The Grow Op – an urban gardening experiment

April 30, 2009, 3:43 pm
Filed under: Herbs

So I came back from an overnight trip in Whistler (WSSF is going on – I saw Metric) for freeeee).

And what do i find?


The basil is growing! They tell me this is among the easiest plants to grow from seed, but I am still pretty proud of myself.


He Likes The Grow Op!
April 29, 2009, 7:26 pm
Filed under: David Suzuki

One of David Suzuki’s lackeys emailed me today and told me that they liked my entry*! So heres’ what I have to do:

1. Please film a 60 second video sample of you on camera in the tone you plan to use this summer.
2. Post the video on YouTube.
3. Then send the link of your video to us at, so we know where we can watch it.
4. Please put “Sample Video” in the subject line.

First of all, What the flick is youTube? Secondly, it sounds awfully complicated, but I am going to try and give it a shot. Stay tuned.

*It is possible they liked everybody’s entry.

Curry Plant
April 25, 2009, 12:39 am
Filed under: Herbs, Information | Tags: , ,

I did a little research on my curry plant (aka helichrysum italicum). Here is a pretty comprehensive writeup.

When I bought it I was already aware that curry powder wasn’t from an individual plant, but thought this might be an ingredient. It smells EXACTLY like curry. At some later date perhaps I will experiment with creating an essential oil. Thats what this adventure is all about!

April 23, 2009, 12:38 am
Filed under: Herbs, Prep | Tags: , , , ,

Despite my categorical failure to get my sun room cleared out this past weekend, I did make an effort to get something into the ground: Herbs.

My teeny herb garden

As you can see it is in a container, and indoors. I will pass along a warning that I received from my friendly neighbourhood garden store clerk: Herbs don’t tend to do well indoors, with a few exceptions; basil, cilantro and chives. If you know of some others, feel free to discuss in the comments. Apparently this has to due with the relative humidity in the average household – the plants tend to dry out. I have decided to take the risk. I have (from left to right) curry (this might not be edible sadly, but it smells great!), winter savory, oregano, rosemary, and parsley (the space will be for basil, discussed below). I am hoping that consistent fresh air from the window and the occasional spritz of water on the foliage will keep them healthy. If not, i may have to stash them somewhere in my courtyard, guerrilla gardener style! Having herbs in a container should be fine, as long as their is ample drainage.

Dark Opal Basil
The garden store did not have a basil plant started, so i decided to start some from seed. I found a very interesting type of basil called Dark Opal. Basil is very easy to grow from seed (apparently). I have put about 1/2 dozen seeds in a small plant pot about 6mm into the soil. I soaked the soil with water, and now wait for the botanical magic to start! I will post pics once I get some sprouts.

More on curry later.

The Venue
April 22, 2009, 11:52 pm
Filed under: Prep | Tags:

So this past weekend I attempted to tackle clearing out the sunroom, which will eventually provide an excellent greenhouse-like environment for nature’s delicious bounty. Our windows in the apartment are all south facing, and as a result get a significant amount of sun. The picture to the left is the room before i got started.

For a look at the room at the end of the weekend, please see the picture to the left. So yeah, I didnt get very far. The problem lies in another room (not pictured) where all this stuff has to go. I know i have to get on it, and will be focusing on this over the next week or so.

Urban Compost
April 17, 2009, 10:32 pm
Filed under: Dirt and Soil | Tags:

One thing that has always bothered me living in this city is under-developed waste diversion. It seems like recycling is highly specific, and a good portion of recyclable plastic is not allowed in the bin. I have also seen quite a few green bin programs in other parts of the country (ok, only one: Mississauga), but none here.

In her defense, Vancouver has a pretty cool Worm Compost Bin program. They also offer backyard compost bins. This is for local residents only, but it is a great tool. For more information, or to sign up, call 604-736-2250.

I called today, and they were very helpful. BUT, to get an apartment compost bin, you have to take an hour-long seminar and pay a $25 dollar deposit. The wait list is pretty long, so if you are interested, I would suggest calling ASAP to sign up.

Here is another site that has great info about urban compost:

Next post, I get started on my sunroom conversion, and a nice indoor herb garden.

“David Suzuki Digs My Garden” Contest
April 17, 2009, 6:42 pm
Filed under: David Suzuki

I have entered the “David Suzuki Digs My Garden” Contest found HERE.

It seems like a pretty cool contest, and a garden gnome is the penultimate botanical decoration. Plus David Suzuki touched it, which should improve my garden growth by 30-50 percent.

Thanks to commenter Eli for the tip.