This is the start of the garden for this year – I finally decided to use the front wired off space, as no one seemed to be using it, and with the exception of a few smaller herbs from one of my neighbors, it is just me.

So far, except for the strawberries, which haven’t shown up at the market yet in the form I want to plant them, this is likely gonna be my final garden. I might add another oregano and peppermint, or marjoram, and maybe another cherry tomato plant, but for the most part, I’m happy with what I’ve got going.

The back wall is herbs, either in planters or in the cinder blocks. In order, l to r, there are: peppermint, African blue basil, Genovese basil, chocolate mint (in the orange pot) and Greek oregano. In between the Genovese basil and the chocolate mint, there’s what I’m pretty sure is a lavender plant, and overthrowing most of the garden, what I’m 99% sure is coriander. Can anyone confirm?

The front row are my veggies: l to r, there are cherry tomatoes, two bell peppers (red and orange), and a large tomato plant (husky reds).

All of these are two to three weeks in my care now, and doing spectacularly; the herbs are growing and flowering, and all the veggies are flowering (in the case of the cherry tomato, already putting out small fruits).

If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Random Household Trivia

  • Remember this recipe for Salmon Sashimi Donburi?  You can also use it to make onigiri!  Just get an onigiri mold (seriously, I was gifted two and they make it so much easier), follow the same recipe for the rice and sugar/vinegar/salt dressing, and choose your choice of fillings!
  • My first batch of homemade vanilla extract recently came out, and I can recommend that if you have the patience, it’s worth it, and can save you money on pure vanilla extract.  All you need are vanilla beans (split in half with a kitchen scissors, except for about an inch at one end), a small container with a lid, and either vodka or rum.  Put the split vanilla beans in the container, pour the vodka over it to fill the container, seal and shake, and store in a dark place for 2-3 months, shaking occasionally, until it’s a dark brown color.  And the awesome thing with this is that you can continually renew your extract with new vodka, so once you’ve got it started, you’ll always be able to keep it going.  It’s a high up front cost, but it pays for itself in time.
  • I’ve got a small garden starting on the fire escape – two genovese basil plants, peppermint and chocolate mint, a cherry tomato plant, and a bucket of strawberry plants.  Use all of these heavily in my recipes, so I’ll be happy to be able to use these in the future.  Also going to see if there’s any chance I can get some bell peppers and full size tomatoes going as well.  🙂