Note to Self:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Really Good Food From A Really Small Garden

If you've been to this blog before then you know that it is mostly about using a bike as a regular form of transportation, but it's also about food (that I grow and cook), and about living simply (which is the most difficult thing, I think). At-any-rate, I am a proponent of getting rid of your lawns...yup tear 'em out and plant gardens. It's way more fun, you don't have to cut the grass, and you get food to eat. I have a teeny garden and I grow enough vegetables for myself and my teenage son to last the summer, plus I ferment and freeze some for the off season. It's still pretty early in the season (no tomatoes yet!) but I have been eating out of the garden for a few days. Before I show you what I made I have to show you what I made it with (peppers and green beans above).

Crisp Romain lettuce.

Japanese eggplant

Cauliflower

Basil (amongst other herbs)

These are just a few of the things that are ripe right now. Yesterday I made a whole wheat pizza (and a loaf of bread) with eggplant, basil and cauliflower. For a recipe with pictures on how to make this see an earlier post by clicking here.We also ate it with a small Romain salad.

Tonight I was home alone and made myself a sauteed vegetable sandwich (on homemade bread, of course). For all of you carnivores out there don't knock this until you try it. I eat meat, but not a great deal, and a sandwich like this does not need meat (trust me). I sauteed a bunch of vegetables in olive oil with garlic, fennel, basil, and sea salt. After layering it on bread with lettuce, cheese, tomato (store-bought), and mayo I drizzled it with Sriracha sauce...my mouth is watering just looking at the photo.

Alright now I have to get back up on my little soapbox about urban gardening, and I'll get straight to the point: Just do it. It's easier than you may think and the rewards are tremendous. I have a very small area to grow and the amount it yields is incredible. And trust me, my garden(s) is/are not pristine without weeds and grown in neat little rows...it's basically a new experiment every year, and I learn a little from one year to the next.  Below is a current photo of the little patch of garden next to the walkway entering my house. It's all of 24 inches by 48 inches but it contains two green bean plants, 4 cucumber plants, a tomato plant, six broccoli plants, a couple pepper plants, and a dozens corn plants. Keep in mind that this is in my front yard; it's up against my hitching post where I lock up my bikes for short-term stays (click here if you want a better view of the post and if you want to remember what winter looks like)..

Each year I say I'll weed better, but I don't...it ends up being what I've come to lovingly refer to them as my savage gardens...you can barley see the Mundo through the foliage.

2 comments:

DanT said...

Another inspirational post. Do you mind telling me the rough dimensions of your garden?

Joe said...

Hi Dan, glad you enjoyed the post. It's not easy to tell the exact dimensions because they are a series of patches, really. The one pictured in the photo is the smallest. Adjacent to that, on the other side of the sidewalk, is the main garden in the front yard. That measures (I'm guessing) 3" by 9" but it's interspersed with bricks. I also have a small garden in the back (which does not get as much sun), but that is taken over mostly by grapes. Thanks for reading.