Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The harvest - Herb garden update

Ok. I realize that this is small scale, but it's my first edible garden and I'm incredibly proud. Last week, I participated in my first harvest. Granted, it was only a few leaves of basil for my veggie soup and a teeny, tiny cayenne pepper, but... but... it came from my yard!

The basil plant in the first photo is the baby I posted about over the summer (here and here). She started out as a single seed. And look at the photo from July. She was so tiny back then! And here I am snipping her leaves for my soup one month later. Amazing!

The cayenne pepper plant in the second photo was a gift from a friend. She found it abandoned and left for the trash, but rescued it. The day after she left it with me, I noticed a pepper growing. It was green at the time and we resolved to wait and just see what happened. You can see that one red pepper there to the left. What you can't see is the dozens of flowers just waiting to explode into beautiful cayenne peppers. We're going to have quite a harvest off this one, I believe. Now I just have to find someone who likes cayenne peppers? Anyone?

This last pic is of good old minty, a purchase from the farmers market in April (she's still looking good and provides me with wonderful tea each  morning). Next to her are my two sage plants that, when grown up, will take care of the other half of my mint-sage tea (for now I'm still buying sage at the farmers market). Grow little sage, grow!

I'm having a little trouble with the oregano. I've tried three times and just can't get it to grow. The parsley is doing better but not ready to transplant to an outside pot. It won't be long before she graduates from the windowsill, though.

So that's where my little garden stands. I'm feeling more confident and am working towards a major expansion. We bought the newest Square Foot Gardening book and hope to have some serious veggies in the backyard before long. If I'm this excited about using my very own basil in my soup, how monumental a day will it be when I'm canning my very own tomatoes! 


Burbanmom said...

Yeah, I'm putting the SFG book on my Christmas list this year. I think if it make it pretty enough, I'll be able to plant my garden in the front yard where the sunshine is! :-)

Rapunzel said...

Your garden is awesome! My little herbs are doing pretty well, too; in fact I just clipped a bunch of basil, oregano & rosemary to bring to my foodie office pal. I hate to hear of her spending money on fresh herbs when I have them right outside my door!

Melanie said...

I am so glad to see someone else just starting out with the gardening thing...this has been more encouraging than all of the sustainable garden blogs I've read combined, just to know that someone else is starting small:). I killed my basil plant and my chives, but I FULLY intend to start again as soon as we get through the rainy spell!

Bobbi said...

Congrats on your little herb garden. The one great thing about herbs in pots is you can bring them indoors during the winter!

Nimic said...

Looking good! You'll find that the basil plant grows better if you snip off from the center stem, instead of branches. Cut the center right above the third set of leaves, and it will sprout two new branches in the place. The trick to a good basil harvest is the bushiness this method produces. Have fun!

greeen sheeep said...

Nice herbs! Bring them indoors this winter and you have fresh herbs year round.

Start some rosemary and you could add it to that bread you bake. yumm...

Good luck!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Congrats on your first harvest! It doesn't matter that it is small, you SHOULD be very proud of what you are doing! And wahoo about the cayenne, one of my favorite peppers, so spicy, yum! I love that you rescued it too, that makes it even better.

Just a little piece of advice about the cayenne, you have to let the peppers ripen on the plant. When we were harvesting ours awhile back, I guess I got a little rough with the plant and a green pepper fell off. We tried to let it ripen, but it just shriveled up. :-(

Good luck with continued garden success, keep us up to date on your progress. And if you are ever looking for someone to unload your cayennes on, there is a spice lover in Missouri that will never turn a pepper down. ;-)

I am interested in the Square Foot Gardening book, I'll have to add it to my list.

Anonymous said...

Try Greek Oregano...it works really well for me in Arlington. Also, when the basil flowers, pinch off the flowers, it will keep it bushy. (Nice blog, by the way--I stop by often, but I'm not much of a commenter.)

Heather @ SGF said...

burbanmom - So far, I'm enjoying the book and it sounds pretty easy! I thought about putting a garden in the front but then I thought maybe I'd have trouble with animals (our back yard is fenced. Would definitely be pretty in the front though.

rapunzel - that was sweet of you! I'm sure she appreciated it! As I'm walking my dog in the mornings, I pass a neighbor (a couple blocks away) with a huge rosemary bush. I've thought about asking if I can snip a little off from time to time. They are using as just a plant around their mailbox, but it's rosemary alright. Hate to see it go to waste :)

melanie - I felt the need to start small and work my way into it. It's so much easier to learn as you go that way. And what I have right now has been super manageable. Can hardly wait for my sage plants to get big enough though. Good luck with restarting your garden!

bobbi - No doubt! You can control for weather so much easier in the pots and I don't need many herbs since I'm not a big cook. These few are just perfect.

nimic - you know a friend of mine mentioned that too so I clipped off the top earlier this week when I needed some basil. You are totally right! It's already started to bush out. Thanks!

greeen sheeep - he he. Actually, as I mentioned to rapunzel, there is a neighbor that has a bunch of rosemary in her front yard for decoration. I'm tempted to ask her if I can clip some from time to time. The plant is huge, and healthy, and well, free :)

jennifer - thanks for the tip! That one pepper is the only one so far. There are so many blossoms and sure we'll be covered in peppers before long. Maybe I can take them to the farmers market and give them to one of the vendors for barter. Not sure how long they would last in the mail :)

anonymous - I'll keep an eye out for greek oregano. Thanks! Glad you are enjoying the blog and commenting! Happy to have you!

Beany said...

Congrats! Don't you feel like a proud mom? I know I did, "*sniff* *sniff*, I grew something!"

I too had trouble with growing oregano. Its a problem I have to tackle in the future, because I do like my oregano.

fearlesschef said...

I had to buy oregano in a plant size already, before it would grow in my lot... but it ready growing now! So exciting! And I must say that I am impressed that you got them grow from a seed, mine haven't ever lasted long enough to be transplanted... sigh. Oh, and those little pepper plants produce like MAD! We bought 2 on a whim and there are 13 on the window sill drying and at least another dozen on the plant, growing... chilies are the best!

Heather @ SGF said...

beany - I know exactly what you mean. They're my babies!

fearlesschef - I may end up doing that (buying an established plant. I'm not ready to give up yet. Maybe I'll plant a few extra seeds next time and see if I can get at least one of them up. It's the only one that's giving me trouble. Go figure. I can't really eat hot stuff because of my tummy (spicy foods make my insides crazy) but I'm sure I'll find someone local who can enjoy them. Looks like I'm gonna have a lot!