These days, farmers’ markets and food co-operatives are commonplace in cities across the country. Community-supported agriculture organizations (CSAs) deliver dirt-covered celeriac bulbs to apartment doorsteps. Rooftop farms and tiny plots in community gardens yield carrots and lettuce in spite of city smog and grime. In other words, every city dweller these days understands that vegetables don’t come from the supermarket. They come from soil, and sometimes even from that abandoned warehouse on the side of the highway.

“So why not my fire escape?” the apartment dweller might ask. Substitute ceramic window box for unadulterated dirt and there’s no reason why city slickers can’t get in the game and double as gardeners, albeit on a smaller scale. Planting a little garden in a sunny corner of your walk-up will save money you’d be spending on over-priced vegetables someone else grew. Plus, everything tastes better when you grow it yourself—that’s a little thing called narcissism, and it’s tasty.

We quizzed at-home gardeners on how to create your own harvest. Grab a trowel and a watering can and start praying your cement-loving self has a green thumb waiting to break free. One day soon, you’ll be able to invite friends over to admire your greenery, and—if all goes well—homegrown basil and homemade pesto.