Urgent Evoke

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Windowsill Gardening 1 - Growing Food Fast

Many people are talking about potential solutions to the 2020:Tokyo food shortage, and a lot of those solutions involve growing alternative crops in urban environments - so I've decided to try it for myself.

The Windowsill Gardening Experiment

Plants and Harvest Estimates
As you can see from the images below, I've picked several different vegetables to try -
  • Radishes - Very fast growing root crop. Estimated harvest in 29 days (!!)
  • Tomatoes - Small Tiny Tim variety. Est harvest in 45 days.
  • Parsley - Very popular herb. Est harvest in 80 days.
  • Iceberg Lettuce - Larger leafy veg. NOT cut and come again (unfortunately). Est. harvest 85 days.
  • Coriander - Spicy herb for flavor. Also known as Cilantro. Est harvest @ 6 inches tall (??)
  • Oregano - Herb for flavor. Est harvest @ 5 inches tall. (??)
  • Chives - Oniony herb for flavor. Est harvest 120 days (!)
As you can see, only one of these plants can be harvested in less than a month, and some of them take up to 4 months. From what I've read, rice takes 4.5 months from planting to usable grain.

To give you an idea of my circ**stances, I am growing these in various sized pots on an East facing windowsill.

Hours of Daylight
I'm currently in Boston, and the following are sunrise/sunset comparisons for Boston and Tokyo.

Boston - rise = 6.10am, set = 5.41pm
Tokyo - rise = 6.03am, set = 5.40pm

As you can see, daylight hours are comparable. (Boston = 11hrs, 31mins vs. Tokyo 11hrs, 37mins.)

Average temperatures for the month of March are as follows, but as my windowsill is indoors, this is mitigated greatly. The heating in the house is usually off during office hours, on until about 11pm @ 23C / 74F and then off again during the night and then on again for an hour in the morning.

Boston avg temperature for March = 8C / 46F
Tokyo avg temperature for March = 12C / 53F

Views: 121

Comment by Kath-Ning on March 7, 2010 at 11:33pm
Here's an interesting site:


See the last picture on this page of a woman planting tomatoes in a Tokyo median strip

Comment by F. Blaine MacKinnon on March 7, 2010 at 11:46pm
It would be nice if people would start building nice windowsills in their homes again. I grew up in a house with plants, usually flowers' on a wide windowsill in every room. Geraniums weren't treated as annual flowers, grown to be discarded. Most newer homes cut out use of windowsills to save a few pennies and today's children have no sense of the transition of nature to the indoors. A kitchen garden can be all the difference between eating food and enjoying a meal.
Comment by Caroline Meeks on March 7, 2010 at 11:50pm
I am someone who always thinks about doing a window box garden and never does. I think I would do it if I had more structure and community. If there was a group I could join that bought all the boxes and soil and seeds and seedlings together and I could just pay my share and follow the directions.

In somethings I am a leader but gardening sure isn't one of them. Its not an area where I have or want to have creativity. But I'd love to have it simple for me and be able to contribute to growing some of my food.
Comment by F. Blaine MacKinnon on March 8, 2010 at 1:18am
You don't have to start with a garden box, just a plant or two til you catch on or more importantly til you interest catches you. Most garden centers, even Walmarts have starter kits for small projects. Word of caution, don't over water.
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 8, 2010 at 10:26pm
That is great! I love plant babies, good luck!
Comment by John D. Boyden on March 9, 2010 at 10:07pm
+1 Sustainability :) too bad you don't have countdown clocks on them. Like all but cilantro. They will sustain you *wink*
Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on March 20, 2010 at 6:21pm
Nicely doc**ented!!! Cool project!!!


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