Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gardening Update

Wooooow! 2 posts, 2 days. Not bad.
The pic to the left is none other than Marko Karakasevic digging up a Wormwood plant for me to bring home from the grounds of Domaine Charbay. That's right, Marko. Dig it. The one on the right is an older wormwood plant of his (what it looks like when it grows nice and tall). I mixed up a few cocktails that night and muddled some wormwood with some pineapple, lime juice, agave nectar and Charbay Tequila. when I muddled the wormwood with the pineapple, Marko noticed that it oddly smelled like a strawberry, so we called the cocktail the Spring Hill Mountain Strawberry. Try it!

I'm in this gardening frenzy, so I went and spent another $150 today at the garden center. Additions: 2 more wine barrels for my blueberry bushes and meyer lemon tree (1 each, duh), hot and spicy oregano (wait until I put that in a cocktail!), stevia, epazote, pineapple mint, more spearmint and peppermint, lemon grass and some citrus tree food. I learned that the holes in most of my leaves are from caterpillars that are plaguing everyone. According to my new best gardening buddy, Abbey (at Flowercraft Garden Center, 550 Bayshore), the little buggers are getting worse with global warming every year. I learned how to look for Aphids and kill them and few tips about watering. Turns out Abbey is an avid cocktailian and is psyched to learn of my little project. She was full of ideas. She uses the flowers of African Blue Basil in her own vodka martinis, which she loves with the original formula of Noilly Prat French Vermouth. Nice one, Abbey!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Let's try this again

I have been shite at this trying to keep up with the writing stuff, but I'll give it a try again for shits and giggles. Maybe it is the approach of trying to write too much. We'll try a shorter version.

To start with for today, I am going to publish the updated list of stuff growing in my new garden, which I have dubbed, in honor of a great bartender and friend who we all tragically lost this year, "Gregor's Garden". Here's what's growing now:

Gregor’s Garden
(photo above is from 8/3/09)
As of August 19th, 2009

Sweet basil
African blue basil
Thai basil
Lemon Basil
Basil Mint
Kentucky General Mint
Apple Mint
Texas Tarragon
Greek Mountain Oregano
Lemon verbena
Provence Lavender
Goodwin Creek Lavender
Tuscan Rosemary
Kits Pink Rosemary
English Thyme
Thyme (with yellowish leaves – type unknown)
Pineapple Sage
Early Girl Tomatoes
Pink Brandywine Tomatoes
Red Bell Pepper
Bolivian Rainbow Chiles
An unknown chile
Mixed lettuces
Espadin agave
Rose Geranium
Syrah grape
Granache Blanc grape
Grenache Noir grape
Vermentino Grape
Eureka Lemon tree
Kumquat Tree
Meyer Lemon tree
Blueberry bushes

Special thanks to Marko for the Wormwood and Rose Geranium from the Charbay compound and to my lovely girlfriend Angie for tolerating me turning my convertible into a pickup on our trip to Napa. I plan to add more plants soon and am learning on a regular basis about light, water, bugs, growing seasons and more. The idea is to be chock full of stuff I can use in cocktails at Elixir. Fun stuff, tiring and expensive. Hopefully some of you will reap the benefits soon!