L is for Living Garden

Fresh herbs have been a struggle for me.  Even with the plastic baggie/paper towel method they would go bad too fast.  I’ve bought too many clamshells of trader joe’s basil only to have them go fuzzy within a day.  So I learned to eat them fast or turn them into pesto and chimichurri.  But it’s summer time and I want leaves of basil in my antipasti and mint for my cocktails.

chimichurri: cilantro, olive oil, garlic, parsley

chimichurri: cilantro, olive oil, garlic, parsley, red pepper

Back in California there were many failed gardening attempts.  Things just don’t want to grow in the desert and indoor plants do not do well with my fur babies.   Seriously, I caught my cat Elphie eating my cactus garden, so nothing is safe.  Now that I am in Indiana with a big backyard it was time to evoke my green thumb.

Let me first tell you about Redneck Target Rural King.  It’s my Midwest version of PETCO, Orchard Supply, and Target combined.  I can buy 6 weeks of high quality pet food, k-cups, and engine oil for $100 while my husband, who grew up at the beach, is exposed to such culture shifts as camo couches, antler chandeliers, and day-glow overalls.  They are a seasonal store, so in the winter I stocked up on long underwear and wool socks.  This last Mother’s Day was their garden sale and I took advantage.  In addition to my herbs, I got foxgloves, lavender, perennials, tomatoes, kale, and citronella.  We found a half wine barrel at Menards for $35 (reg. $120) and I got to planting.

herb garden : hedged paths

lemon balm, mint, thai basil, thyme, with a kale border

The mint is growing slower than I anticipated but the basil, thyme, and lemon balm are thriving.  Being able to step out on the porch right off my kitchen and snip what I need brings such joy.  Having living herbs reduces my waste and makes me feel more connected to my cooking.  I tend to these little guys and they give me delicious bits.  It really made me want to get chickens, but sadly I am not zoned for farm animals here.  So I’ll have to make due with my plant friends.

(post number 35 on the pagan blog project week 23)

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