I love the idea of growing your own food – it is so fresh and tasty, and makes you feel so much more connected with what you eat. My dad has a very green thumb – he grows a lot of vegetables and herbs in his greenhouse and various flower pots in the roof garden – and every year in summer, when I visit my parents during the semester breaks, I have the possibility to indulge. It is a pleasure.
~ I harvested a pot like that every second day ~
In this city, however, where I live most of the year, it is not so easy to grow plants. Although I am happy to live in a house that belongs to a bigger complex of buildings arranged around a lovely courtyard, I do not have any garden space, and since I do not own a car (and cannot drive anyway), getting 10 liter bags of flower soil and big pots really is an obstacle – so I was even more happy to find a few ownerless flower pots in the cellar, and my neighbors gave me the rest of their flower soil. Ready for planting I was! I just needed some plants, and those I bought at the whole foods store today, after getting home from my research assistant work.
These lovely little plants took a place in my heart immediately! What exactly did I plant?
~ tomatoes ~
~ one of them is a cherry tomato plant, but I cannot tell which ~
~ hokkaido squash (a relative of kabocha, but orange) ~
~ red bell pepper (capsicum) ~
I will be watering them every day and hope that they will grow! They will also get enough sunlight where I have placed them (below my kitchen window). So, one day, I may be able to make something like this with my own home-grown tomatoes …
Tomato and Shiitake Salad
3 tomatoes, quartered and cut into slices
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and cut into slices
1 handful Thai basil (or basil)
1 handful chives, chopped
1 tbsp oil (I used rice oil)
2 tsp soy sauce
salt to taste
shichimi spice to taste (substitute with chili pepper and sesame seed)
Dried shiitake mushrooms need about 1 hour of soaking or a few minutes of boiling in water to get soft. Mix tomatoes and mushroom slices, Thai basil, and chives in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk oil, soy sauce, salt, and shichimi spice. Pour the dressing over the salad and enjoy.
This was wonderfully quick to make and very refreshing. I threw in some leftover roasted chicken and had a yummy dinner! And temperatures already allowed for enjoying it outside.
Do you like gardening? What do you grow? Or, what would you like to grow?