Teacup Meals: the Future of Urban Gardening?
We’re practically self-sufficient, you guys! Just look at this backyard harvest:
Everything on this cutting board was home-grown! New potatoes, quail, quail eggs, kale, basil, and a tiny carrot and beet.
We could easily feed a hamster with this bounty!
Like I mentioned in The Year of The Watermelon, we planted more than twenty different types of vegetables and herbs earlier this year, hoping something would make it to harvest.
Most everything died at some point, but we did grow that one thrilling cantaloupe. One experiment, however, thrived abundantly, just like the YouTube videos told us it would: container potatoes. All we did was place four yukon gold seed potatoes on a layer of soil in a tote bucket at the beginning of April, cover them with hay, and let them grow for three and a half months. When the leaves turned yellow, we dumped the tote upside down and searched the soil for potatoes. The kids had so much fun finding potatoes in the block of dirt! Here’s our harvest:
We had also planted some ill-fated seed potatoes directly in the soil in our backyard. Without full sun, these poor potato plants grew half heartedly and died before their time. After our container harvest, I was inspired to dig them up anyway. My efforts were rewarded with a half-teacup worth of marble-sized potatoes that made up in cuteness what they lacked in size, as seems to be typical of most of our produce.
I love tiny things, I reflected, leaning on my elbows at the kitchen counter and gazing at my teacup of tiny potatoes and my teacup of miniature sized eggs from our quail. Perhaps it was that our tiny harvest seemed so harmoniously proportional; potatoes and eggs from a Lilliputian land. Perhaps it was a subliminal back-reaction to growing up in a extra-large family: eight Viking-sized children were we, ferried around in a fifteen-passenger Ford, purchasing flour by the fifty-pound sack to make enough breakfast pancakes for a small fundraiser.
We may never know exactly why, folks, but I love miniature sized things and always have.
And everyone loves small pets: teacup pigs, teacup poodles. Why not teacup foodstuffs too?
It was time, I felt. Time to make it a thing, to celebrate the adorably tiny nature of our backyard harvest, to embrace it for what it was, rather than bemoaning it’s piddling size or making comparisons to other people’s harvests.
But, it needed a micro-sized presentation to do it justice.
So, having a few moments to spare, I made tiny French fries and a miniature fried egg...
...and added a chicken-fried quail drumstick, with a side of torn kale, diced beet, and micro-carrot rounds.
Our first teacup feast!
I enjoyed this foray into (what I feel could become intentional) micro-harvesting. I see possibilities. Teacup growing could make the joy of farming accessible to everyone in all spaces, without the burdensome expectation that one must produce vast quantities of hefty produce to be successful. It might help us find joy and value in things that other people might overlook.
There you have it: the origins of teacup gardening/micro harvesting. All right here at Celebrity Chickens.
You’re welcome, internet.