by Carmen Greger
Porch & Wine – Our newest column will present simple, savory backyard family-friendly cuisine paired with a recommended beverage from a local expert.
It’s such a wonderful experience having fresh herbs, greens, tomatoes, peppers and other at your fingertips, and it’s extra special when the kids get involved! My children and I make and enjoy weekly ‘Porch Salads’, and not only are they nutritious and delicious, the event has become a happy, healthy family tradition that we all look forward to!
• Individual Terra Cotta Pots (or other material that will not be easily knocked over by weather varieties). Instead of, or in addition to, individual pots, you may be interested in a stackable planter, window boxes or a multi-tiered raised garden bed, some like Gronomics, are vertical, take up vey little space and even have a dripline irrigation system option.
• Organic Potting Soil rich in loam (equal parts of Clay, Sand & Silt to optimize aeration and nutrient retention while properly balancing moisture levels) for Herbs & Veggies
• Pre-grown/potted herbs, greens, tomatoes and pepper plants that you will adopt, cultivate, trim and continue to grow, or seeds for the eventual porch garden, or a mixture of both. Farmers markets and gardening stores are a great place to mix and match and start creating your perfect porch garden! You can even find some great options online.
Successful starter gardens usually include:
Spinach, Kale, Lettuce
Rosemary, Lavender, Basil, Mint, Thyme, Oregano
Tomato, Pepper and Bean Varieties
• Direct sunlight and warm temperatures (you will need to bring your porch garden indoors in the colder temps; if they still get direct sunlight, they will likely thrive.
• Water (regularly and aplenty)
• Interest in developing even the slightest of green thumbs
• A curious interest in adding some fabulous flavors to your regular dishes. If you’re growing lavender, chances are you’ll trim some to mix in with your goat cheese on your weekend charcutier board (flavor boost: add in a touch of local honey!).
There are many ways to build your expertise as you construct your garden over time; One good and easy one is simply by trial and error, another obvious option is a general online search, but there is also great, user-friendly online course offered by masterclass.com called How to Grow a Balcony Garden that you may want to check into. Some farmer’s markets also offer advice upon request and many even give general how-to clinics.
From time to time, we will offer a new recipe with the help of different Lakeland experts like the good folks at Lake District Wine & Liquor (opening soon) for those that enjoy a nice pairing. For this article we asked Lake District Wine & Liquor General Manager, Brian Adams, for recommendations and he suggested two roses. “The first one is a good French Rose, called La Croix Du Prieur and the other is a California rose called Margerum Riviera Rose,” he said. Adding, “both are easy drinking during the warmer weather.”
So, grab your Rose’ and roll up your sleeves, it’s DIY time!
Enjoy! We’d love to see your DIY Porch Garden Creations!