By: Molly Rovero, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Nancy, LuxEco founder and gardening guru, recommended that I try the Topsy Turvy. Excited about the success of her flourishing tomato plants at The Green Home Under the H she showed me pictures of them on her Blackberry one day while we were chatting. This eco-friendly planter would be perfect for my busy schedule she said, no weeding necessary! Aside from the initial planting, all that Topsy Turvy requires is watering once daily. Topsy Turvy is not only easy to care for, it’s great for people who don’t have much space, or who live in the city. With urban farming on the rise, more people have access to locally grown fruits. Having your own garden also provides a variety of green benefits: you are in control of what goes on the plants, which means there are no lurking pesticides to worry about, and not having to drive to the store cuts back on the need for transportation. Aside from the benefits already mentioned, strawberries are also a perennial plant, meaning they return yearly.
I was at the grocery store one evening and there it was, waiting for me in a display near the checkout, the Topsy Turvy strawberry planter, so of course, I picked one up. Now, all I needed were the contents to fill it, so I was off to Home Depot. Most of the strawberry plants looked wilted but I picked out the four plants that looked most promising. With my recent run around with a batch of now dead herbs, I didn’t want to purchase too many at the risk of killing them all. I have been gardening with my mom for as long as I can remember; every year we would get the seeds out of the refrigerator and plant them in the gardens, but somehow I am less of a green thumb than one might think. With all the years of my mother’s guidance the herbs should still be alive, but it was assessed that a possibly reason for their death was over-watering. So, to pair with my newly acquired strawberry plants, I purchased some moisture control soil to prevent over and under watering. Pants can also be started from seeds to ensure a truly organic experience.
I waiting to start planting until later in the day when the temperatures were cooler. Trowel in hand, I began scooping the potting soil into the Topsy Turvy planter. Slowly it began to fill up, and I reached the first set of holes where the plants go. It takes some getting used to, but the plants thread through the openings. Before I knew it, I had used all of my plants and the last layer of soil was in place. From start to finish it couldn’t have taken more than a half hour.
My new strawberries are now hanging from a trellis in my back yard. On Day Two they were still alive. Day Five was looking a little grimmer, and the two bottom plants were pretty much dead. They hung, brown and wilted from their place in the planter. Now, weeks later, the top plants were still looking great, even noticeably growing, so I have faith and fingers crossed, with a little bit of love, water, and nitrogen enriched plant food I will have luscious strawberries.
Find a recipe from Nancy’s Organic Kitchen for Organic Topsy Turvy Strawberry Panna Cotta