Trying to grow loads of different types of veggies on the balcony is turning out to be..challenging. I'm wondering what the point is if growing something like peas or beans that I really only get one meal out of. And there are carrots + beetroot - once you pull them up that's it. There's the fun aspect of it I guess, and pottering around on the balcony gives me something to do at home when I'm feeling a bit bored or just want to be outside. But the effort + cost doesn't equal much return.
That's why herbs such as parsley are really great. Before I started gardening I NEVER used parsley but now it's something that I use ALL the time, mainly as a garnish. And the plant just will not die. I'm told a parsley bush has a life of about two years, so by my calculations we've got another 12 months together at least. Not like the beans + peas = one hit wonders!
Although I cannot stand the smell of the basil - it makes me feel quite ill and gives me a killer headache - I've been using it more and more in my cooking (the suffering we go through to cook a meal, hey)? I've found that it's good in red and green Thai curries, pesto (of course) and pasta dishes. Apart from when I use an entire plant to make some pesto I've found that a single basil plant will last for yonks -- I just pick off a few leaves and then a few more leaves grow back. It's never ending. Lately the basil has been trying to "go to seed" but I just snip off the flowers and it keeps on producing leaves.
We usually have a packet of mince in our freezer - usually it's from The Free Range Butcher, but when we run out of that we pick up this King Island Beef from the supermarket (tsk tsk, I know) that is grass fed. I ALWAYS add kalamata olives to my spaghetti and now I also add a good handful of basil free from the balcony farm.
Et voila! Spaghetti Bolognense - now with added greenery.
You can view more Harvest Monday posts on Daphne's Dandelions blog.