Behold the fruit (or vegetable) of my not so terribly intense labor. These little guys really weren’t ready to be picked but I was making potato salad and my potato salad needs green onions. These are the first green onions I’ve picked from our herb and vegetable gardens. It’s so nice to just walk out the kitchen door and grab just the amount of herbs I need for whatever dish I’m preparing.
After pining for an herb garden and/or vegetable garden for the last several years, I’ve finally got a little one going. Space at the new house and weekends off have finally given me the opportunity. I started the herbs on our deck very very shortly after the last frost but we kind of procrastinated about the vegetable garden. I honestly didn’t think we’d do it this year. But we did and I actually kind of squeal with delight every time I look at the garden and the quickly growing plants in it. Which means I squeal every day as I can’t resist looking at the plants.
In addition to the obvious benefits of very-locally grown food, I keep thinking of the money we’ll save by gardening. A large portion of our weekly grocery spending goes to fresh fruit and veggies…cutting just a portion of that will save a lot of money. Getting the garden set up was cheap. We spent $11 on dirt from a local source and about $30 on seeds and other garden necessities. Think of how few vegetables $41 buys at the grocery store. A bunch of basil alone will set you back several dollars. We’ll recoup our expenses in no time…if the bunnies don’t get to the veggies first.
Because I planted the herbs earlier, we’ve been enjoying cilantro for quite a while. It was a great accompaniment to the carnitas I wrote about last week. I used it in the fresh pico de gallo I made for those.
And then there’s the basil. I made a pretty tasty Israeli cous cous salad last week with lots of torn fresh basil in it.
The basil looks like it’s going to be tremendously prolific. I’ve already shared a little of the basil as there’s plenty of it and there’s more on the way for later in the summer. A lot of that will probably get made into pesto that I’ll keep in the freezer to use later in the year.
I’ve also got some rosemary, parsley and chives planted in the deck based herb garden…but those don’t make me quite as happy as the cilantro, basil and green onions do. The rosemary is still really small…but I expect to get all excited about that once it grows a little.
We planted our “better late than never” vegetable garden at the end of May figuring that the part of Virginia we live in has a pretty long growing season. The boyfriend wisely put up chicken wire to try to keep the woodland critters out of our veggie plot. Our house is really close to a small woods and we have an insane number of rabbits roaming the neighborhood. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the chicken wire will keep the bunnies out of the garden as I don’t want to have to share with them!
In our small garden, we’ve planted 2 kinds of green beans, lima beans, cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, butternut squash, broccoli, basil and green onions. We’re not really expecting the broccoli to do well and if it doesn’t, we’ll plant more later. We’re also going to plant some spaghetti squash a little later in the season as I’d love to have a supply of that for the winter.
If this year’s garden does well, we’ll probably expand it a little bit next year. We’re starting small…but we’ve got big hopes.