Monday, June 21, 2010

The Lazy 20-Something's Guide to Sustainability: Container Gardening v. 3 +

Today I had a vet visit for my feline friends and battled a pretty awful headache. So I took a personal day. But the best thing came from my personal day...I got to spend time in my container garden. With the traveling I've done in the last couple weeks for work, I have hardly spent any quality time out on my deck marveling at the produce I'm nurturing. But today I sat down on my deck with the aim of writing today's blog post and I saw the most wonderful thing: not one, not two, not three, but 4 tiny baby cucumbers. All of them are a little less than an inch long and only as fat as about half of a pinky nail. They even have what's left of the bright yellow cucumber blossom still attached! I'm so excited since I absolutely love, Love, LOVE cucumbers and I was terribly skeptical that vine plants could grow in a container. I mean, they produce HUGE veggies and their leaves span a pretty large amount of groundcover. I guess I shouldn't be surprised about my success, especially given my rural upbringing, but I am. As a kid, I'd go out and weed the garden, but I never took time to really pay attention to the way the plants matured. Truth be told, if my grandparents hadn't planted things in the same areas each year, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell the plants apart until at least 1 month of maturity.

I'm not the best at keeping a personal journal. Or a journal of crocheted things, or quilted things, or grown things. So, being that this is for work (and therefore I will follow through), it becomes an opportunity to properly journal about the rates of growth and yields.
Other notable growth:
There are at least 15 tomatoes growing on my large tomato plant, and still some tiny yellow flowers begin to emerge. My green pepper plant has 10 tiny little peppers and still some buds and 4 off-white blossoms. My banana pepper plant has 4 large peppers and dons of blossoms and little peppers. While my strawberries will be nothing to write home about, there are 2 tiny white strawberries emerging! 13 tomatoberries of various sizes and still some yellow blossoms, and I can't complain about the things I've seasoned with my established chives and the large numbers of salads I've eaten right off my deck! My boyfriend finds salad tedious and avoids it often, but he is AMAZED at how tasty salad greens taste when cut 5 minutes prior to being eaten. And pretty much daily I've had a salad or cut a few leaves off for tacos or a sandwich. Growing lettuce (another first for anyone in my family) has been the gift that keeps on giving. But I'll point out that the people who say that arugula gets spicy and a little bitter in the heat of summer are very right. I add it more for zest to salads and am thinking about using them like spinach in a pasta dish...with a basil pesto. :)

Finally, I've been making it a habit to cut back the lemon verbena and pineapple sage weekly. It keeps my rosemary plant visible in the mix, and it also allows me to dry leaves for teas and things in the winter. But I just found a recipe for lemon verbena sorbet, and one of the comments talks about trying the same recipe with pineapple sage! So, that is going to be this week's adventure, and I'm sure you'll be excited to hear about the results. Want to make it yourself? Here's the link to the blog at which I found this amazing recipe!


Dugganhaas said...

We enjoyed our first homemade pesto of the season tonight -- basil + spinach. Yum.

Ann Flowers said...

Just gone through your blog and found it interesting. it was nice going through your blog.