Tag Archives: eggplant

It’s spring on my balcony

I want to share all the wonderful veggies and herbs that are currently growing on my balcony due to this wonderful March weather. I am happy to report that everything is in full bloom. I started planting chillie, eggplant and pepper seeds sinds February and they have grown very well. They all have about 4 leaves right now. The eggplant that I sowed this year are Mini Violet Ruby and Violetta di Firenze. I love eggplants for moussaka, chinese pork belly hot pot and so many more dishes.

chillie seedlings

 

These seedlings are still kept in the propagator but in the morning I put them on my windowsill to get used to the sun. So far I have planted Jamaican red, Cayenne and Goat’s weed. Chillie plants do remarkably well in pots but I found that they are not as hot as they would be when growing in a warmer climate. But still I need my chillies.

Basil & tomato

I need lots of basil during spring and summer because I regularly eat pesto and all kinds of pasta. So I will be sowing basil seeds regularly. I am also trying out some purple basil just because it’s fun.

 The first time I tried this italian kale was last year and it didn’t disappoint. I loved it so much I impatiently waited for March to arrive so that I could sow. They are relatively easy to grow and taste like wild spinach in my opinion.

 I started sowing spinach seeds March 1st and they are growing like crazy. In the back I have some regular spinach and rocket and in the front some wild spinach. It seems like a lot but these will probably only provide me with 2 meals. Oh, well.

 These pea plants make me so proud and very greedy. See, I discovered fresh peas a couple of years back and instantly fell in love. So with that in mind I decided to grow them myself. I can only imagine picking the pods, shelling them and preparing them in some olive oil, salt and pepper, yum!

 I have started growing some sprouts on my window sill; daikon and cress. Whenever I fix myself and egg sandwich I grab some of each and enjoy. They just add a little extra to egg salad. Anyone can grow sprouts, within 2 days you notice the seeds have burst open and another 2 days( in full sun) you can already pick some.

 And these are my carrots (Parisian market). These will grow into small round carrots especially handy for growing in containers. They are ever so cute and also have a great taste.

In the following weeks/months I will be regularly posting how my veggies are doing. I will also be sowing some turnips, swiss chard, courgette and paksoy. So be sure to regularly check back!

It’s already time to sow again

It’s January so it’s time to start thinking about what I want to sow this year so that I can order the seeds in time. Last year I ordered my seeds at 123zaden which I was happy about. If you only have a small order like I had, it fits in your mail box so I only had to pay for the stamp which is perfect for people with small garden(balcony garden). The delivery only took 4 days so I am definitely paying their website a visit again. Other websites I visit for seeds are Vreeken’s zaden, Garant zaden, Bolster,

Fast forward a couple of days, I ordered some seeds from 123zaden and within 4 days they were delivered to my mailbox, perfect. Wanting some more seeds I visited Vreeken’s zaden situated in Dordrecht( about 15 min by train from where I live). I remember from 2 years ago that if you order in January or February it might be a while before your seeds get delivered because it gets really busy around that time. But I was happy to go to the shop as I always see so many useful things there for my garden. When I see the large greenhouses I can picture myself having one of those in my back yard along with my Continue reading

Finally summer weather

I think anyone would agree in the Netherlands that the summer weather was pretty disappointing. There was lots of rain and it was rather chilly, in fact most of my summer clothes were returned to the basement unworn. And so last week I started packing all of my summer clothes and unpacking some of my clothes appropriate for fall. Much to my surprise the upcoming week was rather sunny and hot. So I headed to the basement again to grab a couple of dresses. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining because this is just the kind of weather my garden needs. So I thought I would give you an update of how everything turned out so far. The only thing that I had to throw away were the paksoi plants as they were infested with aphids. But it was kinda my fault as I forgot to water them a day or two so they were weakened and that made them an easy target for the aphids.

First the carrots and tomatoes. Continue reading

What macaroni and cheese is to the americans, that is what this dish means to me

I love, love cured beef. What I love about it is its versatility and taste, it can be paired with so many vegetables like eggplant, snake-eye beans,pumpkin etc. The beef is cured with a lot of salt so it is cooked for about an hour or so that it is less salty and it is ready to use. The cured beef is available at chinese shops, surinamese shops and even at some grocery stores(AH, C1000). I usually buy it in a bucket, that’s how much I use. But at grocery shops and at the market it is sold by the piece. It doesn’t matter which season and what the weather is like a dish made with cured beef tastes homey to me. I usually cook the cured beef with either snake-eye beans or eggplant. All you need for this dish is garlic, tomatoes, onions and chillies. It is a quick dish to make and you only dirty one pot so it’s easy cleanup after dinner. Here is what the cured beef looks like when cooked with either snake-eye beans(pic1) or with eggplant(pic2).

cured beef with snake-eye beans

cured beef with eggplant

update balkony garden

The weather is improving; it is bearable to go outside again and we even had a few days when the sun peeked at us. Since the temperature is a bit higher I have begun to plant some more veggie seeds. I started with the chillies, peppers and eggplants in late February since they need more time to develop. The seeds that I sowed in March were coriander, thyme,marjoram, carrots, beets and peas. I was a bit worried because the eggplants took so long to sprout but a few days ago I finally saw it coming through. Here are the pics:

 

The veggie that has also been growing well is spinach, I planted a few seeds outside about a month ago and I believe I will be eating spinach in another 3 weeks.

Most of the seeds I planted came out already so I’m happy. My goal this spring and summer is to be able to eat veggies from my garden and since I am determined to do just that I found the perfect thing to help me with that. I have been eyeing a plastic greenhouse for my balcony. I thought it would be perfect for my small balcony and I could protect my veggies better against the weather. An added bonus is that I have more room to grow whatever I want. So last week I went to buy it at Vreeken’s zaden in Dordrecht for 49,95 and it was quite easy to set up. It fit perfectly on the balcony and I was beaming at the prospect of having the room to grow so much more. So I did what any other amateur gardener would do, I went and bought some more seeds. Sometimes I get ahead of myself and afterwards I wonder if there’s gonna be a place left for me on the balcony. Oh well, I’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you posted on what’s happening on my balcony.