Grow Your Own Dinner at Monroe Street Market

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Where does the freshest food in DC come from? The Brookland Farmers Market is a good guess, but the correct answer is in your own apartment! Growing your own dinner through organic food gardening is becoming increasingly popular for those who want the freshest, healthiest, and most organic produce in their home. And it’s easier than you think to grow your own dinner right here at Monroe Street Market. Here are some tips to get you started:

Find the Right Space to Grow

The first step to growing your own fruits and veggies is picking the right spot to grow. If you’ve chosen to go for an apartment with a terrace or balcony, you’re in luck. These are some of the best places to set up your garden. If not, don’t worry, windowsill boxes or setting up a box next to windows that get plenty of light will work too. Follow this tutorial from HGTV if you want more detailed tips for setting up a windowsill box or these tips from Apartment Therapy for growing food on your balcony.

 

Think of the Light

The key to growing any type of food is making sure that the plant has enough light. Luckily if you live at Monroe Street Market, your apartment is designed to get plenty of light already! Once you’ve picked where you will grow, now you need to see how much light those spaces actually get per day before you pick what you will grow. There are four main categories of light, these are; full sun (6+ hours of sunlight per day), partial sun (4-5 hours of sunlight per day), partial shade (2-4 hours of sunlight per day), and shade (less than 1 hour of sunlight per day).

 

Pick What to Grow

Now that you know what kind of sunlight your growing space gets, now you can get down to the fun part, picking out what you will grow! You can narrow down the seemingly infinite opportunities by first picking out what you most want to eat, and seeing if that type of plant would get the right amount of sunlight in your garden. For example, if you find yourself in partial shade, fruits would be a no-no and your garden would be suited more for herbs and vegetables. Also take into account how much effort you want to put into your garden. Much like people, some plants are high maintenance and require lots of tending, while others are more laid-back and require a more hands-off approach. If you need help deciding, try Better Homes and Gardens’ Plant Encyclopedia for inspiration.

 

Plant, Give Your Food Some TLC, and Enjoy

Now it’s time for you to finally plant what you’ve decided to grow. Make sure to pick the right type of soil to plant in and pay attention to what the instructions are for each different variety of fruit, vegetable, or herb that you buy. From then on, all you need to do is keep up with the TLC (Tender Loving Care that is, not this TLC) to keep out those pesky weeds and keep your plant on the path to perfection. Finally, then comes the best part, eating what you’ve grown! Hooray!

With this helpful guide you can grown your own food from the comfort of your own Monroe Street Market abode. And if you need a little help in the neighborhood or want to get into some more serious gardening, check out our neighbors, The Neighborhood Farm Initiative for classes, meetups, and even your own plot of land in their farm to grow! Contact us today if you want to learn more about our light-filled apartments with optional balconies and terraces perfect for setting up your own garden.

 

Image Source: Flickr

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