A never ending wait for the Carrots

21 Sep

I have always been a fan of pulling up fresh carrots from the soil and devouring them.  But had never tried growing them in a container, as always my curiosity got the better of me, and then the much awaited purchase of the carrot seeds from the local nursery happened.    I  was quite surprised to note that the seeds resembled  cumin seeds faintly.

carrot seeds

I  was told by my  Amma that carrots need a lot of  loose soil, and had to ensure that  I raked the soil enough to ensure there were no weeds or stones . Started with one big pot.    The carrots seemed adamant in testing my patience and took around 3 weeks just to germinate.   I  was instructed to keep the soil moist, weed free all the time.

In two months time, the leaves resembled that of very tall coriander plants ,reminding me of my coriander pots.

carrot leaves

 

When  I  couldnt wait longer, I pulled out a plant and was extremely dissappointed to see these babies just forming.

unformed carrotsAnd then the wait continued which seemed like forever, and then at  70 days , could see the heads pushing up previously seen here.  I  was instructed to cover the heads up with soil.

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And finally on the 87th day came the labour of love,  I pulled most of them out and left some in the pot.  So here’s presenting the baby carrots.

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Was not very happy with the size of the produce . apparently  I  needed to fertilise them which  I did not.  All I would do is mulch them enough.

And here’s what  I  made with the first batch.  A  few glasses of the freshest carrot juice which  I know will work wonders for my eyes.

carrot juice

So long folks.  See you soon.   I await your comments as always.

 

 

 

 

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When three blooms made my day

10 Sep

The plants have been enjoying the rainy showers and the lush greenery around is panacea for my soul.  And  the bonus came in the form of these yellow roses which lit up my balcony and was the cynosure of all eyes. Reminding me of the popular Indian tea brand ,3 roses only if the roses were red . Take a look at these yellow beauties;

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All weirded out

21 Aug

Caveman could not  believe that I could fall in love with a plant called Birthworts and it did not help my case that it was listed in the top ten ugly plants by the Telegraph. The vindictive man sent me the link hoping to dissaude me from bringing her into the household. But ever since this , my maternal instincts refuse to calm down when brought to the fore. So yes, she came into our house inspite of the stiff opposition and has made our abode hers for the past six months.

Something about the woody flowers that gives the creeper an exotic look , and then as I always say,, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, So with no further ado, I present to you  my Aristolachea gigantia plants .

All set to bloom ..

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And theres the bloom

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And miffed by the opposition, I am determined to spread the beauty to the near and dear. Waiting to collect the seeds from the fruit that seems to grow:

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The plant is an aggressive creeper flourishing on my balcony and does not receive more than 2 hours of sunlight.  Standing out among all  the other flowers , it sure knows to leave a lasting impression .

The promise of things to come

15 Aug

Ah, the beautiful journey of a seed to germinate, a bud to blossom, and the flower bearing fruit. And through the journey, the Pitter Potter Gardener is patiently watching nature unfold its miracles one petal at a time. The promise of things to come, seems much more beautiful than the arrival itself. Here are some of those joys that have filled my heart with the warmth of a sunny day. ( Much needed in the rainy Bengaluru weather)

A fuzzy baby tomato, standing all stout and cute:

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The enticing lure of the peas in a pod , just waiting to fatten up:

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The spectacular green of the onion bulbs that are shooting up:

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And my favourite, a little carrot head pushing up into the world.

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Cant wait to see them all grown up soon . Stay tuned for the next posts to witness their journey.

Kohlrabi/ knolkhol in pots

4 Aug

Kohlrabi or knolkhol’s are  the distant cousins of the cabbage family . They have a nutty flavour but a little more pungent in their taste . Funny looking ,as much as they are, they add in quite a punch either to your salads or the dinner pots. Personally, my favourite is the Knol Khol Sambhar that Amma used to churn out:

So in anticipation of the beautiful vegetables, the seeds were sown and I was quite happy to see them germinate in a weeks’ time. After ten days and a bit of organic fertilizer later .Their tiny stems were swelling up

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And this happens when you crowd your vegetables while planting and dont thin the plants :

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And after 55 days of waiting and watching them grow their girth, here they were . The perfect size waiting for them to be harvested.

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ImageTeaming them up with my homegrown tomatoes was not only a visual delight but a culinary one at that too:

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Lessons learnt:

Harvesting them while they are tender makes the vegetable taste heavenly

They need ample space around them to grow . Thinning is a must if you see them fighting for spaces and resources like my baby knolknols.

They prefer cold climates and are not huge fans of direct,uninterrupted sunlight.

 

Banana’s over Banana Peppers

15 Jul

Its been a while and being the tortured cubicle dweller and coping up with my allergic rhinitis hardly gave me any time. But nevertheless, managed to grow a potful of Banana Peppers or Hungarian Yellow Wax peppers which were amazing to taste and so pretty to ogle at.

Take a look at how it all started. It took a wait of two and half months from the seed to the fruit.The journey began when the colour on the packet enticed me.

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I did not get the pretty yellow but managed to get pretty close to the hue. Heres a pictorial journey of the lovely peppers. I particularly loved the one in the extreme right. The pepper sure looks like a banana.

ImageAnd note the size of the peppers :

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And heres one for the buffet table, Loved adding the colour to the table.

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And when it was enough of gourmet, I decided to give it the Desi Tadka. So ripened a few peppers n the plant ,and made a yummylicious chutney which was a hit with the Idli’s.

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 Lessons learnt- 

  • The peppers are very thirsty plants
  • They need atleast four hours of sunlight.
  • The plants are prone to attracting aphids and need particular care when they bear peppers.
  • They paint a pretty colourful picture when they are left to ripen in the pot.

And for the next time,if time permits, I am going to try out the stuffed pepper recipe mentioned here.

So long folks..have fun pottering around and holler if you need to know more.

 

Spinach from the pot to the plate

27 Jun

Well its the rainy season. And come June and July, Amma would get us filled with the seasons best offerings, lush leafy vegetables. And I grew up loving this awesome green wonder and thanks to destiny, it turned out be Caveman’s favourite veggie too.

So the spinach growing experiment started with  the seeds from the local nursery, tilled the soil , and off they went.. As always haphazard lining but the seeds germinated in 8 days. and looked so fresh and pretty even when they put their heads up. I placed it on my kitchen balcony sill where the pot got atleast four hours of sunlight.

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 And after a month, they were ready to harvest, lush green, and on my kitchen platform.

ImageAnd then came the amazing Palak Dal ( Spinach Lentil Soup) for those who need to know and the Caveman’s favourite – Spinach and Cheese Sandwich.

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I have three pots of spinach lined up now and we hope to gorge on as much as spinach as we can.