DIY Veggie Gardens & Local Markets for Apartment Life

When sourcing fresh produce for meals, big-box grocery stores are ever popular. Even now, supermarkets are evolving to cater to shoppers in various ways. But summertime is near, and it’s the time of the season for some DIY veggies and supporting local farms.

Here are a few simple kitchen garden veggies and herbs practically made for your windowsill. No worries if your thumb isn’t too green – we’ve got some recommendations for farmer’s markets in and around Shadyside.

Indoor Herbs

Quite a few herbs do well in apartments. It’s nice having them fresh and readily available, so plant away! Make sure they get the sunlight they need and keep the soil moist.

  • Basil – Pack moist soil into a small pot and sprinkle the surface with seeds. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and water gently.
  • Mint – Start with a seedling and transfer to a pot with drainage holes. Water it well after planting and keep in indirect light.
  • Chives – Add moist soil to a pot with adequate drainage and sprinkle seeds on top. Add about ¼“ of moistened soil on top and expect germination within two weeks.

Indoor Vegetables

Herbs aren’t the only edible plants you can maintain indoors. Some veggies are just as easily doable.

  • Carrots – Depth is important here, so use an 8” – 12” deep pot. Fill the pot to an inch from the top with moist soil and plant seeds ¼” deep. Once they germinate, separate them so they’re at least an inch apart from each other.
  • Lettuce greens – Fill a pot with moist soil and sprinkle around 10 seeds on the surface. Cover with ⅛” of damp soil and move seedlings apart when they germinate.
  • Arugula – Follow the same steps here as you would for lettuce greens and you’ll have harvest after harvest of scrumptious arugula. Just remember to pick the bigger leaves and leave the smaller interior leaves to grow.

Farmer’s Markets Near Shadyside

Farmer’s markets are terrific, open-air excursions with tons of variety. Get your fruits, vegetables, meats, and more at the Bloomfield Saturday Market and the East Liberty Farmers Market.

  • Bloomfield Saturday Market is located at 5050 Liberty avenue
  • East Liberty Farmers Market is located in the Garland Park lot on N Euclid Ave

Local vendors showcase the freshest foods you can get. Supporting these vendors helps local farms, bakers, cheesemakers, and more so check them out.

Keep in mind, these markets are doing their best in adhering to health and safety procedures. Refer to the Bloomfield Saturday Market Facebook page and the East Liberty Farmers Market website for more information regarding current restrictions.

Re-opening Allegheny County: What the Yellow Phase Means for Shadyside Community

As of May 15, 2020, Allegheny county moved to the Yellow Phase. But what exactly does this mean for our Franklin West Residence and Shadyside neighbors?

There will be some changes under this new designation, but it is still important to take the same precautions as before to maintain the health and safety of yourself, as well as others. While people keep each others’ best interests in mind, it is up to each of us to help ensure the success of this new phase. 

As residents of Franklin West apartments, we want to keep you informed of some of the changes you may be likely to see since Allegheny county has moved into this Yellow Phase.

When walking through Shadyside, have you noticed posters on business doors or windows outlining do and don’t guidelines relating to COVID-19? As we return to normality with shopping either for groceries or retail, you can expect businesses to address whether you need to

– stay at least six feet away from other people

– wear a mask

– use credit cards and apps instead of cash

– respect the limits of how many people are allowed inside at one time

– wash your hands frequently with soap and water

– use hand sanitizer with 70%+ alcohol 

– stay home if you are feeling sick

These precautionary measures are likely already familiar to you, but it is important to know they still apply in the Yellow Phase of Pennsylvania’s reopening. Remember, these asks aren’t meant to hinder your daily activities but to keep you and your family safe. 

Sourced image from Pa Gov – Responding to COVID-19


At this point, only retail stores with outside entrances will be open for in-person business. This includes many businesses operating in Shadyside as well as open-air malls found elsewhere. Enclosed spaces, like indoor shopping malls, will remain closed for shoppers for the time being since they pose a greater risk for the spread of COVID-19.

Ready to go shopping? Discover which local businesses around our Shadyside neighborhood are opening their doors and when:

– Shadyside Nursery will re-open to the public on Friday, May 22nd.

– Footloose Shadyside is open by appointment on Sundays-Tuesdays, and 11 am – 5 pm on Wednesdays – Saturdays.

– Henne Jewelers opened on May 15th to the public

– Caesar’s Designs is currently open on Tuesday through Saturday by appointment from 12 pm to 4 pm

– Weisshouse is back and opened the doors to the showroom.

– Rex Glass and Mirror is open by appointment only with Shadyside’s showroom.

– Penhollows re-opened with regular hours of 12 – 4 pm on Sunday and Monday, plus, 11 am to 5 pm on Tuesday – Saturday. 

– Feathers will allow 2 customers inside at a time as well as enforcing wearing masks during normal hours between 10 am to 4 pm. Appointments are welcome!

– Glassworks & Cheeks opened with regular hours on May 15th and ask customers to wear a mask. 

– Pursuits Boutique is currently open by appointment only.

– Dina Ellen is opening with limited hours on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, and strongly encourages making a private appointment.

– Roberta Weissburg Leathers is currently open by appointment only. 

– The Dress Circle opened by appointment only but will be available everyday between 9:30 and 3:30.

– Scribe is reopening with normal hours. 

– Eons Fashion is limiting 5 customers at a time asking shoppers to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer before entering. Open every day from 12 pm to 5 pm. 

– E.B. Pepper has opened and asks that all customers wear a mask and practice social distancing. 

– Ten Toes is opening with adjusted weekly hours and allowing 2 customers in at a time. Wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer will be mandatory.

– The Picket Fence is open with regular hours. 

Please, keep in mind this list and details can change and does not reflect all information. Be patient with local businesses as they are working to keep you safe and offer the very best service!


For your dining needs, countless restaurants around our community work diligently to fulfill orders. In this stage of the Yellow Phase, dine-in is still suspended, and it’s uncertain when dine-in restrictions will be loosened.

For now, there are tons of options for delivery, takeout, and curbside pickup. Hours of operation may have changed on a restaurant-by-restaurant basis, so refer to the respective restaurant’s website, or call for updated hours. 

Let’s continue supporting local eateries by ordering food to-go, and limits the potential risk to staff and other customers. 

Outdoors & Gatherings

Make a point to enjoy the outdoors when possible; just remember to practice social distancing, and wear a mask if you’re around others. 

If regular walks, bike rides, or running are part of your routine, then it is okay to maintain these routines while being careful to avoid crowded areas. Large gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited. While events such as weddings and funerals are okay, the maximum number of guests can not exceed 25. 

Ensuring the health and safety of residents is the primary goal of Franklin West and its staff. It’s exciting to see our county moving into a less restrictive phase, and it’s worth keeping in mind, this was only possible due to the compliance of individuals throughout the state. 


In order to see more restrictions lifted going forward, we must continue to be diligent in our efforts to closely follow guidelines and curb the spread of COVID-19.

All of these changes reflect measures outlined on If you feel ill or have been exposed to someone who is confirmed or suspected to be infected with COVID-19, then please follow CDC guidelines as outlined here and isolate yourself from others if you have not done so already.

7 Online Fitness Classes to Keep You Active

As you continue to stay indoors to help ensure your own health, and the health of others around you, it’s important not to let COVID-19 get in the way of your regular exercise routine. While it may not align with your normal routine, there are many alternatives to going to the gym or participating in fitness classes.

Thankfully gyms and fitness studios across the US and the rest of the world are learning to adapt to the needs of their members. Studios are offering convenient access to online classes and regimens to keep you active. Some services are free and others are included with gym memberships, so determine which is right for you and get started.

Keep reading to discover several fitness options you can try in the comfort of your own home!

Orange Theory

You’ll find 30-minute exercise videos released daily from this endurance-focused gym. You won’t need any special equipment since using other household objects as weights are perfectly acceptable.


This boxing studio has taken to Instagram Live to bring you cardio and body workouts every day.

305 Fitness

If you prefer dancing to get your blood flowing, then check out this cardio workout and find out what has been all the rage in NYC. You’ll find twice-a-day workouts live on Youtube at 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM EST.

CorePower Yoga

If yoga is your preferred workout, then look out for CorePower Yoga’s YouTube live streams and get your stretches in. See their channel and find out what they have scheduled for the days ahead.


Don’t have a stationary bike? Don’t worry! Peloton is offering a free 90-day trial, which includes so much more than pedaling. Their streaming app brings you meditation, yoga, running, cycling, and strength training. You don’t need any of their branded gear or equipment to join in.


It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A, and with online access to their free online community program, it’s fun to stay at home now too. With YMCA 360, you’ll have access to some of the Y’s popular group classes like Bootcamp and Yoga. There’s even a section for kid-friendly exercise so the whole family can benefit.

24 Hour Fitness

Good news for members and non-members: Anyone can access the 24 Hour Fitness app and take advantage of premium content for free at this time. If you’re already a paying member, then your membership will be extended for as long as your gym is closed. Don’t want to download their app? Join their live community workout experiences on YouTube.

There are plenty of options out there for in-home workouts, so find one that works for you. As always, be mindful of the hours you schedule your workouts so your neighbors aren’t disrupted from their own routines, or woken up by loud noises during your workout.