Archive for the 'Garden' Category

Carrots – The Last Post

It would be wrong of me to only record my kitchen and garden triumphs. Here then, is my latest disaster…

Tiny Carrots

It turns out I didn’t thin my carrots enough. Despite being fed and watered regularly, they simply had no room to grow, and I’m now left with these little tiddlers. Probably not even enough to dip in some hummus. Such are the challenges facing a novice balcony gardener. Oh well, I’ll know next time.

A Bumper Crop of Basil

Basil - A Bumper Crop

I’m more often described as “ham-fisted” than “green-fingered“. Despite my obvious lack of talent in the garden, I’ve managed to grow a staggering amount of basil in pots on my window sill. A few weeks ago, I got a rush of blood to the head in B&Q and invested in a propagator tray and a packet of basil seeds. Moderation has never been my strong point, so I sowed all of the seeds at once and now I’m left with an obscene amount of  the said herb. I don’t know what variety of basil I’ve got; it’s certainly not the Genovese variety, but I’m hoping it will still taste as good.

I’m determined to use every last leaf, but there’s only so much pesto a man can eat. So what do I do with it all? Here is my short-list of culinary possibilities so far:

Rocket – Harvest Time

As soon as my rocket started thriving I wasted no time and set about it with a scissors. I’ve made two massive salads from it already. It looks a little ‘hacked’ but there’s plenty of new growth coming through, so hopefully, plenty of rocket salads to come. The leaves tasted great but not as peppery as I was expecting; maybe I was too impatient and should have let them grow a little more. I think it needed thinning anyway.

rocket_3

Basil & Rocket Progress

The basil on my windowsill is flying, and the rocket is going positively mental with all this heat and rain. Blimey, if I had a garden… I’d be dangerous.

Rocket

Basil

Rocket, Carrots & Beetroot

Carrots & Beetroot

I was determined to prove Jamie Oliver wrong. He maintains I have the ability to grow “pukka” herbs and vegetables in containers on my balcony. The fact remains, I’ve never grown anything successfully, certainly nothing edible. Mother Nature seems to be smiling on my tiny vegetable garden, however. Despite the late sowing, my carrots, beetroot, rocket and basil (not pictured) are shooting up. I only see now that I sowed the carrots and beetroot way too thickly in this small pot, and that I’ll have serious thinning to do, provided it all keeps growing. I must now get my hands on some plant food. It’s tough being a gardener.

I’ve got some serious plans for this stuff and I’m starting to see what all the fuss is about with this gardening lark. Ah, the possibilities…

Rocket