Sunday, February 20, 2011

Indoor Gardening for Dummies

A few years ago, we were in the kitchen store in the Fargo mall.  I spied an aero garden, basically an indoor hydroponic growing system, and examined it with interest.

I told Wesley that I would like to buy one.  But, we were too busy that day to really check out the possibilities. 

I forgot about my comment.

He didn’t.

This year for Christmas, Matthew & Wesley carefully picked out three Aero Garden units.  One for Matthew, so he could grow catnip for his cats.  Two for me, a little one for herbs, and a big one for lettuce or tomato plants.

So far, our crops have been an outstanding success.  A couple of times a week, we harvest a delicious blend of lettuce, enough for two or three servings.  The catnip is growing like a weed. 

Wait, I think it is a weed.  But, Matthew is happy because his catnip plants are much taller than my herbs or my lettuce.

And, my little herb garden is flourishing.  Italian Parsley.  Genovese Basil.  And the Oregano was doing really good until the cats decided to eat it.  They must have discriminating palates… they haven’t touched the catnip plants but they are eating my oregano.

herbgarden herbgarden2

Last week, I harvested the herbs, and made four little cups of savory fresh herb butter, using a recipe from Allrecipes.com (here).  We’ve been enjoying it all week, on baked potatoes, French bread, whole grain toast… mmmm!

herbbutter

Herb Butter

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Mix together well.  Store in fridge.  Use the mini plastic Glad cups with lids to package the butter… they are the perfect size for a gift. 

In addition to the fresh parsley, I also added some fresh basil from my garden,  a few of the surviving oregano leaves.   I accidentally used crushed cayenne rather than crushed red pepper flakes (I thought they were the same thing).  The cayenne gave the butter a delicious spicy heat, but it might be too hot for some tastes.  Next time, I’ll try the red pepper flakes.

Does anybody else have an Aero Garden?  What are you growing~