31 days ago today, I started a little garden project without giving it more thought than simply wanting to learn more about self sufficiency. I have always dreamed of living in the country, in a farm or in the forest since I was a very little girl but never had a garden of any kind beyond summer herbs. Because I knew I would be spending more time home this past winter than I have in the past years, I decided it was the time like never to experiment with gardening.

It was with much nervousness and not much of a green thumb that I decided to start the plants from seeds, a way that is much more cost effective. I bought a Jiffy pellet seed starter (5$) and decided to do one full row of the followings: tomatoes, mini tomatoes, pole beans, yellow zucchini, cucumber and cilantro (I spent 10$ on the seeds). I followed the instructions on the Jiffy box to use the pellets and seed; then I moved them to the brightest room in my home, and boosted the heat at 24 degrees. It,s important that the seeds have heat, but no direct sun light at this point.
Within the first few days, I could see the seeds starting to sprout. I was so excited (and so was Ramiro honestly!).  After only a week, the sprouts were growing. When the first two leaves appeared on the sprout, it was time to pot them. I was scared of this step because I have accidentally killed plants by repotting them before, so I was a bit apprehensive. I first potted the pole bean, cucumber and zucchini plants as they had grown little roots and were clearly ready. The tomato and mini tomato sprouts as well as the cilantro sprouts were much smaller and weaker so I waited another week before potting them. When potting I used organic soil (10$ a bag) and organic fertilizer (8$ container and I will have enough forever). I didn't know before, but fertilizer us the plant's food so they need it. My plan is to use the fertilizer once a month. 

I used pots I already had to keep the cost of my project really effective. Some of the post are self watering, some aren't, so I made sure to add stone and leave space for irrigation at the bottom.
After a week of potting the pole beans already needed treillis. I went to a few hardware stores around my city and couldn't find any (probably because it's off season here, it's still snowing and all) so I made my own with wooden chopsticks, wool and washi tape. It doesn't look like much, but it does the trick!
I have now added treillis to the cucumber and zucchini plants since and everything has been good so far! The process has been really fun, seeing something grow everyday is definitely underrated! It has been profoundly inspiring to me and although it's more a logistical reason than anything else, I'm glad the house garden is in my office most of the time as it is sun drenched. 
I live in a small apartment in the heart of down town (there is literally a bus stop and a light out my bedroom window) and started the garden in a size that is realistic for the outside space that I have (8X10 balcony) and the direct sun light I have (about 3.5 hours a day). I have found that you can't be scare of moving the plants around the house to chase the sun (as seen in picture above) to maximize exposure as well (I put mine in the living room when we get direct sunlight in). My plants are going to stay inside until June 1st, when I will slowly start bringing them outside in the day and slowly getting them adjust before they spend the summer outside. 

I'll be posting monthly updates on the blog on how cultivating this garden has worked for our little family. I've also been sharing bits of the garden project on Instagram, so be sure we connect if you have any questions! Virginie XO

ps: my overalls are from Forever 21, my boots are vintage and my t-shirt is from UO