Yesterday, I finally got around to my favorite summer ritual, greenifying (is this a word yet) my back porch. When you live in a city like Chicago, that radiates heat from the cement and ropes off grass, I find it’s very important to create your own oasis. This is my fourth year growing an herb garden and I look forward to it every summer. This year I’ve gone above and beyond the previous three years by growing ten varieties of herbs and three varieties of lettuce (when you eat as much lettuce as I do, growing your own just makes economic sense). All my edibles are organic, grown in organic soil and hopefully will not need any organic fertilizer since I added compost from City Farm. I wish I could grow even more, especially an avocado tree (a girl can dream). However, my porch only receives morning sun and, therefore, I cannot grow fruit producing plants. I even tried to prove myself wrong last year by attempting to grow Roma tomatoes. Needless to say, no matter how much I gave my little tomato plants pep talks, they needed lots more sun than I could provide. So this year, I’ve only planted things that will be successful in part-sun or can be moved around to follow the sun. What I’m growing this year: parsley, rosemary, basil, thai basil (specifically for pho), thyme, spearmint (this is perfect for the mojitos I plan to drink while enjoying my porch), Greek oregano, dill, tarragon, butterhead lettuce, green leaf lettuce, encore lettuce and a variety of flowers.
I dream of the day I only eat what I grow, but until that day, I am in anticipation of the wonderful dishes I will cook using a dash of what I grew in my own “backyard”.