Friday, October 23, 2009

Lifecycle of Cilantro


I had a chicken and an egg problem because I didn't know where to start the lifecycle.  June 2008, I sowed some seeds and not many came up.  Then, in the Fall, some lettuce and cilantro spontaneously sprouted.  One single head of curly-leaved lettuce kept us in pretty greens for 4 months.  Sure, we had to mix it up with romaine from the store, but that little plant sure was prolific.

Three cilantro plants came up and I had a hard time using them up.  When the weather warmed up in the late spring, they bolted and went to seed.  I pulled them up and laid them on the potting bench to dry.  I can use the seeds as coriander, or sow them to grow more cilantro.

A couple of weeks ago, I scattered some seeds in the shady area by the front door.  The germination rate of the seeds I saved is much better than for the seeds I bought in 2008.  I don't know if it has anything to do with the difference in soil temperature.  The seedlings are leggy; the area might be too shady.  If the elm tree next door sheds its leaves soon, then the seedlings will get more light.  In 2 months, I might be drowning in cilantro.

In the mean time, I am enjoying the cilantro from our Tanaka Farms CSA boxes.  Did you know that cilantro can keep for weeks if kept in a glass of water in the refrigerator?  Just trim off a bit at the bottom of the stem and put it in water (like you would put flowers in a vase).  Put a loose plastic bag over the cilantro or else they will evapotranspirate like crazy and humidify your fridge (not a good thing).  Change the water once in a while.

Oh, now you have seen the inside of my fridge.  Did you take The refrigerator personality test?  I just have to explain that is not my bottle of iced oolong tea in there.  A friend came over and brought it with him.  If I want iced  tea (and I would only drink oolong hot), I would just brew some leaves up and chill the tea.  The box of soy milk and 2 types of home-made salad dressing are typical.

1 comment:

  1. We use a lot of cilantro here. Peter's usual breakfast is a black bean paste, loaded with cilantro. It's usually spread on tortillas, topped with cheddar, and broiled. He makes a batch every week and each batch uses a full bunch of cilantro, stems and all. How glad I was to find cilantro in the box this week!

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