I am experimenting with some of my favourite vegetables. I’ve created my wish list and will see what will grow, and what will not, on my balcony farm. Some I will start from seed, some from seedling and some will be purchased pre-planted (cherry tomatoes, basil and eggplant). After long thought, this is my final list and my reasoning:
Baby cauliflower. These individually-portioned, 3-bite cauliflowers are $3 each at the store and often look wilted. I assume they have travelled far from the U.S. I am curious how successful I will be growing them. I will be starting from seed. Baby cauliflower are great steamed and served with a cheese sauce on top.
Potatoes. Ever tasted a boiled potato that was freshly harvested? I had it once as a child and I still remember it. The skin was thin and the potato was dense. It tasted earthy. I loved it with butter and salt. I never thought to re-create that home-grown potato until now. I have sourced special potato pots, designed in Denmark, and purchased the seedling potatoes. Much more details in a future blog.
Baby Gai Lan. Also, known as Chinese broccoli. I like them harvested at an early stage when the stalks and leaves are tender. I buy this “baby” variety from a store 30 minutes from my home. Problem is, it takes another 15 minutes of driving around to find a parking spot. This year, I’m growing my own, from seed.
Kale. This plant takes up alot of space so I’ll have just one kale plant. I love kale Caesar salad and stir-fried kale with onions and raisins. Unless I find a seedling plant, I will be growing kale from seed.
Frisee. From the endive family, this curly lettuce is not easy to find in supermarkets. I have enjoyed many frisee & lardon salads in Paris. I like recreating them at home. I am growing frisee from seed.
Curly Leaf Lettuce. I like lettuce with texture so they can hold (more) dressing. I am growing from seed.
Parisian carrots. Homage to my balcony potager. I am growing from seed.
Radishes. I will grow a couple of mild French varieties. They are absolutely necessary on a crudités platter. I am growing from seed.
Peas. My boyfriend bought me these seeds. I assume he wants me to grow them. I will also harvest the pea shoots (the leaves). They are great sautéed.
Baby squash. They are miniature and taste great. I am growing from seed.
Round Zucchini. They are miniature. I am looking forward to the blossoms…to stuff with mozzarella and then deep-fry. I am growing from seed.
Cherry tomatoes. My favourite and are best suited for the conditions on my balcony. I will be buying these plants pre-potted. Although I love to eat the larger heirloom varieties, they do not grow well on my windy balcony.
Basil. To compliment the tomatoes! I bought these before, already well developed and planted. I just cut what I need to use.
Eggplants. These are easy to grow since I buy them already potted and beyond the seedling stage. Eggplants are so versatile to cook. I like to stuff them with risotto.
I am looking forward to the balcony harvest. I may add or subtract from this list. I will be busy. Lots of content for the website!