Sunday, May 25, 2008

dig, dig, dig. plant, plant, plant.

The weather this weekend was perfect for gardening. Finally!
I've been outside planting and harvesting since Saturday morning, and now I can barely move I'm so exhausted.

Since part of this blog is about sustainable living, I thought I should probably mention a few items everyone should have growing in their gardens.
Remember, if you don't have a large yard, like me, it's all about container gardening! So make your own containers with some plywood or simply use any old bucket you can find.

Now in order to make your garden part of your sustainable life, well you have to forget about all those cutesy decorative flowers and plants. They are useless, really. They will simply suck up water and your money.

My big thing these past few summers has been fine herbs. They are super easy to grow and maintain. Plus you have the benefit of having your seasonings grown at home, and that my friend makes your wallet super happy. These are the herbs I currently have growing in my garden: Mint, Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Chamomile, Thyme, Coriander, Dill, Rosemary and Tarragon. A lot of these I can use year long simply by drying them.

Here are some of the different ways I use each herb:

Mint--> Lemonade (already posted a recipe for one), tea, fruit salads and soups.

Basil--> Soups, salads and on chicken.

Oregano--> most tomato-based sauces, on potatoes and soups.

Parsley--> on Fish, vinaigrettes and salads.

Chamomile--> My favorite tea!

Thyme--> great in chicken (jerk chicken), on potatoes, tomato soup and sauces.

Coriander--> with chicken (especially a stir-fry)

Dill--> dips, in sour cream and mashed potatoes. Also in that salmon recipe I previously posted.

Rosemary--> great on all types of meat and fish marinades.

Tarragon--> amazing for salad dressings, and great on chicken.

All these herbs have many more uses and all of them are really low maintenance in your garden. So they're really easy for the beginning gardener.

Besides herbs though, everybody should have a few fruits and vegetables planted as well. I currently have big beef tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red and green peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, raspberries and apples. Those take slightly more work, but will reward you with lots of food if taken care of properly.

One of my favorite sources for gardening information on the web is Patti Moreno, from Garden Girl TV.
Her website has loads of videos teaching you how to get started in container gardening and doing it organically. Her site is definitely worth a look:
A few minutes on her website and you'll get the urge to go outside and start planting, I swear!

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting my garden's progress, so make sure to check back!


Paper Girl Productions said...

I love using mint in soups!

Patti Moreno said...

Don't forget Mint for Mojitos and Basil for delicious pesto sauce.