Garden in the City

It’s not too late to plant veggies in your garden this season. Thanks to Sonia Day’s gardening book Incredible Edibles 43 Things to Grow in the City. You’ll find recipes using these veggies too!

Make sure carrots get plenty of sun and are planted in very deep containers without stones. You can get started after frost when the soil is still warm. All you need are the seeds with a bit of soil sprinkled over top.
The most important things to remember while planting:
– Soil needs to be loose
– No stones in the soil
– Stubbies are the most practical for home gardeners


Cumin Carrot Salad
6 large scraped carrots
About 2 tbps./ 25ml chopped green onions
1-2 tbps. /15-25 m: white sugar (or according to taste)
½ tsp./2mL salt
1 tsp./5mL ground cumin
1 tbsp. /15mL fresh lemon juice
Ground black pepper
Chopped parsley

Grate carrots into bowl. Combine everything else except parsley in a measuring cup, then mix into carrots and leave at room temperature for an hour or so. Sprinkle with parsley before serving. Great for guests, because you can make this in advance. Keeps well in fridge for a few days. Best thing about this salad? Sans-fat.

Cucumbers also need plenty of sun all day long; they can be planted from the seed in the ground or in containers.

The most important things to remember are:
– Wait until the soil gets really warm
– As cucumbers mature quickly, sow seed 1in./ 2.5 cm deep
– Provide support (tree braches, obelisks)
– Cucumbers do not keep well, use them quickly

Cucumber Raita
Eat this with spicy Indian dishes , on baked potatoes or on a salad.
Slice two small cucumbers (or one large) lengthwise, then into quarters. Cut out seeds and remove the skin if it is tough so it is easier to digest. Dice the flesh. Combine in a bowl with a cupful of thick plain yogurt (not non-fat), a mashed clove of garlic, 1 tbsp./ 15mL of curry powder (optional). Vietnamese coriander can be used instead of mint. Leave for an hour before serving. Use up quickly because after 24 hours the cucumbers get watery.

Pole and Runner Beans
These beans are easy to plant after the soil has warmed up in the ground or in a container. They need sun all day and need to be watered regularly.
The most important things to remember:
– Plant six seeds, thin to two or three, spaced at least 4 in./ 10 cm apart, 1 in./ 2.5 cm deep
– Start with seeds only as plants may not keep
– Pole beans must be kept in warm soil
– Make sure there is good drainage

Tuscan bean soup
About 1 ½ cups of white kidney beans or navy beans
1 tbsp. /15 mL each butter and olive
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots
A big scoop of pesto sauce (or 2 tsp. /10 mL dried basil)
1 lb (about 3 cups) runner beans (fresh), cut in 1 in, /2.5 cm lengths
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 tbsps. (45-60 mL) lemon juice (according to taste)
About 5-6 cups (1.25-1.5 L) water
Salt and Pepper

Soak dried beans overnight; simmer in plenty of water till tender, about 1 hour. In a large, heavy saucepan, sauté onion, celery and carrots in butter and olive oil for a few minutes till they are well-coated, adding garlic at the last minute, so it doesn’t burn. Add water and both kind of beans simmer gently for about half an hour, then add lemon juice and pesto or dried basil. Season to taste.