Everyone is overjoyed to have a fridge stuffed with gorgeous lettuce and kale. Sometimes when I am cooking however, I do need a pinch of this and a pinch of that, or a key ingredient for a recipe that was not in this week's box. That is why I maintain a tiny fire escape garden for my summer necessities. I grow basil, jalapeño peppers, thyme, cherry tomatoes, and micro greens.
It is really easy to create a small garden on your fire escape, if you have one, or on a sunny windowsill. Use as large a pot as safely fits on the fire escape. It must have a hole in the bottom for good drainage, and a small plate underneath to catch the runoff. Use organic soil and fill up the pot halfway. I believe in co-planting, because plants are social and like friends. The friends also help each other by retaining more water and giving each other nutrients. I like to plant a small cherry tomato plant with a basil plant, a thyme plant, and a marigold plant. I do the jalapeño in a separate smaller container. Another medium sized pot can hold your micro greens, which usually include lettuce, kale and arugula. Once you place your plants in the pot, fill it up the rest of the way with organic soil so that the roots are completely covered and only the stems and leaves are visible. Try to water all your plants at least once a day, and twice if the weather is above 85 degrees.
If you are more ambitious you can plant a rooftop garden like the one shown at left. Even if you don't have much space, you can still work vertically by hanging pillowcases, or trellising on fences. Now that is what summer is all about!