Fresh to Death

Today I redefined my own meaning of ‘fresh food’ by purchasing a potted plant of basil.

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I love the idea of having a huge vegetable garden, a herb garden, some fruit trees, and even a chicken coop. I’m pretty certain I’m a borderline paranoid schizophrenic because I look at everything and think “…I wonder what has been done to this before you got here…” Oh yeah, I’ll believe in conspiracy theories that I think of myself, but if you tell me one? I won’t believe you. You alien government spy impostor! So it’s been nice to cut out the middle man on this herb. And it smells divine.

I’ve wanted to buy a little basil plant for weeks now, because it’s one of my favourite flavours and combines perfectly with the tomato taste I love. It cost me a measly $3.98 and means that I never have to buy basil again. I never have to purchase the wilted, soggy or dried up bundles of basil from the supermarket. I have a healthy, home grown supply that I can pick at whenever I want. I actually feel a little bit freer and it’s just a herb. But it’s a herb those supermarket bastards will never hold over me again!

Research on how to make my basil plant thrive completed, I have my list on how to make this guy live for as long as possible, and am setting my sights on some new foods I frequently eat:
– Tomatoes
– Strawberries
– Capsicums
– More herbs

Our neighbour grows zucchinis, and because of their size, he turfs the extras over our fence for us to eat.

They err... they're alright sized.
They err… they’re alright sized.

I love the idea of being self-reliant for food. It saves money for one thing, but gets you outdoors working, and you’re assured of where and how the food came from, and how old it is. Of course, you need the time, expertise and space! I’ll have to learn about each food I get, and make sure I don’t plant more than I can grow. Biting off more than you can chew… and all that 😉

How many of you grow your own food? Any tips?

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25 thoughts on “Fresh to Death

  1. Have you tried cutting a leaf and stem off your basil and placing it in a small container of water? After a few days it starts to shoot and you can then plant it. Works with mint too.

  2. Ah, wait for zen feeling that awaits you once you start digging around in mud and talking to those crops… No, seriously, it’s a good thing to do. I have… tiny tomatoes and those pretty herbs I totally forgot the name. Be extra careful with strawberries – my mom tried getting them to grow… Well, not much came out of it and my mom sure knows how to grow! Good luck and enjoy it 😉

      1. Hopefully I’ll get out of suburban hell as well. Would rather live on the ground than have to climb stairs everyday.
        Good luck with the basil. I’m surprised that my mint hasn’t died yet, all the other herbs I’ve had have 🙂

  3. Apparently, someone with Borderline Personality Disorder can also experience paranoia, but you might not believe me 🙂 Anyway … ‘fresh food’ reminds me of a large supermarket chain where their version of fresh doesn’t always meet with my version of fresh. Bought a few capsicums from them, they looked okay on the outside but inside we found mould, yuk. My wife now grows tomatoes, capsicum and basil. Actually, we have too much basil sometimes. It’s great you’re starting to grow your own food. My only tip is to go to the Gardening Australia website and download some fact sheets on fruit, vegetables and herbs.

    1. Hahaha, hmm… sounds… deceptive… I don’t know where to turn D:
      Capsicums at the Australian supermarket chains are terrible. They’re discolored, soft, mouldy, and battered. It takes me ages to pick out a good one.
      Thanks for the tip! I definitely will.

  4. I don’t grow my own food. Ground is too clay-y (is that a word?) I’d have to bring in the soil in which to grow it… okay let’s face it, I’m too lazy and not interested and would rather be doing other things. But it is a good idea to be able to do so. You know, in case society breaks down or there’s an apocalypse or something. Watch out for the meteors, asteroids and solar flares. They are the real threats. 😉

    1. The next time you see me, I’ll be a doomsday preparation-er! Living underground with my supply of oxygen and dry goods…
      Haha, clay-y is a word in my dictionary. My backyard’s soil is just…. so dead or something. It’s really dry and nothing can grow in it, but I’m happy to set up a raised box to do it. I too, am a lazy person haha, but I have reached a point of such laziness that I may die of boredom if I don’t get off my butt.

  5. I grew some basil, green peppers, tomatoes and dill last spring and loved it.. It was awesome to be able to go in the backyard and pick fresh goodies for whatever meal I was cooking.. Enjoy gardening, it’s so relaxing and tastes good too 😉

  6. Its cool you are getting into this, I recently purchased a mint plant so that I could make my own mint tea – its gone missing though :/ I will buy another one. Pumpkins grow fast in spring and if u like them they fruit heaps. Hmm strawberries are easy to grow and chickens are fun to keep (if your cats don’t get to them before you do) plus there is nothing better than fresh poached eggs in the morning mmmmm.

    1. Aw, people shouldn’t steal plants! Though, I’d rather they steal plants than something else from my property haha. I think I’ll get the chickens when I’m older and own a house, I wonder if you need a license for them. I totally just want them for fresh eggs for breakfast, mmmm indeed.

  7. awesome – a herb garden ist the best way of starting your garden!! I wish you all the best! What about rosemary? for me and my mum it was the easiest one to grow!

    1. Thank you! I will have to go look at the nursery and pick up some rosemary now that two of you have suggested it. It seems like the best way to curb my terrible eating habits is to have some healthy food always readily available 🙂

  8. Herbs are a really great way to start, you just plant the seeds into a finely tilled bed/pot and they grow (plus they smell so good, I love rosemary in particular!). You can also really easily grow rosemary if you know someone who has a sizeable plant already but just taking hardwood cuttings and scoring the bottom diagonally and placing in soil, they will root buy themselves and give you a head start on the seeds (which take ages to make big enough plants).

    Tomatoes are pretty easy but if you are a beginner, I would recommend buying a small-medium sized plant to start off with (yes it will obviously be more expensive than seeds) but then at least you don’t have to worry about starting off a young plant. If you do go for tomato seeds, you can gets lots of plants from one packet, you just have to make sure you keep separating the small shoots into different pots so that they can all make a new plant.

    For capsicums and salads depending on where you live you might have to be careful about slugs and snails. It rains so much in England that they are always lurking about and soft greens like salad leaves are prime targets for them, so I tend to plant them in trays which you can move around or even just grow by the window sill. Gardening is a lot of fun especially if you can grow things to eat, well that’s just even better!

    1. I think I will buy them as already semi grown plants at first, especially since the natural soil in my yard is awful and nothing can grow in it. I’ll have to go with pots until I can make a proper garden bed or raised one.
      Thanks for the tomato tips 😀
      I eat them so often I thought maybe I should try growing them so that’s helpful.

      Ohh yes, we get some slugs when it’s rainy :/
      I’ll keep my herbs on the window sill inside I think, facing the morning sun, but might have to grow vegetables in a move-able tray like you suggest… Don’t want to get the disease that comes from eating slug slime. Not quite what I’m bargaining for.

  9. Herbs! Your options will be different to ours. I at last got a herb bed going here, last year (you can see its shelter wall in my latest post) and it’s fab. Even 14 year old son loves it. So satisfying cutting and cooking with your own and so much cheaper.

    1. I shall have to ask someone what’s the best things to grow here for our particular climate. I can just imagine, I can’t wait until I can cook up a pasta sauce with just my own grown ingredients.

  10. Most of my front yard and about half of my backyard are all devoted to vegetable gardening. 🙂 My advice is to start out small and expand a bit every growing season, and not to concentrate on only a couple things that you’ll be sick of by the time autumn rolls around. There’s also a great book called Carrots Love Tomatoes that’s about companion planting that you might want to read if you’re thinking about starting a plot with a few different veggies. Salad greens grow quickly and are super easy to care for, as are most herbs. Have fun! Our family gets most of our produce from our garden from July to the end of October. It’s a relaxing and rewarding hobby. 🙂

    1. Thanks! I’ll definitely be getting a book on it so thanks for the suggestion.
      I was watching a guy talk about how you have to rotate your beds depending on seasons and all of that, so I’ll have to figure it all out. I’m keen to plant some salad greens, and now you’ve said they’re one of the easier things I might start with them. Probably best to not go for a tropical fruit or something at the beginning.

      1. Not living in a tropical climate, I have no idea, but my parents live in California and have citrus trees that don’t seem to need much care! Rotating is definitely important, as is resting your beds periodically. I don’t think anything’s better than serving a meal you grew entirely yourself! A salad’s probably the easiest 🙂

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