Whether you’re a diehard gardener or just want to have fresh herbs to add interest to your meals when you’re on the road, a caravan garden could be the perfect travelling companion.
Not only will you save money but once you’ve eaten homegrown food, supermarket salads just won’t taste the same.
Which herbs are best?
Herbs are resilient, easy to grow and add flavour to most recipes. Here are some that you might find useful.
- Chives. Add them to eggs, salad and pasta sauce. Garlic chives have even more flavour and are a good alternative.
- Mint can be added to a lamb roast, cool drinks or tea.
- Basil, parsley, thyme and oregano all work with meats, eggs, pasta or pizza.
- Sage is best lightly cooked, in recipes such as saltimbocca or burnt sage-butter pasta.
- Crunchy greens like rocket, mixed lettuce or salad burnet add a gourmet touch to your sandwich or salad.
Garden in a box
Plant your herbs in medium-sized pots, then place them together in a foam packing box so they’re light enough to be carried in and out of the caravan. They can be watered together and will create a self-supporting ecosystem, yet you can replace any that aren’t doing so well.
Alternatively, have two larger, shallow pots with several herbs in each; just make sure they won’t leak water or dirt and that they’re light enough to move outdoors when you’re parked.
Sprouts are easy, cheap and take up very little space. All you need is seeds, a jar, cheesecloth or a clean stocking for straining, and a rubber band. Soak the seeds overnight, then drain. Rinse them in the jar several times a day for two to three days, making sure they have plenty of aeration, and you will have delicious healthy greens for sandwiches, salads and snacks.
You’ll find alfalfa seeds in most health-food stores, but look also for mustard seeds, quinoa, lentils or mung beans.
Beware quarantine rules
If you’re travelling across state borders, remember that some states have strict quarantine rules and won’t allow you to keep your caravan garden.
Take a look at the Quarantine Domestic website for specific rules, or download its latest travellers’ guide, as it applies to any fruit, vegetables or other produce you might be carrying.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have your herbs and eat them too. One way to get around the problem is to grow them in small pots and give them to travellers going the other way, then buy more.
A caravan garden can be surprisingly easy and useful, even if you don’t have a green thumb. It will thrive on grey water and can be harvested as needed.
Want to deck out your caravan kitchen out like a master chef? Take a look at these accessories.