A simple garden

Backyard gardening herbs and lettuces
“First and foremost we’re growing good soil.
– Fabian Capomolla, The Hungry Gardener

Here at Simple Origins we are quietly very excited about the recent rise in backyard gardening. We wanted to share our favourite plants, which are mostly herbs and lettuces.

Herbs are so easy to grow (and exey to buy), and lettuces are a goodie to grow at home as they are often on the Organics Dirty Dozen list. Here’s a list of the herbs that we grow:

+ Basil (in the warmer months each year) – great for salads and homemade pestos.
+ Dill – for a cucumber salad or creamy slaw.
+ Rosemary – necessary for a wintery slow roasted lamb shoulder, or a cutting to tie with kitchen string around a brown paper present.
+ Thyme – sprinkle with feta over steamed vegetables.
+ Mint – for juices and salads in summer, and herbal teas in the shoulder seasons.
+ Oregano – cut up and mixed with olive oil and lemon juice for the best roast chicken marinade.
+ Flat leaf parsley – for most Italian recipes.
+ Bay leaves – an essential in most soup and stew recipes, and a very hardy plant to grow.
+ Salad leaves. Rocket, butter lettuces and cos (pick the Rocket early, the older it gets the more bitter).

A word on trench composting: If you don’t have a compost bin then one trick we picked up from our friend Fabian is to ‘trench compost’ which means simply digging a hole in the backyard and burying kitchen scraps in the garden each week. This way the worms get a good feast and leave castings, the soil gets all of the nutrients of the produce and we don’t contribute to greenhouse gases in landfill.

A bit of pea straw to stop plants from drying out also never goes astray, and the odd bit of natural seaweed fertiliser also does wonders every now and then.

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