MORE THINGS TO GROW IN YOUR ORGANIC GARDEN

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BEAN SPROUTS
To follow on from my earlier post on the main vegetables I’d like to see growing in my garden all year round, let me continue with beans. Like most vegetables, beans have their families too. Part of the bean family is those mysterious, highly nutritious sprouts. They are actually quite tasty too. They have a delightfully nutty flavor in some cases. You can actually grow these in a little jar all alone on your kitchen window sill if you are primed for space, living in the city. Just place a few beans in the jar with water and make sure that the space is shaded. After a few days you will see fascinating results.

MUSHROOMS
This is another very easy vegetable to grow. It’s delicious in a salad toss too. Again, the growing process requires a little seeing to in the sense that you have to make sure that these spores are placed in a cool, dark spot, just like the above mentioned sprouts.

GARLIC
When you were with me in the kitchen last time around, I spent a bit of time waxing lyrical over the coarse-smelling garlic. I love it’s strong, gritty taste as well. So here we are again, I thought I’d add garlic to our extended organic garden mix. It takes care of itself, as I may have hinted when you were with me in the kitchen. Oh, and it’s a natural pesticide all by itself. Is this organic gardening, or what? Who needs chemicals and poisonous pesticides anyway?

PUMPKINS
I warned folks about those fascinatingly large, orange pumpkins too. But I couldn’t resist the temptation to add them into this post as well. Again, some care may be needed. But once you get the hang of watching over it, they are rather easy to grow. They need little water. And do rather well when its soil is mixed well with compost.

SWEET POTATOES
Because this is essentially an organic gardening blog, I thought it would be a nice touch to add sweet potato instead of your traditional old white potato. Being, growing and living organic are a healthy enterprise all year round. Sweet potatoes are by far, much, much healthier than the good old fashioned chips or crisps variety. And again, it’s quite easy to grow. It does not even need its soil to be fertilized.

MINT
This is essentially a herb. Herb, vegetable, makes no odds, all the same to me. A good sprig of mint goes nicely with your oven roasted Sunday roast of free range leg of lamb. It is also a plant that grows well without much input from the gardener, if any. But the climactic conditions have to be just right. If everything is perfect, you’ll have a delightful mint tree. This is a plant that can flourish.

RHUBARB
Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, as my ancient professor always used to say to me when he completely disagreed with a point I was endeavoring to make. I wonder how he would have felt about a touch of organic gardening in his dank old flat. But this is an extremely delicate situation folks. If you’re not ready to roll up your sleeves and get down to good old fashioned hard gardening work then rather leave the rhubarb for now. Just to play it safe. The rhubarb’s leaves are poisonous. It’s a hardy plant, mind you, and can be found doing well out in the wild, depending on its region’s climate.

FENNEL
Fennel can confuse the novice. It confused me, at first. It is described as being both a vegetable and a herb. But more importantly is its value as an organic plant. I first heard, then discovered for myself that this plant attracts garden-friendly lady birds. They are friends of the organic garden in the sense that they will feast on unwanted insect pests.

ROSEMARY
Rosemary I like too. Its fragrance also carries wide appeal among the ladies as a part of their scented perfume and bath salts or soaps. I like mine in the pot.

BASIL
Basil is a lovely plant for both indoors and outdoors. I am particularly fond of this herb and often clip sprigs for my pasta, salad and stew dishes. Speaking of which, my tomato-based pasta sauce, with finely chopped basil, was rather delicious the other evening. I tossed it well with Fusilli and warmed, chopped cheddar cheese instead of the traditional sprinkling of Parmesan.

PEPPERS
This is a pot plant of note. So urban city dwellers should take heart. Once cultivated, a nicely sliced or diced green, yellow or red pepper adds a piquant touch to the salad. It’s also great with stews and Eastern-style stir-fries. But its growing environment needs to be seen to. Plenty of sunlight as well too.

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