Living & Gardening Aboard a Boat
Most of you probably have a small spot of earth that you can grow a few vegetables in. Some of you have more than that and have quite a nice plot of land with raised beds and tidy rows of lettuce. Still others have greenhouses filled with tomatoes and peppers. Me? I'm a little different. I have a very unique gardening arrangement. I do my gardening on my sailboat, Ladyhawk.
When we sailed off into the sunset, I left a 14' X 30' greenhouse behind, filled with organic tomato and pepper plants. My raised beds were chock full of all colors of lettuces, herbs, pole beans and cukes, and too many more incredible edibles to list! In the four years that we've been gone, I realized how much I really missed my gardens. I missed having fresh basil right outside my door, ready and waiting anytime I wanted to make a Caprese Salad Bento Box. I missed the fresh dill when I felt like making Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce.
But most of all, I longed for those red, ripe juicy heirloom tomatoes. You know the one. That perfect tomato you could eat right off the vine like an apple. I would cut off a hunk of fresh-out-of-the-oven sourdough bread and sneak off into the garden with a knife. First stop would be the basil patch. Just a few leaves were all I needed.
Then off to the greenhouse. I'd sit right down on the ground, dirt on my shorts and all, and make myself a tomato sandwich. I didn't need to wash it, just a little wipe with my denim shirt and that tomato was clean enough to eat! Forget about the napkin or paper plate. One bite into that sandwich and I had tomato juice dripping down my face and chin. Just thinking about it now makes my mouth water! How bout you? Are you salivating yet?
How To Grow a Garden on a Sailboat
This was the summer I decided I was going to have a garden again. But on a boat? Where the heck was I gonna have a garden? Was the salt air going to have an effect on my veggies? How about the bees? Don't I need bees to pollinated the flowers? What about???? So I got a few pots and a friend gave me a few tomato plants. I bought some green and purple basil, some mint and lemon balm, and a HUGE purple petunia that cascaded over the bowsprit.
Container Gardens on a Sailboat
The mint and lemon balm took over the pot and ended up sprouting vines through the handles! The mint made the best Mojitos and Watermelon Gin Fizzes (coming soon!)!
I had so much basil that I made more than my share of Homemade Pesto for Grilled Pizzas and pasta salads. I had trouble with the cilantro and it promptly died as did my rosemary. Oh well, to the sea I say, to the sea with it!
One Ton Tomato!
The friend that potted the tomato for me also planted a few surpise seeds in the soil. I didn't realize this until I saw a trailing vine trying to attach itself and wind all the way up the backstay! I quickly stuck a bamboo pole into it and let it do its thing! They ended up being quite beautiful too! The tomatoes were awesome, producing tons (OK, so I'm exaggerating again) of tomatoes that made their way into many sandwiches, Panzanella Salads and Award Winning Chili.
Boat Gardens? What a Great Idea!
Our dock mates have to walk right past our boat and the trailing petunias. It was BIG and it couldn't be missed. People would stop and stare and then say, "Wow! What a great idea!" They were even more amazed when they saw the rest of the vegetable garden on our back "40"! The back 40? Yes! Our boat is 40 feet long, and the veggie garden is on the aft deck!