If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, you may have witnessed the lines of empty produce shelves, save for a few lonely brussel sprouts or bruised apples. Or maybe you’ve stowed away in your home, afraid to venture out during such a panic, and you’re beginning to get low on groceries. Either way, our pantries are looking scarce, and for many of us, we’re dining on canned peas and ravioli. Indoor gardeners, however, are feasting on homegrown salads and spicing their stews with parsley and sage from the herb pots in their windows. Indoor gardening is a smart way to prepare for food shortages in our communities, and here, we’re going go to list a few things you can grow in your own home.
What can be Grown Indoors?
Many things can be grown indoors because you can control the environment. Keep in mind, however, that planting something now won’t guarantee you’ll have something to eat soon. You may not see results for a while, but these plants can come in handy if you’re ever in a food shortage (as some of us are now).
Citrus trees are a great example. You can get a citrus tree–such as lemon, lime, dwarf orange, or grapefruit–at your local nursery and keep it indoors. They require weekly watering, monthly fertilizing, plenty of sun, and (for best results) humidity. It can sometimes take four months to a year to see a blossom transform into a ripened citrus fruit, but it’s well worth the wait.
-Keep in mind that when you grow edible plants indoors, you’re not going to be using them as substitutes for grocery-store produce. You won’t be able to make an entire meal out of your indoor garden, but you will be able to supplement your meals with some fruits and veggies. Your indoor garden will also provide healthy snacks for kids stuck at home.
Other fruits that you can grow indoors include peaches, apricots, figs, avocados, kumquats, and even olives! If you’re feeling really gutsy, you can even grow bananas and pineapple–just be sure to do your research first. The best thing about growing fruit trees indoors is that they look fabulous. But don’t expect to get very much to eat from them.
Fruits and Vegetables
Some favorite fruits and vegetables to grow indoors include:
You can grow fruits and vegetables in sun-lit rooms or under artificial light. In the winter, there might not be enough sunlight for your indoor plants, so it would be smart to invest in supplemental lighting. In the summer, you can grow your warm-weather fruits and vegetables outside–or if you live in an apartment, continue to grow indoors!
Leafy Greens and Herbs
Leafy greens and, of course, potted herbs are also great options for indoor gardens. Potted herbs are easier to grow and they add punches of flavor to soups, meats, sauteed vegetables, and even drinks. Here are a few to grow right in your kitchen or on a balcony or patio:
- Catnip (especially great if you have cats!)
Now, on to our leafy greens. Lettuce, kale, arugula, spinach, swiss chard–practically any leafy green can be grown indoors. In addition, they can be grown conventionally in potted soil or hydroponically in water. You’ll need to transplant your leafy greens and pot them in 6 – 8 inch diameter containers. Use pots with draining holes and don’t forget a water-catching tray!
Mushrooms and Nuts
You can even grow mushrooms and nuts indoors, which is great because these are usually used as garnishes or snacks–so you don’t need much. Be sure to do lots of research and take precautions. Many mushrooms are deadly to both people and pets, and nuts are a common allergy. If you plan to grow mushrooms or nuts, ensure that your pets or children won’t be able to reach them.
Other ways to Stay Fed During a Food Shortage
Indoor gardening during a food shortage won’t keep you completely fed. Even if you grew every plant listed in this gardener’s guide, you wouldn’t have enough food to live on for a few weeks. If your local grocery store is looking sparse, there are other ways to get food.
In times of crisis, milk and eggs are always in shortage. Many smaller communities have local farmers that sell milk and eggs either at farmer’s markets or at their farm. Consider shopping around to see what options are in your area.
If need be, you can look for food pantries or soup kitchens in your community. Food pantries will supply nonperishable foods and soup kitchens will offer free meals to those in need.
As we’ve seen, many schools have taken the liberty of providing free breakfasts and lunches to children in their communities. So this is a viable option for those with children who need fed.
xVital for Food Security
At xVirity, we’re dedicated to solving the problem of food insecurity on this planet. Right now, many people are getting a taste of what being hungry is like. Or, at least, they’re beginning to see how scary it is to not know if there will be enough food to feed their families. Yet, every day around the globe, children and adults suffer from a lack of food–especially healthy food.