Ok, so technically this isn’t a cooking post but I figure I can stretch it somewhat since it does have quite a bit to do with cooking. This spring, I decided to experiment a little and plant my own lil’ herb garden. I’ve been wanting to do this for years and I even considered installing one of those hanging flower beds outside my apartment window just so I could plant a few herbs here and there.
Why I waited this long, I don’t know. I’ll blame it on procrastination. One afternoon I found myself having a bit of free time (free time, what’s that?!) and the weather was absolutely gorgeous outside so I wandered over to the nearest hardware shop and got down to business.
I decided on basil, cilantro, hot peppers, and rosemary. Why these four? Probably because I love spicy food, I love cilantro on just about anything, and it frustrates me to no end when the local grocery store doesn’t have basil or rosemary in stock (which is 80% of the time).
Given the fact that I don’t have a yard (front of back) and windows are somewhat limited in my wee apartment, growing tomatoes, eggplants, okra, and the sort are completely out of the question. I do however, have 2 window sills which are about 3 feet long and 6 inches wide. I decided this was plenty of room for these teensy pots to house and grow my greens.
I had no idea cilantro seeds looked like this! I also found out from the gardener at the shop that the seeds themselves were used in cooking. “Oh yea?” I asked. “Yes”, he said. “You might otherwise know them as corriander!” “Ohhhhh!” I exclaimed. Cooking is an ongoing learning process.
Hopefully when they are full grown, I’ll be using them often enough that I won’t need to transplant them into a bigger pot. Oh gosh, I’m already dreaming of roast chicken and using a fresh sprig of rosemary from this very pot. I’m getting ahead of myself here! In all honesty though, I can’t wait until they’re ready to make their grand entrance into the kitchen.
Hello there, basil! You’re the first to sprout! Look at these cute little buds pushing up from underneath! I haven’t been this excited since the 6th grade when the class planted bean seeds in a similar manner. I almost cried.
Get ready for more plant shots, haha. I totally understand if you don’t want to look any further. No one could be more fascinated with plants more than I am.
Cilantro was next. Visions of salsa dancing in my head.
In less than a week, Basil grew faster than its neighboring pots. Not so camera shy.
Pepper made its debut at the end of week one. It looks a bit similar to cilantro here. Rosemary is nowhere to be found. She’s a late bloomer.
Currently, the peppers are lookin’ great! I really don’t have a green thumb. These guys grow like magic.
Basil. They look a bit shamrock-esque doncha think?
Cilantro. Can I use them now?
Rosemary’s a bit shy. Hopefully we’ll see more of this one in a few days. I know they’re there somewhere!
I know it’s going to be light years from now until I have that dream gourmet kitchen of my own – one that overlooks my own sprawling veggie garden (HA!). But for now, I’m quite satisfied with this mini version I’ve created. There’s something special about growing your own vegetables, harvesting them, and then using them in your own recipes. It definitely calls to mind a few childhood memories of harvesting buckets of tomatoes, eggplant and squash from the backyard.
I’m so excited about my little seedlings! Let’s hope I stay patient enough to wait until they are full grown before taking a pair of scissors to their stems!