Music Video: How to Start Seeds Indoors, In Song

Even if you possess black thumbs and consider growing-your-own best left to those in the burbs, you should check out this awesome little video on apartment seed-starting.  Made just for us by Joseph Schilling, who runs the Manhattan garden design firm Woodland Landscapes, it’s pretty much as entertaining as it is educational, thanks to Schilling’s witty approach, which includes a self-made soundtrack (with help from guitarist Jason Von Kraut) of his folky food-based songs.

He’s got a whole album-worth in the works, he says. Good thing, as this is the first of five videos on city gardening from Schilling, who works for both city homeowners and corporate gardens like those on the set of The Real World 2008, at 212 E. 47th Street, and at Tower 49 on Fifth Avenue between 48th and 49th streets.

The video series–look for the rest right here as summer approaches–follows his work outfitting a rooftop garden for Brooklynites Jenny Lessard and Martin Nuñez, who is a co-owner of Brooklyn’s gourmet grocery chain Union Market. Over the next few months, Schilling will help the couple turn their Boerum Hill rooftop into a mini-farm filled with vegetables, herbs and other edibles.

Right now he’s starting the seeds for the beds, some of which are made from cast-off apple crates plucked from Union Market. (Yep, they planted an apple tree in one of ’em.)

Over time, Schilling will document the garden’s progress, but his first video installment takes place right here in Manhattan, in the windowsill of his apartment. Schilling goes through the tools needed to start seeds indoors–compostable pots, heirloom seeds, a grow light, his guitar, all procured, with the exception of the latter, online–and sings his way through the process.

We suggest you watch and follow his lead this weekend–guitar optional–as Schilling suggests any prospective seed starters make it happen by the end of the month.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.