Herbs - so much nicer when you get them fresh from your own garden or window box...what the hell are you waiting for?
The first part of the yard that I reclaimed was this small section, where I planted the most common herbs - Oregano, Basil, Marjoram - all good in pastas and pizzas. Dill, Thyme and Rosemary are no-brainers. Delicious.
Other less well known herbs are useful too - Stevia, which is 100 times sweeter than sugar, and doesn't give you sphincter cancer (unlike other artificial sweeteners I could mention, but won't, as I might be killed by Dick Cheney if I did). Did I mention that eating Stevia reduces your blood sugar level? SSH! Don't tell the diabetics!
Here's another angle:
Sage, Sorrel and Indian mint are tucked in. I'll insert more herbs as I find them (or grow them from seeds - I've got a long stretch of ground along the house where herbs can grow streetside - though I'll have to grow them rather than buy them from nurseries - it would cost a fortune). Here are some Sage seedlings that I was able to germinate from seed (only 5 from 30 - huh?)
I'm trying to grow other herbs from seeds (to produce the plants on a much larger scale) - chives, fellel, echinacea, dill, mint, cilantro, anise, chervil, etc.
Many herbs have medicinal properties - I don't know enough to have an educated opinion on them. Nevertheless, they're certainly worth looking into.
At the front of the house is a deck, where I grow plants in pots, and seedlings.
Basil seems to love the heat - I've had 80% success rates with the seedlings:
I've also got a handful of producing plants there, including my soon to be eaten orange bell pepper...
Turn orange, damn you! TURN! While I'm waiting for that, my 2 year old tomato plant still gives up fruit, amazingly. It's fought off blight, hornworm, and me, and it's still alive...
This promises to be a Crenshaw Melon - a variety that rarely makes it to the supermarket shelf because its skin is too tender to withstand the transportation process. How about that - food that you can grow that you just can't buy!
So, get ye to the garden center, or break into your neighbour's greenhouse, and get to work. There's fun to be had, and food to be scoffed.
Back to part 2 --- Back to part 1
Much thanks to my good friends at pathtofreedom.com for their example. They achieved the feat of growing over 3 tons of food last year (most of it on 1/10th of an acre) in their suburban Pasadena home!