I will continue to farm this winter…to keep this website with new content. I have a new toy: a home hydroponics grower. It is an indoor gardening system. I buy the manufacturer’s pods, which are pre-soiled-and-seeded capsules, to grow herbs, lettuce and tomatoes.
I started with the heirloom red cherry tomato pods. The seeds are non- GMO. I planted my pods on Saturday morning and on day 4, the first sprouts appeared. The tomato plants are expected to grow to 2 feet in height. I can’t wait. I am looking forward to the fresh tomato vine scent, and of course, tasting the tomatoes. I will provide a full report.
I know this isn’t exactly balcony to table but it is a solution for me to keep up my farming skills in the winter. I will still have a harvest, although small. Maybe I will get a few of these machines if I really like the produce. I will experiment with different seeds and by late winter, I may use these machines to jump-start seedlings for my balcony farm.
Day 50. The tomato plant is starting to flower. That means tomatoes are on their way! The plants have become top heavy and are starting to droop. I used some gardening twine to hold them up so they keep reaching up to the (artificial) sunshine.
Day 80. There are 8 tomatoes, 7 are just the size of a pea. Patience.
Day 100. Now, my gnome family is complete and my farm is flourishing. There are 20+ tomatoes ripening on the vine. That is lettuce in the middle. Ate the first tomato on Day 93. I forgot to take a picture of the momentous meal!
Day 120. I have harvested some of the lettuce a couple of times. I cut the leaves from the bottom. The leaves are so tender and fresh-tasting.
Day 135. I have enjoyed 30 tomatoes so far. They are so delicious. Very sweet and pure. I did not expect any less. These plants have been coddled; given lots of attention and pruned regularly. They have been raised in reverse-osmosis water from day one. Many more tomatoes continuing to ripen. I have read that these hydroponic systems can produce harvest from one pod for up to a year. The whole system, plus gnome, is fairly expensive.