Edible Shopping

by Erin Thursby
This Earth Day, I decided to do something different. Anthropolgie was holding a class on container gardening. Since many of the places in my yard are shady, moveable container gardens are the way to go for me.
Anything can serve as a container garden. I was nervous about using a series of tiered ceramic bowls I bought a while back because they didn’t have drain holes. But, as long as you don’t over water, you can even use things without holes in the bottom. Large coffee cups, bowls, even the proverbial old boot can be used.
Just because you’re growing your own food, doesn’t mean you have to give up style. Although you can use items around the house to make your container garden, I’ve a certain thirst for the aesthetic, something Anthropologie fulfills. Their Waveworn pots are organically stylish, equally at home on a table as a center piece or deep in a lush garden. They range in price from $18-68.
Right now, I’m growing mustard greens, green onions and lettuce. They’re still in the seedling stage, but I’ll be ready when I need to plant them, using the tips I picked up at the workshop.
The best part about the class was that it connected us with other resources in our community which foster growing your own edible garden. Even the food aisle at your local green-conscious grocer can be a source for seeds!
As part of our participation in the class, we got a tiny pot filled with soil and topped with wheatgrass seeds. Wheatgrass grows quickly. It’s a pretty ornamental, but it’s also popular for juicers. The instructor gave us a tip—we could buy a substantial amount of whole organic wheatgrass grain from Native Sun. Even though it’s packaged to be eaten, it’s organic and isn’t treated with anything. As it’s the natural seed, it does what it’s supposed to do. It grows. The stuff sprouts quite nicely, about one to three inches in seven days and it does well indoors. Pets love to nibble on it. As long as it’s organically grown, it’s safe for pets and people.
Through the class, I also learned about a local plant provider called Southern Horticulture. They carry a variety of herbs beyond the standard basil. I drove there a few days after the container gardening class and picked up some chocolate mint and Italian oregano. They had orange thyme, lemon thyme, the largest parsley plants I’d ever seen, lovage, comfrey, camomile, Mexican tarragon, salad burnet, pineapple sage and more.
The Earth Day container garden workshop at Anthropologie was hosted by The Beaches Green Market, which not only has a sustainable green market, but also has its own community garden in Jarboe Park. The market is open every Saturday from 2 pm-5 pm.

Shopping Sources:
Anthropologie 4751 River City Dr., #P-02 Jacksonville 620-8111 www.anthropologie.com/
Beaches Green Market at Jarboe Park in Neptune Beach http://beacheslocalfoodnetwork.web.officelive.com/
Native Sun 11030 Baymeadows Rd. Jacksonville 260-2791 & 10000 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville 260-6950 www.nativesunjax.com/
Southern Horticultural in St. Augustine 1690 A1A S., St. Augustine, 904-471-0440. www.southern-horticulture.com/