Gardening in My Basement

If you’ve been following along, you might remember The Great Garden Debacle of 2009. Martha convinced me I needed to garden. I started seeds inside and planted them and had them all wiped out by frost. Then I bought some plants and had an invasion of creatures and ended up not getting much out of my garden at all. It was a sad Martha attempt. We do not have green thumbs – or maybe we just don’t have the time and patience needed to grow a garden. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to have fresh produce at my fingertips. My dad plants a huge garden and I am always thrilled to bring home what it produces. I’ve also had success in the past with container gardening.

One of things I am determined to grow is my own herbs. Martha has sold me on the value, flavor and necessity of fresh herbs. I do have a small herb garden near our deck, but seem to successfully grow only chives and oregano in it. And that is only useful during about half the year here in Buffalo.

Mr. MarthaAndMe bought me one of those aquaponic growers for Christmas. You fill it with water and nutrients and it will grown a variety of herbs and vegetables under UV lights. To get started, he got me an herb assortment. We set the equipment up right after Christmas and now there are a few things sprouting (although I am getting worried – only some of the 8 things seem to be poking their heads up!). I’m hopeful I’ll get some fresh herbs at least and I’ll be very grateful to have them too, considering how expensive they are to buy in tiny little packets in the produce section. Will our black thumbs extend to basement gardening too? I hope not, but please tune in to find out!

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19 Responses to Gardening in My Basement

  1. Alexandra says:

    My experience is that cooking skills do not necessarily translate into the garden! I hope you will be luckier this time. I have given up my own attempts at winter sprouting and admire anyone who has the patience required to bring these plants to a stage where they can be popped in the vegetable garden once the weather stays warm in late spring!

  2. marthaandme says:

    With this system, you don’t have to move them. You just grow them year round in the hydroponic thing. I can’t wait to pick some fresh herbs!

  3. Alisa Bowman says:

    Good luck! My garden projects rarely turn out either. BUt I still try, mostly because gardening calms me, even if I never manage to grow anything worthwhile.

  4. marthaandme says:

    Yes, I seem to keep trying too. I just read a magazine article about growing $700 worth of food in a tiny little garden. Not happening at my house! But maybe I can manage the herbs and it will be a start.

  5. Herbs sound like a great idea. One family member who lives in NY has a hydroponic tabletop garden – but it sure takes up a lot of space!

  6. marthaandme says:

    This little dohickey is pretty small – about 16 by 8. What’s nice is you don’t need any natural light, so we’ve got it in our very dark basement. There isn’t room in the main part of the house for it, so I’m glad it can go down there.

  7. Sarah Henry says:

    Kudos for going the extra mile to get a herb garden going in a colder climate. We’re so spoiled out here in California. Having said that, all I’ve got growing in my veg patch right now is two strawberry plants that survived the frost — go figure — and some headless sunflowers (the squirrels have been very busy).

  8. Andre says:

    Fresh is always better, but you are right ~ it does take patience. Good luck.

  9. Nancy Monson says:

    Gardening can be QUITE frustrating–often due to no fault of your own. This past summer everyone had a disastrous time with their tomatoes due to blight (too much rain) and other natural disasters.

    It can be so rewarding, though, to sow your own vegetables and herbs.

    Good luck!

  10. Tiffani says:

    My grandmother can grow pretty much anything. I once killed a cactus.

    Good luck with your herb garden. I hope you get lots of growth!

  11. marthaandme says:

    I’ve killed a cactus too! It takes special talent, don’t you think?

  12. I didn’t have a green thumb until I moved. Now I can’t seem to kill anything. An herb garden is definitely next for me. We’ll have to compare notes.

  13. Looking forward to following the progress of your indoor herb garden. Some herbs get g-normous, and the manufacturers pack them in these tiny containers with no warning that they really need more space. I hope everything is very successful for you.

  14. So cool. I have always wanted to do this as well. Good luck with it!

  15. My herb garden (outdoors) is one of my favorite places. I have rosemary that is nearly 3 feet tall and wide. I’ve tried indoor and there’s just no space for it and it’s been defeating. So I mostly stare out at the cold brown earth, speckled with bits of snow, during the winter and pretend I see my lush garden of summer. There’s NOTHING like cooking with fresh herbs. This year I froze a ton of them (in various ways) to see how things would work. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

  16. marthaandme says:

    Freezing them is a good idea. Maybe I’ll try that this summer. My mom used to hang them to dry in the attic when I was kid but I’ve never been organized enough to attempt that – not to mention I don’t have an attic!

  17. I tried 2 methods. One was to wash and trim and store in small baggies of water. That’s for stock type things. Through the cube in and it’s good to go. I also did another method where you wash it, dry it, and then just roll it in paper towels and large ziplock. So far, that’s my favorite method. Things are still pretty flavor-rich even though they’ve been frozen.

  18. marthaandme says:

    That sounds great. I’m going to try it. I could even do it now since I have some parsley and cilantro in the fridge that are going to go bad before I can use them all up. Thanks!

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