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Apparently we've been wrong all along assuming that you have to actually "go outside" to "grow food to eat." Kale and cabbage can both live in a window box even in cold weather, according to Allison Jonas of Ditmas Park's Sycamore Bar & Flowershop. Violas and pansies also thrive in most weather, and yes, you can eat them. "They are among the most popular edible flower in America," says Jonas, "And are loaded with medicinal benefits—some say they can help treat the common cold and a 1/2 cup serving of leaves can provide as much vitamin C as three oranges."
Vegetables are actually manageable in smaller containers, too, as long as you go with dwarf varieties, according to Sevilla. "it will be challenging to grow a big beef-steak tomato in your kitchen, but small cherry tomatoes will do just fine. Zucchini would be plain silly, but small cucumbers can easily be grown on a window sill." Lettuce, carrots, beets, and peppers, can all work, too.
And, when in doubt, herbs are always a standby. "If you don't have a lot of light and don't want to use a plant light, herbs like mint, oregano and thyme and salad greens would be the best things to grow," says Sevilla.