Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cherry Blossoms

This spring I tasted a different kind of bloom, thanks to my blogging friend Geek Gardener and another generous gardener Thomas whom I met on Orkut.
Thomas was kind enough to send some seeds from the wonderful place, Kerala, where he lives. It was around one year back that he sent a scrap about having couriered seeds of tomatoes,beans,bitter gourd and brinjal. The seeds turned out to be of excellent quality and the lovely tomatoes which grew out of them are the tastiest and juiciest I have ever had.
Geek Gardenerfrom Bangalore gave the seeds for cherry tomatoes. A lot bloomed for me this spring, but these cherry tomatoes in four different shapes were unlike anything I ever had. They were very different from tomatoes I had seen in real. In fact, my friends and neighbors were quite amused to see these little, shiny tomatoes, a sight they were not used to.

Cherry tomatoes are not very common in my part of the country, though, thanks to the plethora of cookery shows, things are changing. I had a lot of them growing but didn’t have much idea on what to do with the pretty harvest. Googling for recipes, and with a little improvisation I prepared this salad, which was a little sour but was praised by my guests; a part for the novelty and a part for the health benefits.Blogging is so good, healthy and…tasty too!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Sackful of Potatoes

We have all learnt something new and inspiring from our fellow bloggers. I, for one, have to thank one of the posts by a very talented amateur gardener, Jamie, for this bountiful harvest of potatoes, I got in a sack.

Here, in my city, we use and reuse these flour sacks for carrying wheat flour. I bought four of them from my local flour mill. The guy was quite amused at the alternate use I was going to put his flour sacks to. After filling them with soil I sowed potatoes in it, and it was with the joy of a high school student whose science experiment has come right that I greeted the first potato shoot. One has to keep the top margins of the bag rolled outside, so that when the shoots are around 8-10 centimeters long you can unfurl it and add more soil/compost.

I face a huge termite problem, and as a result the potatoes sown in the ground fail to grow properly. Sowing potatoes in a sack circumvented the termite problem effectively and as a bonus I did not have to worry about water logging either.In a matter of three to four months, the potatoes were ready for harvest.
Here is a comparison: On left is the potato harvested from ground and the right one is out of the flour sack.
Imagine a life without potatoes, without all those seductive French Fries and Potato chips...scary, to say the least. No wonder, my daughter feels that I have hit a jackpot by being able to grow the starchy tuber in a sack.