Sunday, May 01, 2011

SevenSoy Central's garden on May Day

I still have this illusion that I can raise some of my food in my own container garden. Although the idea that one can raise chickens and bees on one's deck has gained traction and press, my container garden has had only intermittent success since I started it in, oh, 2005-ish or so.

So, here's this year's cast of hapless characters (so far: new characters will be introduced throughout the season):

From previous years:

Spearmint (lanky and in need of a trim, but still going strong, as mint will do. Originally from Well-Sweep Herb Farm).
Orange/bergamot mint (see above, although I'm not sure where it originally came from; both mints came to me via cuttings from my mom).
Tropical sage (not a culinary herb, but one must keep the hope of attracting rare hummingbirds in the fall alive. Originally from seeds from a yard in Cape May County noted for attracting said rare hummingbirds).
Rosemary (also in need of a trim, but younger than the mints. Originally from Stults Farm, just last year).

Brand-new celebrity guests:

Mioga ginger.
Vietnamese mint.

(both shipped in as live plants from Nichols Garden Nursery last week)

Just planted, aka the curse of unlimited potential:

Kaiware/daikon sprouts (the first crop has already been harvested and the next is on the way).
Green shiso (sprouting).
Snow peas (sprouting).
Red shiso.
Mustard greens.
Napa cabbage.

(the seeds for all of these came from Nichols Garden Nursery and Kitazawa Seed Co. Some seeds were packed for this year and others were for last year, but I never got around to planting them. So far, last year's seeds are looking pretty feisty.)


Faith Bahadurian said...

The ginger and Vietnamese mint sound especially intriguing! Sometimes I hanker for my "real" gardening days, but not when the heat sets in. I've mostly stuck to herbs on my own balcony, but skipped them last summer, as I heard it was going to be really, really hot, and my balcony gets a direct hit. The lone tomato plant I fell for (from Whole Foods), never set a piece of fruit in that heat, and eventually gave up the ghost, poor thing. I hope you do well with all these interesting sounding plants!

recipe club said...

I have an herb garden, most of which is in containers. I've found it to be hit or miss on some items, like rosemary - but I've been very successful with other plants, such as mint and oregano.

There is no better feeling to go out on my terrace to pick fresh herbs and walk into the kitchen to use them in a home cooked meal.

Keep at it - don't give up! You'll be glad you did!
Virginia O.

Winslow said...

Faith - unfortunately, the Vietnamese mint fell victim to a nasty aphid infestation. On the other hand, I can report that any differences between the Vietnamese mint and regular spearmint are almost too subtle to note, so I'll feel better about using spearmint in Vietnamese recipes from now on. At least the ginger is still going strong. Gardening on a hot deck can be tough. I'm probably not going to try to grow tomatoes this year because of stink bugs.

Virginia - you are absolutely right about the joy of picking your own herbs right before you cook something. My rosemary plant has had its ups and downs, but it's great to pull off a spring and then use it on roast chicken or on a pizza.