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A couple of months ago I made a decision: if I am committed to a healthy, plant-based diet, I need to grow some of my own food – regardless of the fact that I live in a very small urban apartment and have never grown anything edible.

My balcony

My balcony

I’m lucky to have a decent-sized, sunny balcony, so have begun the process of growing tomatoes, eggplant, lettuce, oranges and lemons.  It began two months ago, purchasing and replanting a dwarf orange and dwarf lemon into lovely pots, left to me by a relocating friend.

Dwarf orangeLemon flower

Tomato seedlingsThen I set my mind to starting tomatoes, lettuce and eggplant from seed.  Why I couldn’t be content purchasing plants from the local garden center is beyond me – I guess I’m a glutton for punishment – and I want organic.  A few weeks ago I planted my seeds (in recycled coffee “k-cups), watching in excitement as they sprouted.  I sowed my lettuce directly outside, but my tender tomatoes and eggplants need a few more weeks indoors before making the transition to the balcony. This is all so new to me, and I’m quite a skeptic  – I told my sister today that if I ever actually harvest a vegetable, I’ll faint. (Okay, I actually said “I’ll pee myself”).

My goal is to post a recipe including vegetables I have personally grown – so stay tuned!

And if you want to be inspired, check out this video from South Central L.A. “guerilla gardener” Ron Finley, who said “growing your own food is like printing your own money.”