Wednesday, March 21, 2012


On the morning of March 6th, my wife and I decided to separate. That afternoon, I got a call that my nearly two-year long search for a job had finally paid off. I live in Prescott, Arizona, and the new job will be down in Phoenix, so I will be moving as well. Now, obviously, there are lots of major life changes that go along with all that. But for those of you who are gardeners, you know that “where am I going to garden,” while not the most important question, is certainly on the list.

I currently live in a house, and while I don’t have a yard to garden in, I do have enough room for a container garden. Down in Phoenix, I will most likely be getting a small apartment. Having a garden in the ground won’t really be an option. If I have a patio or porch, it will still be difficult to have a garden. The extreme heat in Phoenix in the summer means that container plants need to be watered up to three times a day to keep from drying out. So how does one who is driven to grow edibles do it in such an environment?

Obviously, it will depend on where I end up living. Ideally, my small apartment will hold my modest amount of furniture with a little extra room to spare. I am thinking of building what amounts to a small indoor greenhouse, though the glazing would be less for heat retention and more for moisture retention.  Vegetables typically require 6-8 hours of direct sun a day, a near impossibility indoors. So I am thinking of switching to something a little more apartment-friendly: mushrooms.

I could turn my greenhouse into a big, indoor mushroom grow room. It would have vertical racks for growing logs or sawdust blocks. At the top it would have a water tank (maybe even with a few fish in it) and a bubbler. The bubbles exiting the water would carry humidity with them, raising the humidity in the greenhouse. I would buy a number of air plants and attach them wherever I could to help cycle the oxygen a little more effectively. A few carnivorous plants would go a long way to keeping the gnat problem to a minimum as well.

Obviously, this idea is still in its infancy and will develop considerably before I have a chance to build it. As for my other greenhouse, we will be selling the lot I had planned to build it on. It isn’t off the table, though. Just stalled. I may end up building one down in Phoenix somewhere. Who knows? It is a whole new world out there!