Sunday, May 26, 2013

Grow Your Own: From Mint To Much More

Part of the concept of "Profitable Planting" is homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs.  Growing your own greens relieves some of the stress of going to the store to purchase all of your essentials, not just monetarily, but also the time it takes to go get mint for that wonderful cocktail you were planning to enjoy, etc.  Wherever I travel, I try to encourage my friends and family to utilize the extra space they have to start their own small herb garden, and that's exactly what I've done here in Paris for my friend Guy.

It started this past November when I came for a three month stay in Paris, and began growing mint (that was purchased) in water for two months to grow some roots.  In January, when I knew the mint was good and ready I brought it to Guy's for him to begin his garden.  As you can see, the collection has grown from there and the mint is still going strong!

Now his collection includes basil, mint, parsley, and yesterday we went to Leroy Merlin to get some additional soil and a chili pepper plant.

As you can see, the air and space around this herb garden is filled with light and more green!  Down below is a courtyard with palms and shrubs (unfortunately not native).

As you can see below, the basil needs some help.  Initially, the basil was planted in the same pot as a beautiful jasmine vine, but unfortunately the roots from the jasmine were suffocating those of the basil...until yesterday when I decided to add some life to Guy's garden by loosening up the soil a bit and adding some new life (and new soil) to the area of the pot that the basil is in.

It's green...but boy would this basil like to be in a veggie bed somewhere warm and sunny!  In any case, we've used these herbs the past few days in different recipes and there's nothing like the deliciousness of homegrown herbs!

Although the jasmine roots are long and invasive for the basil, the vine is currently flowering, so removing the plant simply was not an option...check out the pretty colors!

This small herb garden started just a few months ago (during a cold and wet winter here in Paris), and since then has grown into something great that Guy is able to use on a daily basis.  It's never too late to @addmoregreen and new life to the world around you!


Tuesday 10 September, 2013

As most Parisians do during the month of August, Guy escaped the city for some rest and relaxation.  While gone, most his garden had to suffer the consequences of no gardener.  But, one strong survivor emerged...

Sustainable Singapore

On my recent transit to Paris, I traveled through Changi Airport again and with a 20 hour layover I had no choice but to head downtown to spend the night.  From my last visit to Singapore, I already knew that this city is On The Right Track with its head screwed on tight and a vision towards the future with an understanding of how we must interact with the environment to prepare for the success of future generations.  Once again, I was pleased to see some things that caught my eye and screamed out #sustainability.

This first image, of the side of a delivery truck for mattresses, is a large display that can quickly attract the attention of many people.  Smiling faces are prone to catch the eye of passersby, whether live or on a display.  The message is simple, "Be wise and go green.  Now."  With a world of plants in his hand, this kid is telling us that being more environmentally friendly is as important as a good nights sleep.

This second image, a small green sign, was inside one of the countless bathrooms at Changi Airport.  The small plaque, which was placed above one of the hand dryers, had a simple message as well...STOP WASTING SO MUCH DAMN PAPER, IDIOTS!  One may argue the point that these hand dryers use electricity, but one would also be happy to know that Changi practices some great environmental initiatives that have been recognized internationally.  Travelling through Singapore seems to be a new habit of mine, now that I call Australia home, and I'm happy to take part in and support such a sustainable city.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Name That Vegetable

One of the beauties of composting is that you never know what seedlings and starts will perk up out of the soil on a daily basis.  Sometimes these volunteers are not so good for your veggie garden, like papaya or the rampant lemon grass (both better in the ground or lemon grass in a pot).  But sometimes you get surprised with wonderful veggies that addmoregreen.  Take this peculiar squash-like vegetable for example...

I added some of this greatness to the pizza I made tonight, the only issue is that I have no idea what the vegetable actually is.  When I initially let the volunteer take off, I thought the cotyledons resembled those of a cucumber...boy was I wrong!  So, I need some help on this one if anyone knows what vegetable this any case it was delicious!

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Add More Green by Nick Kovaleski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.