So yesterday marked the first time we ate something from the garden that we’d grown ourselves. We harvested a few early Basil leaves from the windowsill that had grown from seed and proceeded to eat them with tomato and mozzarella in the most incredible olive bread from Waitrose. This stuff had whole fucking kalamata olives in it. And wasn’t that expensive either.
And then today I harvested a whole 45g of garden mint which has been hung up to dry. You traditionally gather them all by the stem with some twine or a rubber band and hang them with the leaves hanging downwards in order to dry, however I thought I’d try something different. A while ago, in an order to use less plastic, I picked up these these mesh bags made from nylon mesh. They’re meant for you to take them to the supermarket and use to buy loose fruit and veg instead of plastic bags. They actually weigh next to nothing, so they’re pretty good and don’t really add money onto the cost of the produce. These ones seem pretty good too and they’re a little bit cheaper.
I’m not into growing stuff to save money, but it’s certainly a curiosity. And along with the wiki, I figured I’d also spreadsheet out all our costs compared to how much we harvest.
I don’t expect there will be that much saving with the actual raw produce. For example above I harvested 45g of mint off my plant, which isn’t very much. To buy 70g of mint from Tesco it costs 70. So this is basically £1.04’s worth of Tesco mint. And then you consider the fact that all I did was replant an almost dead mint plant that I bought from Morrisons about a year ago and actually that’s pretty good. It’s essentially free.
This stuff is getting dried to go into a jar in the kitchen for mint tea during the winter. My favourite organic mint tea from Pukka costs £1.89 for twenty tea bags, which works out to £6.30 per 100g, including the tea bags. Now I reckon that this harvest would easily make twenty tea bags once dried, so processing adds even more value to the stuff growing in the garden.
The best thing about it? Still got this much of my mint plant left. All I did was thin it out. Thinning it out is good -more light and air can get to the younger growth and it’ll grow back even more vigourously.
Yesterday I also planted a few trays of seeds.
- Peas – both for growing and for eating as young pea shoots
- Runner Beans
- Dwarf Beans
- Gherkins – for pickling
- Butternut squash
I don’t like radishes that much. But you can grow them as a catch crop inbetween other rows – they’re ready to eat in 4-6 weeks. So we’ll eat some, but the rest I’m going to attempt to preserve. You can’t freeze them because they’re too watery and they’d turn to mush, but apparently you can pickle them.
How beautiful do these ones look?