Growing your own damn food

I live in an apartment. It’s pretty small and there’s no yard, or porch, or balcony, or any sort of outdoor space I have access to. I do have windows, though, and this spring I was determined to grow stuff.  I went into this not really knowing anything, and I’m not really the type to do a lot of research, I’m more the type to just go into something blindly and be shocked when it doesn’t go well.  So I bought some herbs from the Eastbank Farmers Market, and I bought some lettuce seeds, and some window boxes and some potting soil, and I went to work.  I planted mint, basil, stevia, dill, cilantro, parsley and chives. Ok, I planted oregano and thyme too, but let’s not talk about that, as they are no more.  Anyway! It’s been an adventure. At first they weren’t doing that well so I did what I always do when facing a crisis– hyperventilated and called my mom. She said I should get fertilizer. Finding vegetarian fertilizer is hard, but it exists (for $12 for a tiny box).  So my herbs were doing ok, and growing way fast, and then I had the next crisis– what the fuck do I do with all these herbs?

I have been between roommates for the past few weeks and one of the effects of that is I haven’t had plates, so I don’t have any pictures of my culinary creations in tupperware and mixing bowls.  I rediscovered my love of quinoa salads this summer, though, and they work well with every herb I am growing, except for stevia, maybe, because that would be kind of weird. The New York Times did a thing about cooking with herbs for their Recipes for Health series, which has a whole bunch of vegan recipes, so I have definitely been using it for inspiration.  I have been eating an awful lot of that tabbouleh. I want to make the lentil soup with cilantro but it has been so hot for soup.

So, I have been using herbs in salads, and marinades, and stir fries, and teas (parsley tea induces your period, did you know?) and infused vinegar and everything I can possibly think of. If you aren’t growing herbs this year, you should try it next year! Everything I eat is just that much more delicious.

I am also growing a pepper plant, because I went to the Urban Farm store and they told me I could grow peppers in a window box. It’s doing well! There is one pepper that is huge. I named her Mabel. Isn’t she cute?

She is actually even bigger now.

She is actually even bigger now.

And of course, salads are way better when you grow the lettuce yourself. And then throw piles of herbs on top.

(Can I admit something? I bought some salad dressing. My mom would be so mad, but how good is the Annie’s Goddess stuff? I know, Mom, I can make my own salad dressing…Mom, you never understand me! Like that time you wouldn’t let me go to that party…um…anyway…)

2 responses to “Growing your own damn food

  1. parsley tea induces your period? i wish i had known that last week…

    i have oregano and thyme at my house in an abundance if you have any need!

  2. totebagteaching

    Wow, I would never have even thought to question whether fertilizer was vegetarian!

    The only herb I’ve raised in my Seattle apartment is basil, but someday maybe that will change…

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