When it rains, it pours.
At least today was like that.
No rain past few days meant I might've had a chance to go and explore. Except for work of course, that notorious barrier.
I had to laugh when I checked on my plants and found no signs of epazote, restharrow or cleavers growing. Nope, instead there was some lamb's quarter (which I had planted) along with dill, chamomile and some mystery plant (no, not dandelion). And here I was wont to think that "weeds" were hardy! Ha! Now I'll have to add more seeds and see what happens. Really rather late to be planting anything, though, what with it being mid-June and all.
Speaking of which, received Agrimony seeds in the mail today. Definitely won't be planting any after reading package "difficult to germinate, expect few plants to grow, may take up to 3 months before any sign of life occurs." OK, so that was own my interpretation ;) But in 3 months, winter will almost be upon us and it'll be time to be harvesting apples and pumpkins! I'll save her for next year for sure :)
Got to finally enjoying a few of my own plants: huge mallow leaves (I must say, I am so proud to see all the plants growing so well in one big pot) and borage leaves. Borage leaves have little hairs on them which some find irritating and if you do, just throw them in soup and they'll soften and be just fine. They're in the cucumber family, so nice and cooling plants for summer weather. I added some to my soup last time around but today I enjoyed her raw. As for mallow, she's a slippery one, so really nice to soothe irritated intestinal membranes and to help rebuild the lining. I used her thus: on a flax cracker/bread, I placed one mallow leaf and topped it with mashed yam. Very simple, very yummy and just to my liking!
Wanted to get some chickweed. Some of her tiny white flowers are showing through, which means she'll soon be releasing her seeds. Best to harvest her now. She regrows and acts like a cut-and-come-again plant, but I find that the first harvest is the best. I think I've been able to get 3 harvests from one bowl/pot of chickweed, but the third time around she's rather scraggly and all stems.
Flowers! Chamomile is in flower and borage has some buds---so exciting indeed! Marigold has a few buds, too, as does flax. I saw one "blue" flax flower out, but the color is really more purple. Ooh, I hear salad time coming up...well, it might all just go into the cauldron, I mean, soup, if this rainy weather persists on. No complaints from me, really, because I've never been one to enjoy the hot and humid summers of 30+ degrees (86F).
Squirrels! Yes, squirrels! I can't believe they are still lurking around! Yes, well, I know they are about, but I thought they had well enough left my flower pots alone. Apparently not! I found a huge mess of earth on my balcony where baby chives used to be. And then I found another mess on my other balcony where strawberry seeds had been planted. I was none too happy, I can tell you. Reminded me how that chamomile and dill were growing where they shouldn't: because squirrels had come and I'd added more soil and planted more seeds, and a mix-up probably occurred. Harrumph. I was reading just the other day about how a couple had built an enclosure for their crops because of the squirrels. They had come and feasted on their corn before the family was able to! That's one of the things about growing your own fruits and veggies: gotta watch out for the critters (and bugs)! I don't have to worry about them critters eating my stinky plants, though --- doubt the taste of marigold and wormwood is soothing for their palate ;)
Aaaah, the sun is back! Hoping no rain for the next few days so that Thursday could be a foraging day. Well, best get to planting them cleavers if I wanna actually see them before the snow comes ;) Oh no, the rain is back! It's pouring!! :O
Oh, and here's a great tip if you've ever bought basil and yours didn't last: you need to repot them! Basil is a plant that likes a lot of room and when you buy basil from the store, there isn't just one plant but many. They are also root bound in that little plastic pot, so they need to get out, out, out!
I bought a bunch just the other day and I think were about 30 basil plants growing altogether! I only had so much room, but I was able to gently tear apart the plants and plant them in 3 separate planters. I allotted 6 spaces in each planter and planted 2 or 3 plants together in one spot, which worked out just fine. I was able to take off some of the big leaves and use them right away for my soup---so repotting them means you can still use some now AND still have some for later. Just make sure you have a few planters so that each basil plant has plenty of space!
If you plan to keep the basil in that tiny pot, then plan to use her within the next week or two. Keep the plastic bag on that came with the basil and make sure she gets enough water. If she starts to go and you don't have time to cook with her, you can always freeze her (she might turn brown because she tends to oxidize fast) or dry her (place her on a mesh sheet in the dehydrator and let her air dry, or you can also just place her on newspaper on the kitchen counter or table).
That's it for now! See you around, sunshine! :))
Curiosity Got The Cat: