"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Mentions

When I was 12 or 13 years old, I visited my aunt, Lynne, for the weekend. We had a great "girls weekend" as she taught me how to sew and cook. Unfortunately, the sewing didn't stick. But, her cooking lessons were very influential for me. She taught me how to cook my first leg of lamb! One of the most important things she taught me was the importance of growing your own herbs. They will always be fresh and are much less expensive than buying herbs from the grocery store every time you need them. It is so great to walk out back and pick the herbs I'll need for dinner. I started my first herb garden the summer that I had my cooking lessons with Lynne and have had one nearly every summer since. Herbs grow well in pots - so even if you live in an apartment or don't have a big yard, you can still make room for a few pots. You can even grow them successfully on the balcony if you live in an apartment.

To decide which herbs to grow, think about which foods you cook most often. I love French and Italian foods - so I always have rosemary, parsley, and basil. This summer I'm trying thyme and mint for the first time. I've also grown cilantro and chives before. There are so many options! And they are honestly very easy to grow. They need a lot of sun and a lot of water. Just be careful later in the summer, some herbs will start to burn if the sunlight is too direct. This is a picture of my herb garden on the back porch from last week. I have since taken out the rosemary (because it died!). Rosemary does not need as much water as the other herbs in this pot. So I bought more rosemary to plant separately. I'm replacing it with mint in the large pot and hoping that does better!

Last summer I also started growing tomatoes. Amazingly, they did really well on our balcony at the apartment. I grew "Little 100s" and a larger type of tomato plant. I would suggest growing smaller tomatoes - this summer I have 6 grape tomato plants. If you grow a larger tomato, you'll need a lot of plants to yield enough tomatoes to make it worth it. I think we got 4 tomatoes out of our big tomato plant last year. There are also a lot of hanging varieties that do well on porches and balconies. Our tomatoes grew most of the summer last year. We loved going out and picking fresh tomatoes for salads when we had guests. Yesterday I noticed that our plants now have little green tomatoes on them - I can't wait until they are ready! This is a picture of one of my pots this year.

On a separate note, Katie G., who has sent in some wonderful recipes that I've published on the blog, wrote this wonderful article for We Heart This. We Heart This is a fun on-line magazine and forum website that covers a plethora of interesting topics. Katie's article was published for Mother's Day.

1 comment:

  1. I want an herb garden so bad! I love that you posted those pictures... makes me want to get motivated on mine!


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