Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Mighty Garden ... In A Box

Since we've moved to the 'new' place a year ago I've been itching to start up a vegetable garden. We had one in our old place. It was great having herbs and fresh vegetables all the time. A garden also provided great education for the kids on where their food comes from, how its grown, and the importance of fresh organic-chemical free foods. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to start the full garden this year - maybe next, BUT I did manage to get my ultra-cool husband to make me a planter box:


Bonus: It's on wheels! I move it around our little patio in the front the house. It's also used as a blockade to keep the kids from running into the driveway :).

It's pretty incredible what you could fit into a space that's about 1' x 6'.

Let's see starting from the left side of the box and making my way right:

Basil, cilantro and parsley:
Basil is plenty for our family who only uses it for the occasional pasta dish, though we did manage to save enough for a huge pesto salad not that long ago - and as you could there's still plenty left on the plant - it grows pretty quickly. Cilantro is awesome to have around. We use it for fish, salsas, marinades, stir fry, etc etc. The cilantro looks a little sparse in the picture on the upper left hand side because I just picked a bunch right beforehand for fish :). The parsley is a little disappointing. It's barely grown since it's been put in. Though it does look nice I guess :P. Next year I'll aim to grow way more cilantro and basil...parsley is on the 'maybe' list.

Onions (brown shells) and Red Chard:
This is my first time growing onions - they are super fast growing for sure. It's so fast and easy that I actually planted a bunch of them throughout the planter space - wherever these a little bit of space. I'm sure if the onions get big enough it'll be an but for now, it's nice to look at :). BTW - I'm also cutting the onion leaves off to use as green onions - for stuff like stir fry, salsa, salads. I've been my geru-garden mom do it, so I think it should be OK. The red chard is beautiful to look at. I love the red stems and the bright green leaves. I like using a little bit of chard in a salad - did I mention they were beautiful to look at?

A Closer Look at the Red Chard:
Yep definitely growing these again - if nothing else they are gorgeous to look at.

Romaine Lettuce:
These are great in salads. It grew like weeds in our old place, but for some reason this batch didn't quite turn out as I hope... But I think I have enough for a salad now :). Think I'll try these again since I had such good luck with them the last time.

Last but not least ... more ONIONS!
Due to the sparse turnout of the romaine lettuce, I had more room...and more room means for brown onions! Haha I got WAY to many of these little brown onion starters. To my defense #1 I got the smallest bad they had, #2 they were on sale for only $2. So yeah that's my story :). But they do double as green onion so they serve more than one purpose. Actually the kids love pulling me them...Does that count as 3 purposes?

That's it for the mighty planter box. Hopefully the garden will expand in the (near) future and there will be more to show, but for now I am enjoying the low maintenance of a single boxed planter.

BTW - I also have a few tomato plants straight on the ground that's not pictured. They really do grow like weeds out here. I have 3 plants - early variety of medium sized reds, yellow pear and red cherry. All are thriving and producing way more tomatoes than we could eat - good thing we could give it out to our family and friends :).

Yes the garden will continue expanding :)...even if it kills me....

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