Organic food is becoming the rage again, thanks to a growing apprehension around food safety in general. Growing your own food in a kitchen garden and using this homegrown produce in cooking is what most chefs strive for. The best part about organic food is that it's absolutely fresh, straight from the soil into your kitchen without any hindrances or obstacles. You can always be assured of the quality of organic produce, as it is devoid of any additives or fertilisers. The health benefits of homegrown vegetables and fruits are manifold, from being more nutritious to having increased quantities of antioxidants.
So, if you're looking to try growing some vegetables in your own kitchen garden - we have a few that can get you started. These are low maintenance veggies that can be easily grown in limited space and with minimum effort.
Whether you like the yellow, red or green versions - pepper is one vegetable you can easily grow at home. Peppers sprout extra roots from the stems, which is why you need to sow the organic pepper plant deep inside the soil. The best way to grow them is at a slightly warmer temperature.
Pro tip: Use a container that's about 14 to 16 inches deep and secure with a twine to keep it upright.
2. Baby Onions (Scallions)
Spring onions (or baby onions) are used in a number of dishes to bring out an additional crunchy element. Organic baby onions can be easily grown from scraps of scallions, seedlings or the scallion plant itself. Early spring is the best time to grow them.
Pro tip: Place the roots of store-brought scallions in a jar, with an inch of water for a week. After the roots grow, remove the greens and plant the stem in soil.
Radishes are perfect to grow in early summer, and they also are super easy to plant. Further, the results of your hardwork will show up in no time as organically grown radishes can quickly be harvested within three weeks itself!
Pro tip: Scatter seeds over soil and cover lightly. After one week, thin the seeds to about one plant for every two inches of soil.
Organic herbs bring an additional flavour to any meal that is cooked, and they are one of the simplest kitchen ingredients to grow at home. Whether you like refreshing herbs such as mint, or crunchy ones such as thyme or cilantro - you can easily grow it in your kitchen garden. Homegrown basil makes for great any time pesto!
Pro tip: The directions to grow herbs are specific. Water once a week. Keep in a sunny spot, inside or outside and feed fertiliser once a month.
Peas are very low maintenance, and they are one of the first plants we grow in spring. Homegrown, organic peas taste absolutely different from the market-bought ones. Fresh peas should be harvested soon after they grow, else they may rot soon.
Pro tip: Snap peas are good to plant in early spring. They thrive in cooler weather, and withstand light frost.
Once you get started on your journey to organically growing produce at home, there is no turning back. With practice and a little bit of investment of time and effort, your home-grown produce can make you self-sufficient. There is no end to the amount of vegetables, fruits and ingredients that can be grown in the humble kitchen garden.
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.