Growing vegetables in plastic boxes by the window

Ever since The Wife started growing bean sprouts for home consumption, we’ve been toying with the idea of starting a mini vegetable farm in our apartment.

It was timely that the National Parks (NParks) launched an island-wide Gardening with Edibles initiative last year that encouraged the general public to grow edible plants at home, and distributed free seed packets to interested families.

We signed up, got our seeds and recently started planting them.

I was initially thinking about assembling a home hydroponics setup, but after some online research, I realised that it would require a water circulation system, liquid nutrients and grow lights, which all seemed like a bit too much effort. So, I decided to go back to basics and stick with good old soil and natural sunlight.

But given that our apartment didn’t have a balcony, the next best thing was to grow the vegetables in plastic boxes on top of our book shelves beside the living room window. The boxes were recycled from an old trolley shelf whose frame had rusted, and were just long enough to fit the width of our shelves.

The Wife bought some organic potting soil from Shopee which conveniently arrived at our doorstep, saving us the trouble of lugging it home from the gardening shop. She filled up two of the plastic boxes and planted eight Xiao Bai Cai (小白菜) seeds in each.

Within ten days, the seeds started sprouting and we’re now proud parents of 12 baby plants.

They’re probably too small to see clearly, so here are the individual zoomed-in photos — aren’t they just soooo cute?

I was toying with the idea of naming each one of them, but decided that we probably shouldn’t get too emotionally invested, given that we’ll have to eat harvest them one day.

We’re looking forward to the day that they’re big enough to be plucked out and dropped into a nice hotpot, but in the meantime, it’s fun to see them grow taller and taller every day.

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