Lots of Leafy Lettuce. I’m a Lucky Lady.

I just love seeing things grow, that’s why I haven’t picked any leaves off the lettuce I transplanted and brought in the house back in late October.

Here is one of the three trays I planted.† I gave one to my mother-in-law.

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Some of the leaves have gotten pretty big.

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This was a lettuce mix I got at Jewel Foods and there are a few different varieties.† There’s the one above, which seems to be the fastest grower and these…

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I’m also, as an experiment, trying to over-winter the herbs.

parsley…12-11-08 (4)

sage…12-11-08 (3)

rosemary…12-12-08_Rosemary

and thyme…thyme

Nah.† I didn’t really grow thyme, but it would have been musical.† Remember that Simon & Garfunkle song?

“Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme”

I did grow† parsley, sage, rosemary and chives, though, and that has a musical ring to it.

The sage and the parsley look a little droopy, and you can see I haven’t even properly potted two of them.† My goal is to keep the roots going even if the top growth suffers.† I want to see if they’ll perk up when they get back outside in the ground.†

I took cuttings from the rosemary and sage (they’re too sad looking for pictures right now).† If they root I’ll post pics later.

I even broke down and bought a package of that expensive pre-packaged organic mint from Jewel Foods because I learned of the joy of Mojitos.

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My Mojito didn’t look quite as pretty as the photo, but it tasted pretty good.

**caution – excessive consumption of Mojitos can lead to prolonged feelings of euphoria.

Just as another experiment, I’m trying to root some of the stems.

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In the summer I’ll just use some of the runners from my neighbor’s yard that find their way onto my side of the fence.† Free plants…always a good thing.

Happy Gardening!!!

The Cabbage that was Cooked Continuously

http://www.postiv.com/GreenCabbage.htmlThis post is about a cabbage.† Just your regular run of the mill cabbage.† Not too big, not too small.† Truly your average cabbage.

I haven’t eaten meat-meat since I saw that video on animal cruelty.† I’ll spare you the hyperlink.† If you’re interested, you can search the Chicken Poo post.†

Lately since I’ve been avoiding cooking or buying meat we’ve been eating† a lot of† vegetables and beans and rice with the occasional fish and chicken thrown in.† A strict vegetarian would consider fish and chicken to be meat, but old habits die hard.† And fish is supposed to be good for you with the Omega-3 fatty acid…unless, of course, it’s tainted with lead and chemical runoff.† Sometimes you can’t win for losing.

A few days ago I bought some wonton wrappers to make egg rolls, and they came out pretty good (I even snuck some tofu in and nobody noticed).† But since everybody in the house didn’t eat egg rolls, I made smothered cabbage with cornbread.

Yesterday I was in a cooking mood, so I mixed up some more filling for egg rolls and made the egg rolls.† And then since I was making egg rolls, I figured I may as well make something to go with them, so I made fried rice.† And then I figured since I was chopping cabbage and carrots for the egg rolls I’d make a little cole slaw.† And when I finished filling the wanton wrappers I had two left, so I figured I’d try apple turnovers…which came out great by the way.† It kind of reminded me of the children’s book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.

So, out of one cabbage, a package of wonton wrappers, one carrot, an onion, a piece of ginger, some left-over rice, some left-over peas, 1 1/2 apples, seasonings and condiments I cooked:

  • 16 Egg Rolls
  • The equivalent of a large order of vegetable fried rice
  • Smother cabbage for three
  • 2 apple turnovers
  • about a cup of coleslaw

If I had to estimate how much the ingredients cost I would say $5.00, less than the cost of an order or fried rice.†

You can find any basic recipe for egg rolls to make the filling and grab a $2.00 packet of wonton wrappers and save a ton of money when you compare ordering from a restaurant.† The secret to success is the ginger.† Fresh ginger.

Foliage of ginger plants.

The root of the ginger plant is what’s used in cooking.† You can get a large piece from the grocery store and grow it at home and harvest your own home-grown ginger.† If you’ve ever grown canna plants, the root systems are similar.† Here’s a picture of the foilage of a ginger plant that came from a† site with very good information on how to grow ginger.

Happy Gardening!!!

The Gardener’s Advantage

We gardeners have an advantage over the common run of the mill produce shopper.†

A little while back when I dug up my sweet potatoes I was in Pete’s Produce looking at theirs and I was thinking to myself, “Heck, mine look as good as these do.”† (Some of them anyway).

When I was looking at the seed catalogue and they were selling their garlic for as much as $5.00 plus shipping and handling for ONE whole garlic, I know that I can go to the grocery store and buy a clove for less than a quarter.

Cucumbers, if you’re lucky enough to catch a sale, might cost you $.50 each.† We know that a $.10 pack of seeds will give you enough cucumbers to eat fresh salads every day and make pickles to crunch on for the whole winter.

Well, today I stopped at the grocery store and while I was in there decided I would try to cook something with tofu.† That video on animal cruelty kind of got to me, so I’m willing to try something new.

Anyway, I noticed they had pre-packaged herbs they were selling.¬† Looking at that made me so glad I braved the cold and saved my plants.† Each package was selling for $2.69.

They had six five-inch pieces of Rosemary for $2.69.† That puts the value of my plant at about $30.00 or $40.00.

Then they had sage.† There were maybe (and I’m being generous) 20 leaves in the package.† That puts the value of the two plants I brought in at about $20.00, and they didn’t grow that well.

They had chives.† My one square of plants would fill at least 20 packages.

I didn’t grow dill (but I will next year).† An average size plant, the size my mother-in-law grew, would be enough to fill at least five packages.

Today I went out and transplanted my little lettuce to grow under lights in the house.

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Pretty soon I’ll have fancy baby lettuce leaves for next to nothing.

Happy Gardening!!!

Wickedly Windy in the Windy City

We have a low of 36 predicted for tonight and 30 for tomorrow.† Brrrrrrr.† I hate the cold, but I love my plants.† I braved crossing the frozen Tundra to save my babies!!!

Who wouldn’t leave the comfort of their toasty abode and be exposed to blowing winds (winds conveniently blowing your neighbors’ leaves into your yard for your compost pile) if they knew they could insure the safety of a plant like this for next year?

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These are the cannas I started in McDonalds cups earlier this year.† They didn’t grow as tall as last year, probably because I stunted their growth by keeping them in the cups too long, but the blooms were still good this year.

I dug up and repotted the rosemary plant too.† I didn’t check to see whether it was a perennial or not, but I like the way it smells and use it in cooking, so I decided to keep it inside.† It’s in the third pot from the right. †After I planted it in the ground it shot up pretty fast.

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The wind was blowing really hard.† Just as I snapped the picture a big gust came up, that’s why the plant is blurry.† No more juice in the batteries, so no chance to retake.†

Here are the cantaloupes I found growing on the fence earlier.† They didn’t get a chance to mature.† Now they’re compost cantaloupes.

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To all you folks continuing your fall gardens, my hat goes off to you.†

Happy† Gardening!!!!†

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