What’s a meal without the flavor of different herbs and spices? And what a treat to be growing some of them in your own farm! It’s easy in our climate, and absolutely wondrous to watch how common kitchen spices (think turmeric/haldi, pepper/kaalimiri, fenugreek/methi seeds, fennel/saunf) transform into their plant avatar – good to look at, great to eat!
Mint is easy to propagate, and a great starter plant for wannabe urban farmers. Even a few twigs stuck in the earth will grow forth to populate several containers and more. It provides useful, edible ground cover, and I grow it around my palms, rose bushes, okra and tomato plants. A cheerful pot of mint, like the one above, makes a super gift item too!
For the picking….Chillies/Mirchi
Chillies are hardy plants, providing a steady and bountiful harvest from a young stage. Don’t make the mistake of growing chillies indoors (I once did!) as the chilly flower will not pollinate (unless you have bees and butterflies at home)!
This is a pic of Italian basil – the Indian variety is called Tulsi. It’s one of the sweetest smelling herbs to grow besides being hardy, quick and good-looking too! The easiest way to propagate it is through cuttings. If you don’t know anyone growing Italian basil, visit any upmarket veggie shop and buy it fresh, then rush home and plant the sturdiest stems in a super sunny spot.
And the Athlete of the Year Award goes to…..Ajwain!
Ajwain is simply the most awesome, unstoppable grower in my little urban farm. A friend gave me a single cutting and within three months this is what I got! Ajwain is hardy, repels insects, discourages weeds, perfumes your garden and looks amazing. Now that I have so much of it, I don’t know what to do…does anybody want some?!
So much to look forward to as I wait for the turmeric, ginger and garlic to come overground! I’ve grown garlic before (the shoots are just as edible as the root flakes) but this time around I’ve planted them alongside bigger plants to (hopefully) ward away leaf eating worms. The ginger and turmeric shoots are just appearing and I cannot wait to see them unfold! Will keep you posted on their story, along with photos of my hardy curry leaf/kadi patta bush, on-off fenugreek/methi cultivation (we eat them faster than they can grow!) and plans to grow the fully edible fennel/saunf plant – yes that’s right, roots, stems, leaves and flowers can all be eaten!!!
Until the next post, happy growing!
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