Clearly, my French balcony is way too small to nourish me even for one single day. But it is big enough to spice up my dishes from time to time. What I mean to say is that when I grow potatoes, tomatoes or peppers on the balcony, this happens rather to prove that it is possible at all and for the pleasure of seeing the fruits develop. The balcony is really useful, by contrast, when I raise herbs or spices. Even in smaller pots, it is possible to grow enough, say, chives, rosemary or thyme to give flavor to my summer dishes. Also mint is really rewarding – it grows fast, it is undemanding and it can be overwintered outside. And then there are chili peppers. Depending on its age, one plant usually gives you between 5 and 15 small peppers, which is enough to spice up quite a few pasta sauces during winter. So from my experience I would say that if you want to impress yourself (and your neighbors), grow vegetables; if you want to make use of your balcony for freshness and flavor, do turn to herbs and spices. (Served above btw: winter savory).
Not long ago, I’ve been complaining about the fact that some plants, among them the chili pepper, did not reach their potentials this summer. Well, it seems that the chili pepper actually reads my blog: It finally started to bloom and I would think that this is still early enough to yield some fruits.
Living in a big city means for most people (and plants) that space is limited, that hours of direct sunlight are counted and that some species are better grown by those who do have a garden or a greenhouse. Before I can start complaining, I remind myself that you can hardly have all the advantages in full (like, for instance, home-grown tomatoes for an entire family dinner and worldclass museums within a walking distance). And then I realize that there are indeed things that are unlimited and that are there for us (and our plants) no matter where we live or how we live and that we should definitely be grateful when they arrive. Among them: clear blue skies – thanks for showing up so often this summer.
The first tomato is turning red (and the second one also started to). Since it is a heirloom species, I think it will not turn red-red, but rather put on some brownish-orange color. To document the process, I took one picture every morning during the last four days. As you can see on the last picture dating from today, the squash has come really close (you can see one of its flowers sneaking into the photo), leaving little room for the tomato plant. I therefore moved it from its spot at the end of the balcony to somewhere in the center. Upcoming pictures of the tomato will therefore be with a different background – and, depending on when I will harvest them, probably without some of the fruits.