Posts Tagged ‘edible plants’

My dad used to say when he needed to pray he prayed in the garden. I don’t think I pray in the garden but the garden does provide respite as well as nutrition. For all sorts of reasons this year’s garden has been a source of joy … and a chore. In part I think I was too ambitious. I had no plan though I think I was pretty good about not planting things we didn’t actually eat. And we did try some experiments like kale that survived the bunnies and tasted so good cooked with store bought turnips … which inspired us to try planting turnip this fall. We’ll see …

The basement is full of hardneck garlic (which means that we were able to eat some garlic scape before the bulbs were fully formed). Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes everywhere. I’m trying to find ways to preserve them. The Italian basil, planted all over the place, has thrived. Lots of frozen pesto (and herb butters) to be had later in the year. I feel bad that life situations happened such that the Thai basil could not be used to our favorite extent (e.g. in stir fry) but the beautiful purple flowers were a treat for pollinators.

Though we near the end of a hot dry July I can look out the kitchen window into the garden below and I can see tomatoes reddening. Roma and Big Boy (or Girl) and a cherry variety. A lot of things are withering in the current heat wave. Sunday will be 100. There’s a part of me, and I did confer with that fellow, that knows some things have had their run and so in the cool of the morning I will simply need to weed and clean and begin to prep the earth for our fall plantings. I must say I never imagined that indoor and outside watering could be an exercise. But I think it truly is!

That is the beauty of gardening … the transition of seasons … engaging with the flow of time … it has been a particular joy this gardening season to see perennials planted last year, just green leaves, return and thrive and for the first time flower. Yes!

From the kitchen window I can see the bounty of the coneflower. I cut some of the flowers for the house and now know the rest will wilt and the dried seed heads will feed the birds into the fall. I watched them last year but never had my camera in reach. Maybe this year.

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oxalis on the windowsill

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Working with what’s available in the house … cucumbers, white wine vinegar, light brown sugar, kosher salt, garlic, red peppers and oregano. We’ll see how this batch turns out.

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Each morning begins with a heavy sigh after reading the headlines but then as I peer out the various windows I find peace in my little garden of sprouts and herbs and so forth growing wherever they can catch the light.


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I thought this particular pot held the Empress of India Nasturtium.  I’ve been waiting for the bright red flowers but so far all the flowers are this amazing bright orange.

In a medium black bowl I planted my cousin’s viola seeds.  After a near fatal encounter with a too bright sun and too little water, so far all goes well.

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I’ve been getting a few questions about my garden and how I can be growing everything from traditional herbs to potatoes all indoors.  Please keep in mind that some of my planting vessels are re-purposed espresso cups and cereal bowls and very few vessels are large.  Nevertheless, I am very lucky to live in an old Victorian with lots of nooks and crannies and windows all around.  Outside the kitchen, in the hallway, is a table tucked against a window.  And upon that table you will currently find …

Enter the kitchen and one of the very first things you will see is a small bookcase where cookbooks and old recipes are kept on the shelves.  On the narrow top, are the following edible parts …

And just ahead, not far, is a small table that receives plenty of light. And so upon its right-hand corner there are stacked the following herbs and sprouts …

Now to the right of the table is a sizeable floor speaker with a sturdy wooden case.  That’s right. I usurped a portion of the top and there you will find …

And, last but not least, in this kitchen there is a bay of windows.  The curvature is such that the area was just big enough for a certain person to tuck his handmade wooden carpenter’s workbench.  I held myself in check and only borrowed a left-hand corner where there now sits …

There are other plants around whose images I like to share with you, but these are the edible ones, close to and in the kitchen, always reaching for the light.  I made these guides for the resident chef so that he knows what he is snipping at but I also made them for myself as a calm way to end the day.  Enjoy. 😉

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It’s just that my cousin sent me a packet of viola seeds and so I became curious about the viola.  The seeds have been planted and they are sprouting quite nicely.  Meanwhile I decided to visit my favorite flower market where I picked up a few viola plants.  The owner saw me coming and he just shook his head.  “You just can’t stop yourself, can you?”

I confirmed with him that the flowers are edible and I’ve done a bit of my own research. So, if the winter was a time of the nasturtium, in their pots and on my plate, perhaps the spring will be one featuring the viola decorating this and that to be determined.

But, FYI, the nasturtium continue to grow, including a young pot of Empress of India.  The cover of the seed packet suggests that all of the blooms will be dark red.  So far all I see is a lot of dark green leaves with no indication of buds let alone blooms.  So, I’m back to practicing that patience thing. 😉

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