Friday, April 11, 2008


Winter is gone and it is time for farmers like me to start planning for the growing season. As you might remember I have a brand new deck to do my farming on and the previous owners of my townhouse kindly left their flower pots scattered all over the place in various states of neglect. I'm not a farmer, I lied. This will be my first foray into agriculture.

This year I am planning to grow my own food. Towards that end, I took the first steps yesterday. It was a warm day and when I had to turn on the AC in my car for the first time in seven months, I realized that it was spring and time to begin planting. So I went home, took a fork from the drawer, moved the dirt around in one of the flowerpots and filled it up with coriander seeds. I also watered it. Soon, I hope the seeds will wake up with a boner, have sex with their neighboring seed and give birth to seedlings which, in turn, will grow up to be at least 99 cents worth of cilantro.

I am starting out with cilantro because I have a lot of cilantro experience. Back in India, I used to grow cilantro in our garden and I had a lot of success. Lesser success was achieved with plants like lady finger (okra) and beans. I remember harvesting one okra pod and one green bean at a time and giving it to my mother to cook for dinner, basking in the warm glow that comes to men who've managed to put food on the table for their family.

So I am starting out with cilantro and I hope to move up to mint, maybe a green chilli here and there. In a mad fit of optimism, I purchased a packet of tomato seeds two years ago and it still lies unopened. Perhaps this will be its year of emancipation. And with a little bit of help from the grocery in the form of onions, hopefully this year my family will be well supplied with salsa.


RobRoy said...

How will you survive on only cilantro? What will you do for food while you're waiting for your cilantro to grow? Have you already stockpiled mad levels of cilantro in your root cellar?

A Motley Tunic said...

you should try mustard seeds, when they grow it looks like a miniature amazon forest. that was my 6th std project and i still haven't figured out what is the use of the little mustard plant.

mint is easier, just plant the stem and it will sprout leaves. but i have heard that it can get a little out of control, i am not sure how.

anyway, I shouldn't be giving out agriculture advice. Last year I had a surprise pumpkin in my garden which eventually turned out to be a cantaloupe.

Anonymous said...

you should try growing curry leaves instead. the FDA just banned the sale of these in indian stores. you could put a lot of food on the table with your clandestine sale deals for curry leaves.

gawker said...

robroy : I'm not sure how much cilantro I have down there. I'll have to slash my way through the marijuana grove to find out. Did I say marijuana grove? I meant parsley plantation.

sowmya : I will try mustard seeds then. Is that the same mustard seed you get in Indian stores? I am also planning to farm mint. Where the hell do you get mint stems though?

anjali : No more curry leaves? What the hell was the FDA thinking about? I'm not sure how to plant a curry tree though.

A Motley Tunic said...

the same mustard seeds vonly. just throw some in a pot.

When you buy mint, if you use only the leaves for cooking etc, you are left with the stem. plant that. it will sprout leaves.

curry leaves won't grow in PA. they need warm weather and lots of sunshine,all through the year.

i do seem to know a lot about agriculture!

gawker said...

sowmya : Thanks for the pointers. It's not a bad thing to know agriculture. When the mustard crop fails and famine looms, who else will the mustard-eating world turn to?