Monday, July 19, 2010

grow your own : summer herbs & tomatoes, urban style

I'm lucky enough to have a patio, albeit a small patio, but it's still outdoor space which is a cherished rarity in NYC.  I've attempted to make the most of my little space this summer by planting tomatoes and an array of herbs (chives, mint, basil, rosemary, tarragon and more basil) - and I'm happy to report that my first batch of mini heirloom tomatoes are about ready for harvest!  Whether you've got outdoor space to maximize or simply a city windowsill, get an herb garden going in small pots.  It's not exactly urban rooftop farming, but if you have some partial sun, the herbs will do the rest.   
my patio: small, but sunny
chives, rosemary, tarragon and of course basil

the result of my tomato harvest: 2 ears fresh corn kernels + 1 avocado, diced + 2 cups yellow & red cherry tomatoes + drizzle of olive oil & fresh lemon juice, salt and just a touch a basil-chive oil (the easiest way to make use of extra herbs - puree herbs of your choice with a good amount of olive oil until well-blended.  refrigerate oil blend for up to 3 weeks).  the puree will solidify, but leave it on the counter for 5 minutes, and you've got a flavor-packed oil ready to use.  [serves 3 or 4 as a simple side dish]

And if you're still not convinced, check out some of these super cool indoor herb garden alternatives. 
uber modern and innovative from New Zealand, Boskke hanging planters 
available at Velocity Art & Design

the vertical Urb Garden by Xavier Calluaud. if you can get over the worm farm inside which makes for great growth, this is one hot piece of gardening from Inhabitat, where good design = green design

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