Urban Farming: Mesclun Greens


Living in New York, no light can be something we have a lot of. So I say, take control of something you have no control over! Turn that shade into an urban farm.

Indirect light is perfect for shade-loving crops like lettuce. Especially hearty, small varieties like mesclun mixes.

For starters, my bathroom looks out into a shaftway that’s both dark and depressing. I’m grateful for the circulation, but… yeesh, right? Luckily, it’s perfect for a discrete shade-loving garden.


I took a 3-tier hanging basket I never used and lined each basket with coconut coir I picked up at Home Depot for window boxes, cutting the coir to fit the new angles.

Then I filled each basket with potting soil and hung the whole thing out over the window sill like Rapunzel’s hair, before sprinkling my mesclun seeds.


My neighbors never look up and no one can enter the tiny shaftway but indirect sun. It’s perfect.


I’d check my baskets every so often to make sure everyone was getting enough light and water — and voilà: home-grown salad greens, fresh from midtown Manhattan!



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