Friday, April 30, 2010

Green Thumb Envy

I am suffering from an acute case of garden envy.  I'm a city kid and I think the last time I actually grew anything was the 4H lettuce growing program in third grade.  By the way, I lost.  I have a sneaking suspicion the actual winner smuggled in Miracle Grow, but I have no proof of this and therefore could not press charges.

Anyway, I've started to get more interested in the locally grown produce movement (thanks in part to persistent guilt trips courtesy of my cousin Missy, who doesn't appreciate my great love of tomatoes from Central America).  A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a box from Irv and Shelly's Fresh Picks, which provides a hodgepodge of local in-season produce for $18.  It actually ended up being a good deal- tons of organic vegetables in the box and a lot cheaper than what I'd pay for it at my supermarket.  Unfortunately, because I've been a ridiculous social butterfly lately, most of it went to waste.  I just placed an order for a second box and I'm determined to cook all of it this time, even if I have absolutely no idea what ramps, sorrel or nettles are.  Thankfully they provide recipes.

I have the urge to grow something this spring.  I checked out my friend's garden yesterday and it made me jealous.  For one thing, I had no idea strawberries start out as flowers or that broccoli grows in the ground.  Make fun all you want, but after my dad had his toe accident, he paved our backyard with bricks as far as the eye could see.  Maybe that was an overreaction, but it saved him from further amputations so we're all lucky in that respect.  

But anyway, this city lady wants to garden suddenly.  The problem?  My balcony is approximately four feet by six feet.

(The ottoman isn't usually out there, but I'm sitting on the balcony right this second and comfort is of utmost importance to me.  My poor dog is wedged into a sixteen cubic inch area, but I'm spread out and feeling fine.  Oh, also I garbage picked that chair last year!  Nice find, huh?)

Anyway, it's teeny tiny.  Other complications are that it doesn't get a lot of sun and that I am lazy and don't like to weed or do any sort of outdoor activity really.  Oh, and my attention span is really sma... wow, a woman across the street just yelled out her window at a lady walking her dog to not let her dog poop in her pansies... wait, where was I?  Sorry, it's nice out today and my brain and my typing are alllll over the place.

If you're doing gardening in an extremely tiny space, I'd love to hear about it.  If not, I guess I can just stop cleaning my shower and grow some mold or algae in there, but I'm not sure how that would taste in a salad.


  1. Hey T-boz,
    Check this out:

  2. You need to take advantage of those railings. You could have at least a couple of containers (boxes, obv) on there. Herbs, for starters. Not sure if you have room for this, but we got about a bazillion tomatoes from it when we were deck gardening:

    Finally, if all else fails, get an AeroGarden. Not quite the same, since you're indoor gardening then, but they work.

  3. Matt is a hug fan of this guy
    His book is super easy to read and helps you maximize space, we're planning to grow lots of veg this summer.

  4. Ramps are AWESOME. Make pesto out of your ramps and thank me later for it ;) I make pounds of ramp pesto every spring - just toss the bulbs and leaves into a food processor with olive oil, pine nuts, and a bit of parmesan. It's very pungent and good.

    Another idea - sautee them with a bit of pepper and serve them with bacon and pasta. Gooooooood.

    Use the crimini mushrooms, sorrel, and your cheese of choice to make an omelette.

    I have no idea what to do with nettles other than tea, sadly.

  5. my sister is too shy to say that she DID in fact discover strawberries are first flowers and that broccoli grows in the ground (as well as pineapples) from FARMTOWN on facebook. HEAR THAT WORLD?? TARYN WAS OBSESSED WITH FARMTOWN AND GOT GARDEN INFO FROM FARMTOWN!!!!!!!!!!