Chowhound Indoor Herb Gardening

Recently our daughter Katie, who lives in a San Francisco apartment with good western exposure asked for tips and plants to start an indoor herb garden. She has no outdoor growing space but lives close to Golden Gate Park where a nature is never far away.

I began looking at the new style fluorescent bulbs, some are daylight and some are full spectrum, great for growing plants. Screw these into a reflector with clamps that squeeze open and it’s pretty simple to develop an economical indoor herb garden. Fluorescent lights don’t have the heat buildup of incandescents and are economical to use.

Serendipity often occurs. While I was in the midst of figuring out how to do this, Roxanne Webber, an editor for called with a few questions about growing herbs indoors for city dwellers, just like my daughter. She was writing an article that would be posted in a few days. I offered to watch for comments to her article an trouble shoot if needed.

When I was in San Francisco, a few days ago, I met Roxanne and we visited about chowhound, gardening, and all those things discussed with a new friend. Her article is posted at My dialogue and Q&A follows at Chowhound. I will answer questions until next week.

The discussion has been lively and I do encourage questions on indoor herb gardening.

Garden Palooza 2009

Keane and I will be at Garden Palooza this Saturday, April 4th. We will have a good selection of some of our top selling seeds and other products. This is always a terrific garden shopping show. I can never resist a few new plants or gardening items.

Garden Palooza is at Fir Point Farms in Aurora, OR. At 14601 Arndt Road just east of the Aurora airport. Hours 8:00 a.m. to 4p.m. Mention you saw this post and pick out a free packet of sunflower seed.

White House Food Garden

This week, First Lady, Michelle Obama, and a group of local school children broke ground on the first White House Lawn Food Garden since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden during WWII. This organic garden will feed the Obama family, be used for White House events.

The children from Bancroft Elementary School will continue their involvement with this garden by helping plant and later with harvesting. Ms. Obama frequently discusses food issues and speaks in terms of fresh and nutritious. Her particular focus on enticing children to eat and enjoy fruits and vegetables because their variety and fresh flavor is so delicious sends an important message to everyone.

On the sidelines there has been a steady campaign from gardeners, chefs, websites like and food and garden writers. We all appreciate this wonderful example.