Even though Parvin always has something growing in boxes and little trays – she can even grow alfalfa sprouts in a plastic bag on a backpack while hiking 20 miles every day – we never could have much of a garden while we were traveling. Later, when our traveling became slower and slower we came back to it and tried it everywhere. Parvin often managed to do some gardening even in Baja where we have to haul every drop of water from far away and apply it carefully like medicine.
Gardening in the wild desert of Baja
Close to the beach we often had a tiny little bed of Acelga under a shady Mesquite Tree where otherwise only cactus and sage grows, and it worked like a miracle. The little wild birds had never seen something green like this:
Parvin has clearly a green thumb – her flower garden at home is always a feast for the senses:
This summer we tried our luck with “cold frames”: simple wooden frames sitting directly on the ground with a glass window for a cover. They provide protection from our cool nights, but they also protect the plants from slugs and from deer – a major problem in our northern “wild” area.
So far we grow mostly herbs: Dill, Arugula, Mustard Green, Mint, Parsley, Thyme, Oregano, Chives, Rosemary, Horseradish, Marjoram, Endive, and Tarragon. Young Red Kale and exotic lettuces go very well as herbs too. For Basil to grow well, we simply had not enough warm days this year.
There is nothing like a herb toast in the evening: A slice of our self-baked dark full-grain sourdough bread, toasted, maybe a slice of cheese on it or a scrambled egg, or both, and two hands full of herbs on top. Perhaps a few nuts to round it off. Traditional Iranian cuisine is full of herbs, they all grow in abundance there.
Klaus Aug. 8. 2011