I Didn’t Think I Could Grow Anything in My House, but Leath’s Fieldhouse Has Changed That
I am not much of a gardener. And by that I mean, I can keep houseplants alive, but anything requiring more effort than the occasional watering? Sadly, my track record is not so great. So if someone had asked me if I could picture myself growing my own microgreens — let alone in my kitchen — I would have answered with a resounding “no.”
I, of course, recognize and appreciate the benefits of harvesting one’s own veggies. I guess I’ve just always assumed I lack the know-how and dedication to actually make that kind of thing happen.
My mindset, however, recently shifted in a big way, thanks to the Leath Fieldhouse, a surprisingly sleek, simple-to-use way to grow greenery right on your kitchen counter — and without the headaches I’d imagined.
What Makes the Leath Fieldhouse So Great
I ordered the Fieldhouse in the Clay colorway — a pretty, neutral color that blends right in with my kitchen backsplash and counter. I was impressed, right off the bat, by the packaging. Everything arrived in one, sturdy (and well-designed) box that was easy to unpack. Assembly was a cinch, too. Usually I rely on my husband (again, I’ve convinced myself I suck at this stuff), but the setup instructions were easy to access via a QR code, and it probably took me a whole 10 minutes to finish — no special tools or husband required.
Once I found the perfect spot for the Fieldhouse — tucked beneath a cabinet next to my toaster — it was time to try my thumb at planting my own greenery. This part was super easy (and shockingly clean!), too. First, you open two pucks of dirt, which are compressed to save space. Then, you pop them in a bowl, add water, and boom! You have the perfect amount of soil for your first growing product.
After spreading the soil in the tray — it has holes in it to absorb water from another tray below — you distribute the seeds of your choice. The Fieldhouse comes with six kinds of microgreens: broccoli, arugula, radish, sunflower, and one called “medley” (a mix that includes kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, cabbage, and arugula). I had a hard time deciding what to start with, but I settled on my favorite green of all time: the slightly spicy and always delicious arugula.
To make spreading seed easier, the Fieldhouse includes a (very cute) glass beaker you can also use for watering (more on that later). Once the seed is evenly distributed across the soil, you lightly spray it with the Fieldhouse water bottle — as you can guess, it’s cute, too — and then cover the tray so the seeds can germinate. You’re supposed to leave them for a few days without any light or water so they can take root, and that’s exactly what I did.
I set a Google Calendar reminder so I knew exactly when to check on the growing arugula and transition to the next phase. Two days later, I took a peek per the instruction manual and decided it was time to use the grow light. This is where the process got really fun!
The roof has a built-in light with a timer that shines on the greens for 12 hours a day. During the growing phase, you’re supposed to occasionally check the soil’s moisture and pour a cup of water (in the beaker!) into the tray below the greens. I probably watered mine every two days or so.
The growth happened a lot faster than I thought. Within about a week total, my arugula had sprouted a few inches in height. The instructions recommend harvesting at two or three inches of growth, which happened about eight days after I planted (just as the instructions noted). I used clean kitchen shears to harvest the arugula, and I was super excited to try it in a few recipes.
After storing the bulk of the greens in the fridge, I got to my first order of business: Topping my favorite sourdough toast with a fried egg, avocado, and my brand-new arugula microgreens. Of course they tasted great, but even more delicious was the satisfaction that I grew something myself. I had to ride that high a little longer, so I got right to work on the broccoli.
I followed all the same basic steps, but with a little more ease than the first time. After just over a week (I waited nine days this time to see how tall they’d get), I had some 3-inch broccoli greens ready to harvest. Again with my kitchen shears, I cut the greens out of the tray. This time, I decided to split the harvest among me and my two vegetarian friends.
The consensus? It’s so easy to make any meal more flavorful and delicious with these greens. You can toss them on toast or eggs like I did, or add them like sprouts to a sandwich, like my friend Mary did. You could top a salad with them, add them to a stir-fry, or even mix them in a smoothie for an extra boost. And if you need even more inspo, you can head over to Leath’s recipe page, which is full of great ideas for every type of seed they sell.
If I had to rate my experience with the Fieldhouse, I’d give it a solid 10/10. I’ve been cooking more than usual, I’ve been more creative in the kitchen, and I love sharing my spoils with people I care about. It’s also amazing to know I was doing my part to impact the environment — no carbon emissions or harmful pesticides here!
Perhaps the best part was overcoming the mental block that I couldn’t grow something other than a Snake plant. Leath made it easy to adopt a new way of thinking about gardening. I feel proud of myself for seeing it through and newly motivated to try new foodie and plant-related things. Who knows: Maybe I’ll take my motivation outside next spring and grow some full-sized veggies to use with my Leath microgreens. The sky — or should I say the soil? — is the limit!
Buy: Leath Fieldhouse, $295