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?


Priya said...

Nothing will beat home grown fresh greens, looks fabulous..

Vinaya said...

thanks Priya! you are so right..it sure felt fabulous :)

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Vinaya, I would say go for it and send it for my event :)

Sampada said...

Hey Vinaya,
Thanks a million for posting this gardening piece. You have definitely got me interested.
I have few questions:
1. Did you use teh regualr 'methidana' as seeds that we use in masala dabba
2. After harvesting one batch, do you throw away the soil and planted a new batch?

Amazing and delicious post, BTW..
Hats off to your enthusiasm


Vinaya said...

@priya, thanks! will send you my entry!

@sampada- glad you find it interesting..here's what I did:
1. I used the regular masala-dabba methi danas. If possible, try to use un-contaminated (i.e. not in a masala dabba) but rather newly opened packet or newly store-bought seeds.
2. I didnt discard the soil after one batch..infact leave the remaining roots in the same tray and simply plant the new seeds. I read somewhere that the roots add nutrients to the soil.
Let me know how it goes! all the best!

Sampada said...

Thanks, Vinaya..
I will definitely let you know how it goes...


Jay said...

Hy Vinaya,
first time here..amazing space you have..wonderful writeup with lively presentation...Best wishes..
Am your new follower n ow...
do drop in at my space sometime..
Tasty appetite

GB said...

Wow, those look wonderful. And organic, home-grown methi! You can't go wrong with that! Lovely blog!