Growing indoors is particularly rewarding when you can geek out and access that inner weirdo. This is very helpful when you are dating someone new, or loving someone for a long time, as a way to show them a new side of the person they already admire. Of course the best person to impress is always yourself! And we just love a challenge growing. Because indoor growing doesn’t fall prey to the weather or seasons, you can grow some of the fussiest and unusual plants.
Here are 7 that we love:
The toothache plant – all the rage now in kitchens from New York to New Orleans, the toothache plant is a bizarre looking flower, which even gives you a more bizarre flavor – it makes your mouth buzz and move all about when you eat it. Zany!
Pápaloquelite or papalo is an unusual herb that has a flavor somewhere between arugula, cilantro and rue and it’s also known as Bolivian coriander. This herbaceous, fast growing annual from the Marigold family is used to flavor salsas, soups and salads. And it is the missing ingredient in any green salsa. Try it out. Tomatillo and papalo were just made for each other! Green salsa, in our opinion, goes with anything. Including chocolate cake. Try it.
Hydroponic saffron – test your personality. When you think about hydroponic saffron, what do you see? Dollar signs, or access to one of the world’s most luxurious spices? The price of gold skyrockets in unsteady economic times. But since you can’t grow gold, saffron might be the next best thing. While it’s not easy to grow saffron, and it’s tedious to extract it, we think this plant is better left to those who want the flavor, not the gold. That’s our opinion.
Mizuna is one green that just takes off like wildfire in hydroponics. This producer is so much less boring than lettuce, and its serrated leaves look like saw teeth. Mizuna’s peppery, spiced taste is like a mild version of arugula, which we cannot get enough of. Go team green!
Watercress is deliciously extravagant because once picked you need to eat it immediately. That’s why growing yours indoors makes perfect sense. We’ve grown watercress and it just explodes in your hydroponic system, growing out every which way, with all parts of it being delicious. It works really well at farmer’s markets when people want to eat picked that day produce. Consider that if you want to sell or give away the surplus of what you grow.
Mushrooms. For many people mushroom cultivation is a deep and dark mystery, but mushrooms can thrive in indoor gardens. Essentially, growing your own mushrooms hydroponically means that you are using water or other growing mediums instead of soil to cultivate your crop. Hydroponic mushrooms grow very quickly and are quite tasty. We love foraging on our acreage for wild mushrooms, but when we don’t have those in winter, we’ll do hydro!
Lemon verbena. Stuck on a deserted island and can choose only one plant for flavor? We’d go with lemon verbena. If you want a good investment for flavor and to spice things up a bit more, then lemon verbena might be your best bet. It smells like the marriage between lemon and lime and it is great in milk and puddings or in a fizzy drink, like your own homemade ginger ale.