Helen's 2004 Container Garden

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June 17, 2004

The basil flourishes. I need to center in my home and immerse myself in the culinary arts ... even if I simply engage in picking the leaves and making pesto. I have recently had a great sandwich made with chicken and pesto at Panera's Restaurant. I should be able to come up with a similar recipe on my own.

Puttering in my garden and taking time to cook truly is a great pleasure. I put a little garlic and water in the bottom of a sauce pan and let them simmer. Then I added the peas ... letting them simmer just until tender but not until soggy. What a pleasure to eat them. And healthy, too.

It is interesting to fathom that I needed three pots, lots of potting soil, and several weeks of garden-growing weather to produce only about five cups of sugar peas. So obviously, when I prepared the peas and ate them,I took my time. It was no fast food endeavor.

My two pumpkins plants are growing over the outside of the garbage. I need to develop a strategy so the vines don't advance over the entire deck, yet, I do want pie pumpkins this fall. Maybe I am a little naive and expecting too much.

I once heard a man speak about the value of buying locally-grown, vine-ripened food. He said that tomato plants have their own intrinsic strategies. At first, the fruit is the same color as the leaves and is camouflaged. However, later, when the plant knows that the seed is ready for distribution to ensure the next generation of tomato life, the tomato becomes red and attracts birds who digest the fruit and disseminate the seed.

The speaker said that human beings should obtain tomatoes that have reached that red stage and consume them within a short amount of time after the ripe fruit has been picked. However, for the most part, the tomatoes in grocery stores are shipped from a distance and never were truly ripe before they were whisked from the vine. His point was that such locally-grown, vine ripe food was much more healthy than the early-picked, artificially-treated produce that takes several days to travel across the country and sit in warehouses before reaching our tables.

The zinnia plants I started from seed are ready to travel to Main Street where a volunteer will plant them beside the building that houses Mike's Custom Cabinets. It's part of trying to have a zillion zinnias  and dress up the town of Gilbert for its 125th anniversary celebration on July 30-31.

I also planted some zinnia seed in the pots with my herbs, such as this container of rosemary and dill. I began to worry that I had planted too much in each pot, so I transplanted some zinnias to a bed that some of us neighbors began  across the street from our apartment building.

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