I know, I know, what does gardening have to do with cooking and baking? Well Michael and I last year attempted to start a vegetable patch and herb garden. We’re not so great at “pretty” plants, but something we’re going to be able to eat, we can manage that!
It’s been a year now and it’s had ups and downs, some things have grown really well, others not so much. We had a bumper crop of jalapenos and bell peppers last year but sadly they didn’t survive the winter, we have some habaneros, tabascos and baby bells to try this year.
Our herbs are our best crop, by some miracle the parsley and mint survived the winter and as soon as spring hit they grew like nobody’s business. We had our first herb harvest last weekend, with the parsley, mint and and rosemary plant we bought that seems to have taken well. We take enough to dry, leaving plenty so we don’t kill the plant, and it allows us to take some fresh herbs as we need them too. We pick them off the stems and dry them in a dehydrator then pack them away in vacuum sealed mason jars.
We have some tomato seedlings started this year, a combination of species so hopefully we’ll end up with some good ones. I’m hoping the Roma’s take off, they’d be perfect in cooking, I’m not much of a tomato-in-salad eater, I love cooking with them though.
The strangest thing in our garden right now, I guess you could say is the broccoli! We planted it last autumn, so it’s supposed to grow over our mild winters and then harvest in the early spring.. It did not a lot over the winter, which was admittedly a bit colder than usual, and has suddenly started growing properly now the warmer weather has hit. I guess that’s a lesson there, don’t bother with them in the autumn. It’s so strange to look down the centre of the plant and see this tiny floret of broccoli growing! It’s getting bigger and gradually turning into a head of broccoli. Only one per plant right now, is that all it’s going to be? It doesn’t seem very efficient.
We decided to have a try at growing berries this year. We bought some ready started (yes, I know, we’re cheats) and planted them outside. The blueberry seems to have been eaten by our friendly neighbourhood possum, and he broke the blackberry stem. The raspberries are coming along nicely. Not very big right now but it’s thorns have started to develop and it has a few buds growing.
We’ve been trying, whenever we eat one, to grown an avocado plant.. we know we’re not going to get fruit off of it, but it’s entertaining. After several failures and weeks and months of nothing happening, we finally had one that grew! He’s been planted in a little pot for now, and has made his way outside.
I in no way profess to be an expert at gardening. We mostly feel our way along blindly, learning by our mistakes, but having fun watching it grow