Friday, July 27, 2012

My Mini Harvest

One of the things I promised myself I would do while living here in Germany is start a garden. I wasn't very detailed about what type of garden I would grow, and I was honestly a tad bit intimidated to sow some fields in this world of professional gardeners we live amongst in Bavaria. I was at a loss for where to start. Seems silly, doesn't it? So, I took my time watching others in our neighborhood prepare their beautiful gardens for summer.

What never occurred to me was that having a little garden on your porch can be just as much fun and equally as gratifying, especially for a novice like me. When I went home to visit my sister for her wedding, I saw this amazing porch garden she and her new hubby had created, and I was envious! But I was also incredibly inspired. For some reason this didn't seem all that tough anymore. When we got home from our trip to the U.S., I decided it was time to take the plunge and start planting.
I spent some time talking to my neighbor, Anette, about the garden she created on her porch upstairs. She filled me in on where some of the best places were in town to buy the plants. Oh yeah, right, you mean it's not necessary to grow tomatoes from a seed in the ground?! No wonder I was intimidated! So, I took a trip to the local OBI (think Home Depot or Lowe's), and bought a few pots, a tomato plant, a pepper plant, and a bunch of herbs. I picked out some healthy gardening soil, and piled it all into the car with a proud smile. (There's that dork factor again - ha!)
This is what I little porch garden, and I love it:
Anette promised me it was simple. She said you only have to water them. They do all the growing on their own, you hardly have to do a thing. Considering I'm raising a toddler and a small zoo, I'm thinking this might not be too terribly tough afterall. Something tells me I'll always remember to give them some water-love.
These little plants have been producing like crazy. Barely a month later, and I have had several ripe peppers and many beautiful red tomatoes. The herb garden blossomed and completely consumed its pot. Pure awesomeness.
This is what my sweet little porch garden looks like these days:
It really was easy, and the harvest from these plants is incredible. I use the herbs regularly for cooking and the tomatoes and peppers are so flavorful. Something tells me the warm Bavarian sun has a lot to do with the success of this garden. Our porch provides just the right amount of sun, and I was able to position my plants to shelter them from the brutal winds we receive during our summer storms.

I pulled another harvest from my plants today to create a salad for book club tonight. Just look at these veggies!
I made a summer quinoa salad using mostly veggies from my garden with a few other necessary ingredients (including the olive oil my sister and her hubby purchased for us at their villa in Tuscany). I can't wait to share this salad with the other ladies tonight. I took a taste and I'm still amazed at how fresh and flavorful the tomatoes are. I hope the book clubbers agree!
I'm glad this gardening experience has been so positive because I really enjoy making meals for my family with food we grew on our own. My guess is I'll probably stick to the porch garden for a little while longer, and maybe if we are stationed somewhere green with rich soils, I'll branch out and try my hand at creating the real deal.

Have you ever grown a garden? I would love to hear about it if you have or if you have any tips to share. I'm hoping this is the first season of many that we eat beautiful vegetables all summer from our very own garden.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I had a porch garden when I lived in a tiny apartment. Now I have a raised bed and am loving the harvest we get -- so far just beans, but more to come!