Friday, May 2, 2008

Herb Garden

Yesterday as I planned I went to the store to buy some herb and plants for my garden. this is what I bought.

But this morning when I went to plant them, the sky looked like this.

I was veryvery sad.

So I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you all of a book that changed my life. Really it was life changing. Okay maybe it only changed the way I garden, but it changed it in such a way that the role of gardening changed in my life forever. (too over the top?)

See all my life I have enjoyed gardening, sorta kinda. I enjoy picking out the seeds. I enjoy planning where to plant everything. I enjoy watching the first seeds sprout. I enjoy biting into a fresh tomato right from the garden.

Pretty much everything else sucked. I hated digging up the soil. The soil in this part of the country is a loamy silty clay capable only of growing spectacular weeds. Every year I would dig up the garden, add bag after bag of mulch, peat, top soil etc. By mid July, I would have a spectacular crop of weeds, and by then it was too dog-gone hot to really care. Next year I'd start over, and amazingly the ground had "absorbed" the peat and topsoil and turned back into clay, hard packed clay ugh!

Then I found this book in the bargain section of Borders (cue angels singing).

The 20-Minute Vegetable Gardener - Gourmet Gardening for the Rest of Us.

Twenty minutes a day, exactly the amount of time I wanted to spend!!

The biggest trick is starting with raised beds. This necessitates a larger outlay of time and materials the first year, BUT it will pay off year after year. Digging up the garden at the beginning of the season takes minutes. Because you can control the water and nutrients, you can plant the crop more dense, that means more good plants means less room for weeds. Fewer weeds means less weeding, yippee!

And that my friends, is the beginning of my gardening adventure. Now each year I experiment with different types of lettuce, tomatoes and herbs. Sometimes I add a row of carrots just to watch the look on the kids faces as they pull them from the ground. For kids who may have only seen carrots in the store finding them underground is as good as a magic trick.

And maybe tomorrow, I will continue with actual planting... (rain is good but enough already)


Kathryn said...

Alrighty then, now you have changed MY life. I saw your pictures of your garden you had posted earlier and I told my husband, you know, maybe we should have those raised border gardens since we go through just what you are saying! Brilliant.

Where do you get that book, is it old?

I will post my fab recipe for Italian Bread when I dig it up, so to speak.

Kathryn said...

Hot Herb Bread

1 loaf Italian Bread
1/2 cup softened butter
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/4 tsp oregano, crumbled
1/4 tsp dried dill weed
1 clove garlic, minced
Extra parsley and parmesan cheese for topping

Cut bread diagonally into 1 inch slices. Blend herbs into the butter. Put bread slices together again with the herb butter in between each slice. Shape foil around the bread boat-fashion leaving the top open. Springle parmesan cheese and parsley liberty over the top. Heat at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

There is something about the dill in this that just makes this bread. People always ask me for my recipe.

Kathryn said...

I meant to say "liberally" over the top - son's name Liberty, oh well. sorry. i'll get off your blog now.

Bina said...

Oh my. So did the weather get really bad? It's just starting here, but looks like most of the bad stuff is going NW of us!

I love gardening. I haven't planted veggies in SO long though! Maybe I'll plan on doing that next year.

Robin said...

Guess what I found at Amazon? this book

It's a bargain too.

OHmommy said...

In our last house, three years ago, my husband built the most beautiful garden and the kids loved and appreciated it so much they still talk about it today.

I think I will do it again this year. Kids really do love it. I want them to remember. :)

Jules said...

So what are the plants with the purple flowers?
And although the weather wasn't right for planting, you sure got a beautiful sky shot!

Damama T said...

I love fresh veggies but I hate having to do all the stuff to get them! And I SO admire anybody that has the willpower to tough out the hot, hard part to get to the great stuff at the end. Good luck getting it all in the ground. Can't wait for pics of the fruits (and veggies) of your labor!

Robin said...

Kathryn - Liberty can come with the bread at my house anytime.

Bina - We had some weird weather, I hope the power is back on in your area.

Ohmommy - Cherry tomatoes and carrots are really inspiring to kids.

Jules - The purple flower was an impulse buy. The name on the tag says Dianthus, and it is supposed to be a perennial that likes the sun. We shall see. I am glad you liked the picture, I have been inspired by your pictures and have been trying some different editing. How wonderful that you noticed.

Damama - Thanks for visiting, come around this summer and I will have some sliced tomatoes for you.

Maggie May said...

As soon as you mentioned the clay I thought of raised beds. Veg will all do well!
Pity you couldn't get out to start planting. The sky looked black just like ours. Don't know what has happened to the summer. hope we are going to get one.