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?
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…)