27 July 2010

Container gardening- Fresh fenugreek!

I have been meaning to do gardening for a while now. I mean, if I get a chance to pick and choose fresh food right from the garden at anytime of the day, why wouldnt I want that? Couple of issues though- first, we live in an apartment, so all I have is a little balcony. And second, I have never ever dabbled in gardening, so who knows whether I have a green thumb or not??

Anywho, one of the first things I started of with was growing fresh fenugreek leaves. Fenugreek (or 'methi' as we call it in India) is a regular feature in my pantry. Immensely versatile, this little leafy vegetable is not only one of the easiest things to grow on earth (or in containers, as in my case) but quite likely also the cheapest. I started with:
- some store-bought seeds,
- a used but clean aluminium foil container
- a big packet of commercial potting mix (I used the MiracleGro mix for two reasons- it looked reliable to my novice-garderner-eyes and more importantly, it wasnt too expensive- just 5 bucks for a big packet)
-and lots and lots of enthusiasm!

I started the planting by following instructions in this video here:

A couple of weeks later, here's what my tray looked like! Yaayyyy!!

And here's the harvested methi!!

I used it to make some fresh methi theplas :)

For those of you who have any inclination for gardening but havent yet dared to take the leap, here's my bit-
the best part about growing my own food was the satisfication in seeing life grow right in front of my eyes (I now know how parents feel about their kids). And then of course, there are the added advantages- you know what went in your food, you can have fresh fenugreek right when you want it (no need to run to the store) and yes, it saved me $1.99 that I spend on each bunch of the store-bought greens. Also remember, veggies and herbs like fenugreek which are easily available in some parts of the world, may not be available in others. I know of a friend in US who needs to travel 1 hour to get to a lonely Indian store- am guessing that easy home gardening like this would work just perfect for people like that.

For those of you who are already into home gardening, you know what I mean!

Whats not to like?

14 July 2010

Back from the blogging coma!

Cant believe its more than 2 months since I wrote my last post...if there is ever such a thing as 'time flying', I guess this is it! I have been away from my blog-o-baby for way too long..not that I wanted to neglect it; nor that I didn't have enough material to write about or ideas to share (in fact, have way too much to write and share) but I just haven't had a chance to put pen to paper..or more appropriately in this electronic age, put finger on the keypad :D:D

A lot has happened since my last post:
- I have now officially entered the 'know-what-you-eat-and-grow-atleast-a-little-of-your-own-food' club. Its summer time here in Vancity and just the perfect time to do some container gardening in my tiny apartment balcony.
-Finished reading a couple of books- including the super-enthralling 'A Glass Castle' by Jeanette Walls. What a book- review coming up soon!
-Had a couple of lovely summer trips to Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada and Portland, OR, USA.
-And finally, hit (but didnt really celebrate) the one-year anniversary of my blog! Yup, its been a year since I began my crazy ride and though my posts have been sporadic and bumpy, the experience has been nothing-but-awesome!

Will be back on the weekend with my first real post since a long time; expect a post on each of these topics in the next few days.