etsy sellers because the grocery store selection was lacking some of
my favorite produce items. You see here Step #1: soaking some seeds for planting. I purchased these Minnesota Midget Melon seeds from WallFlowerStudio on Etsy. The California Wonder Pepper seeds came from Cubits on Etsy. These seeds required soaking for three hours before sowing. Seed packets have information about preparing and sowing seeds. It's a good idea to read them carefully!

In addition to the melons and peppers, I am also growing oregano, chives, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, sweet basil, cilantro, parsley,Swiss chard, spinach, carrots, lettuce,cucumbers and green beans!

twitter friends @PLANETPALS, I decided to recycle
toilet paper roll cores for my seed starting tray. Eight half cores fit nicely into an aluminum bakery product pan. I put a layer of scrap cotton batting in the bottom of each pan to help keep the seedlings moist. Four of those pans fit perfectly side by side into a salvaged wicker tray. There was also room for a row of tiny terra cotta pots I needed for seeds that required being sown more deeply than 1/2"

I also started a larger terra cotta pot with cilantro because I have had good results from growing those seeds in pots in the past.

I taped labels on the outside of each container to
identify the contents before packing them into the plastic wrap lined tray and covering them with plastic wrap.

The seeds are resting peacefully now on the plant stand in the house! This house was built in 1892 and was not "electrified" until many years later. The architect who designed this building provided an ideal area designed exclusively for plants.

Looking down the side of the house, you see our 21st century ramp.

Looking above the ramp, you'll notice a pair of windows neither in line with the first floor windows nor the second floor windows. This is the location of the plant stand on the back stairway.

This is a large flat surface with two south facing windows and one east facing window. The windows have holes bored at their bottoms to allow air to circulate which prevents legginess in plants. The surface of the plant stand is a slab of lead. The lead prevents moisture from seeping into undesired places in the building and retains heat from the sunlight flooding in through the large windows during the day.

I am looking forward to learning more about the plants as they grow which will help in the design of the Bathroom Farm. It will not be long now before my room renovations are finished!


  1. can't wait to see how this goes!!!

  2. Thanks, laundryslave! Me, too! I honestly don't exactly know how this is going to work. I just know that it WILL! Like the actual, real farmers, BathroomFarmers have faith! :D Laura

  3. That is soo cool! I just got some seeds from Cubit's Organics too and just planted them with my kiddos. I don't have any sprouts yet, but I also don't have a plant stand :( I am going to go wrap them in plastic wrap though, I didn't think about that. I used the paper egg cartons to start my seeds and will then transfer them to pots! SO EXCITING! Good luck :)

  4. Thanks, LindsaysReviews!

    Because I have no clue about gardening, I spent a lot of time studying over the winter. I got the toilet paper roll core idea from PLANETPALS. She also suggested the egg carton method. I got the idea for a pad to retain moisture on the bottom and plastic wrap on the top from the designs of many seed starting trays. I think it would be great to have those BUT I wanted to keep BathroomFarm simple and accessible. The problem with so many projects is that they get too expensive too quickly.

    I have my pots on standby for transplanting. I will move them into the bathroom in mid-June because of renovations being done now.

    Gardening is a great projects for kids! I'm amazed that so many adults do not know the NAMES of vegetables so how they grow must be a mystery to them. I had a tiny outdoor garden when I was little. I really liked that but I remember getting into a little bit of trouble because I dug up the carrots to 'see how they were doing' and tried to replant them! Silly me!

    Happy Gardening!