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Monday, May 12, 2008

One-pot herb garden


I'm not one of those green-thumb people.  I really am not.  I've killed many a potted plant, among them cacti and even aloe vera.  So, it's not without trepidation that I took this lovely one-pot herb garden home. 

I've been wanting to have potted herbs at home for a long time though.  Every Spring I mumble to myself, this year for sure, this year I'll grow my own herbs.  I've grown tried of buying expensive, emaciated-looking herbs in little plastic packets from the store, yet every time I buy them in big bunches at the farmers market so much go to waste because I just don't use enough at a time.

A few weeks ago I made my usual early Spring grumble in front of Cynthia at the garden.  Last week I went up there and there it was, a big "strawberry pot" filled with gorgeous, vibrant, vigorous-looking herbs, ready for me to take home.  Cynthia has made it especially for me.

Unlike my black thumbs, Cynthia's are not only green they sparkle with magic garden dust.  Everything she touches grows and grows and produces the most delectable of produce.  Her Love Apple Farm--the kitchen garden for Manresa--has turned me from a city-girl afraid of dirt under her fingernails to someone who barely brushes off dirt from a freshly-pulled carrot before devouring  it.


So, when she insisted even I could keep this one-pot garden, I chose to forget my old black-thumb days and believe her.  How hard can this be?  I live in (mostly) sunny California.  I feed my cat in the morning, then feed my Bob, I'll just add watering my herbs to the routine and I should be set.  Well, I hope.  It's only been a few days yet.  Check back with me.


I now have nearly all the herbs I need in my regular cooking: four kinds of basil (Thai basil, purple basil, regular basil and the mini greek basil), beautiful silver thyme, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, mint, and rosemary. 

If this pot survives and thrives, I might even get a second one, with room for one or two more herbs not in the first pot, like chervil and a couple different kinds of chive.  I'll probably add more basil as well.  I use so much basil I could easily have the whole pot filled with basil alone.  I wonder if lemongrass will grow in one of this?  I might just give it a try.  Eventually you should be able to tell a story of my cooking from just looking at my potted herbs.

Have you got an herb pot or two?  What do you have?  Any advice for a novice like me?

Also, if you want to try making your own herb pots, Alanna at A Veggie Venture has some very good advice, and so do the hip kids at Apartment Therapy's re-nest.


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