This fall and winter, I tried to grow carrots and romaine lettuce indoors.
It’s not a completely crazy idea: south-facing room with a huge amount of windows, two florescent plant lights, and containers with good dirt and regular water.
It didn’t work. A long, long time after these things should be harvested, the lettuce was bizarrely vine-like and yellowed. The carrots had healthy-looking tops, but no extra energy to grow that big orange taproot. Not enough direct light to fuel the miraculous photosynthesis (educated guess).
Therefore, I pulled everything up and plowed them under, by hand. I washed and ate a few nubs that might optimistically be called carrots. The micro-carrots were sweet, and it felt good to get my hands dirty. I’m already thinking of when to start seeds indoors to begin this spring’s growing season. The available sunroom isn’t a perfect greenhouse, but it will work well enough with this spring’s increased light. Then I’ll put the strong, established seedlings outside right after the last frost. I’ll start some tomatoes and cucumbers at the same time, and others later for the summer growing season, in case it’s too cool at first.
This time didn’t go so well. Next time might not be all that successful, either. But the only real failure is quitting. Oh, I’ll try different ways, and learn a lot, and make some more mistakes. And some things really aren’t worth the trouble. But I decided it was worth growing some of my own food, so I’ll keep trying.