Growing pumpkin and corn is just about as close to instant gratification as you might get with gardening, plus it feels a tad more impressive than alfalfa seeds or sprouts.
The pumpkin is actually a red kuri squash (hokkaido) which are super delicious and just about one of my favourite vegetables. We use them alot in our cooking both savory and sweet. The corn is the painted mountain corn which I mentioned in earlier posts.
I have used a little vermiculite on the surface of these pots because of the less than ideal growing conditions in our kitchen which lacks good air flow especially during the earliest stage of growth (we use extra lighting and a heating mat on cold days) this can increase fluffy white fungal growth on the soil. The vermiculite can deter this, however if I was growing on a larger scale (not in our apartment) then I would forgo the vermiculite.