Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kitchen Garden

After the last post there were many who were fascinated by the kitchen garden and wanted to know how we managed it.
Frankly speaking we did not take any special effort to grow these.
Some of the things that we have are:
Ginger, Curry leaves , Mint, chillie, tomato, ladies finger, beans (chowli).
We had some excess Ginger so we buried a small piece (about an inch). Within 6 weeks it yielded about half a kilo of Ginger.
And this is what I unearthed

Surgical precision
It was actually growing in our curry leaves pot so I had to remove it w/o damamging the roots of the curry leaves.

Pudina (mint) is something we always have in our garden, and when it grows in excess we have pudina chutney.

The procedure is simple.
Wash and dry the pudina leaves and mix it with grated coconut, small onions and garlic. Wrap it in Banana leaf and heat it over a pan. Once cooled, grind the whole thing in a mixer. Delicious and healthy.

Oh yes then there is a papaya tree growing in a sack !! Not that we are expecting to see papayas hanging there one day, but its nice to see a tree making a humble effort to grow like a normal tree. The tree helped me in giving our son a quick practical lesson that the stem of a papaya tree is hollow, absolutely hollow (something he did not know) You can use it as a pipette or as a snorkel. (simple information like these are always handy)

Vanilla (a creeper) is growing wildly and unless it is pollinated manually it will not yield the pods. So we just allow it to grow like a decorative plant.
Tulsi (Basil) is another medicinal plant that we always have and I add a few leaves while brewing my morning tea.
Holy Basil
Curry leaves is the one which baffles me. It neither grows nor dies. I think it does not like the idea of growing in a pot. (they need lots of soil I suppose)
Once upon a time we had these round chillies which when ripe, was good for tadka.
Home grown chillies
Talking of chillies, the world's spiciest chilli, Bhut Jolokia is grown in Nagaland / Shillong.
It is interesting to note how the spiciness is measured.
It seems Scoville Scale is used to measure the ‘hotness’ of a chilli.

Originally, a solution of the pepper extract is diluted in sugared water until the heat could no longer be recognised by a group of five tasters. It was the degree of dilution needed that designated its place on the Scoville Scale.
For example, a sweet pepper has no capsaicin and therefore no detectable heat even when undiluted, resulting in a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating of zero. The fearsome Bhut Jolokia, on the other hand, had an SHU rating of 1,001,304
No wonder it costs 400 rupees per kilo.
Bhut Jolokia, the world’s spiciest chilli.


Anu said...

wow!! lots of info as well as great pics. keep the kitchen garden growing well and post more and more pics..

Lazy Pineapple said...

absolutely interesting facts here. As a child we had tons of trees in our garden. Papayas, guavas, curry leaves, lime and of course the tulsi plant.

My mother has a affinity for gardening whereas I was always designated to water them, a chore I absolutely abhorred :)

Gouri Guha said...

Nice blog on kitchen garden with the lovely pics and info.

Enjoyed the read.

Renuka Bedre - Rao said...

Superb! this is so informative! You are doing such a gr8 Job! nothing like fresh garden veggies!

Anonymous said...

Excellent information! I did not know the papaya was hollow!

Jacob said...

Thank you for visiting Paree and for you very nice comment!

I've enjoyed visiting your blog. Amazing! I learned all kinds of things, but the most fun was to find that papaya trees are hollow. I'd never heard of such a thing!

Best wishes!

Harman said...

nice..I like the mint and banana leaf ..will try sometime!

Jyostna said...

I also love to grow the kitchen garden, but am being too lazy water them..but after looking at ur garden, esp the inspired.

PJ said...

loved to peek into your garden! a wonderful collection you have got going there..

Lakshmi -Celebrations said...

loved all explanations given neatly..

3 hungry tummies said...

It is really wonderful being able to pick herbs and spices from the garden!

$$ said...

Now, u make me ashamed...!! I buy even curry leaves, paying 5 rupees for 2 strands! :(

Madhu said...

Its w wonderful feeling to be able to grow your own veggies. I live in a very cold country where there are winters 6 months in an year. But the other months, during spring, I also raise a small veggie bed (square foot gardening) consisting of mainly tomatoes, peppers, broad beans, corn, basil, thyme, mint and egg plants.

Looking at your post, I am inspired...I might try some roots this spring, ginger, beet root/carrot. A quick question though; did you raise ginger in a container or is it in direct soil?

Haddock said...

@ Madhu:
The Ginger is buried in the soil and the soil can be either in a pot or directly in the field (if you have one)
I will post one more photo where you can see it growing. (this one actually grew in our curry leaves pot so I had to extract it very gingerly (literally)
Thanks to all for the comments . . . . . . I never knew that all of you are interested in gardening :-)

Madhu said...

Wow! the ginger is actually out! I thought it would be deep inside the soil. stupid me. Thanks for the picture. I will bring the container this evening itself and plant a small piece inside our home.

Joanne said...

So many beautiful plants! Thanks for all the info.

Mandy said...

Beautiful! I am going to try to grow my own herbs and veggies this year!

Regina said...

Beautiful post!
Thank you for sharing.

lostworld said... this is what is "farmville"(the facebook game) !!!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. You've got a great blog here. I loved this post. I'm a budding gardener, so this was very interesting to me.

God Bless,

Nalini Hebbar said...

This story reaffirms that we should make the most of what we have...within the limited space you indeed have grown quite a few useful plants

the curry leaf tree can become taller than a 2 storied building...we have one at my aunts in Palghat...I think it is over 50 years old.

the pudina in a plaintain leaf...should try that

great post, I must say

I BLEED PINK said...

Thanks for the kind birthday wishes. I love your photos and posts. I will be stopping by often!

Farmers Wife said...

That is so interesting because my husband has just started eating little pieces of ginger before bedtime to help him sleep, and it's working. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog..

Priya said...

Love the backyard garden and gardening helps to relax a lot. Thanks for dropping by to my blog.

ModernMom said...

This is truly amazing! Makes me long for spring:)

Joseph Pulikotil said...


Very informative and useful post accompanied by lovely pictures.

The plants you are growing are very useful for any house and I think I should try to grow some of these. From the information that you have provided most of these plants can be grown in pots.

Have a nice day:)

rohini said...

oh such a nice qty of ginger....great to know that you have an excellent work going on...keep it up..

sulagna ™ said...

Haddock i have a small put size of your palm maybe..what do i grow on it??? suggest pls...probably something small and smelling nice :)

Casuarina said...

Wasn't aware of the Scoville scale : thanks !

Orangesplaash said...

Absolutely wonderful..thanks for sharing this. Looking forward to implementing it soon!

Mamta said...

truely amazing! my dad is also found of growing plants and herbs. I can now suggest him to plant mint :) Other than tulsi and curry leaves, he has grown an ajwain plant and also one of green chillies and lemon each... but the limes haven't started growing as yet.