13 juni 2010

My Greenhouse project

Greenhouse project
This winter I decided that I want to try to grow tomatoes and chillies in a greenhouse! There are a large variety of different tomatoes and chilli plants available in Denmark and I could not restrain myself, so therefore I thought: why not build two greenhouses? One in my mother’s garden and the other one, which I had already decided on in the first place: in my own front yard in Copenhagen, my first urban garden project. The benefits of doing two greenhouses are that we might be able to grow enough tomatoes for our own use and make some sauce and preserves as well. It also enables us to see what the differences are between growing tomatoes in a greenhouse in the countryside and in the city. Will the tomatoes taste differently; will they grow to be smaller or bigger?

The big greenhouse in my mother’s garden is already done. Henrik, my «second dad», build it this winter and a week ago we planted all the tomatoes and chillies. It was a beautiful sight and I loved spending the day roaming around in my new greenhouse. My mother and Henrik also have a large vegetable garden were they grow so many wonderful things, and I always get so excited when I work around in their garden at this time of the year realising all the tasteful things I will be able to cook during summer!

Last weekend I also took the opportunity to go out and pick some ground-elder. My mother’s neighbours have, what some would call a wild garden, which is paradise for me. The garden is almost a ground-elder heaven (not all gardeners would be keen on that) and they have a forest of stinging nettle, and on top that a lot of very old apple trees, which were all blooming, and blackberry thicket. I spend one hour picking both ground-elder and stinging nettle.

I made pesto with the ground-elder, the ingredients are simply ground-elder, almonds, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper. The pesto can be used for pasta, or a salad with whole boiled spelt, or on bread with some leftover chicken or lamb. Ground-elder is a spring thing. Pick the top 5 leaves, the rest is too bitter. The stinging nettle tastes wonderful in soup and in tart. These are two great things nature offers us, they are for free and in abundance!

So please enjoy the beginning of the summer and what it has to offer foodwise, and then follow my projects and summer cooking here on this blog.

Trine Hahnemann