Delicious Culinary Herbs for Taste and Pleasure

  • Post published:03/17/2018
  • Post comments:9 Comments

Culinary herbs bring flavor and savor to a meal, that bit of piquance that can turn a bland dish into something delectable. They all have their own stories as well. I enjoy thinking of women from time immemorial harvesting their herbs and preparing meals and medicinal potions for their families. Herb gardens have an ancient history and we moderns can still grow a handful of the herbs we use most often. Simon and Garfunkel aside, parsley, sage, rosemary…

U is for Umbelliferae

  • Post published:04/25/2016
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U is for Umbelliferae. Umbelliferae is the family of plants that includes carrots, cilantro/coriander/ dill,  lovage, parsley, parsnips and Queen Anne's Lace. As well as a few others. I hadn't thought about the range of this family until I read Vegetable Literacy, a wonderfully informative horticultural book - and cook book filled with delicious recipes. The name Umbelliferae refers to the type of flower form - umbel. I wrote about Queen Anne's Lace here  and identified it as Daucus…

First Garden Day – First Pass Over the Herb Bed

  • Post published:04/14/2015
  • Post comments:6 Comments

The first garden day came on Sunday when temperatures rose to 60 degrees. The Herb Garden in front of the house has been clear of snow for about a week but there has been no sun, only grey skies and lots of wind. You can see that I did not cut everything back in the fall. I only made the first pass, so it doesn't look new garden bed neat, but everything is cut down, raked out, and…

Herbs for the Kitchen and for the Soul

  • Post published:03/28/2015
  • Post comments:1 Comment

Herbs. Some people like herb gardens because they are so practical, others like the romance of herbs. All new herb gardeners will find that they are about the easiest gardens to tend. Herbs are not fussy plants. Lisa Baker Morgan and Ann McCormick belong to the practical school. Their book Homegrown Herb Garden: A Guide to Growing and Culinary Uses (Quarry Books $24.99) gives information about growing 15 flavorful herbs, and then delicious recipes using each of the…

My Indoor Rosemary

  • Post published:12/30/2014
  • Post comments:3 Comments

I have two rosemary plants that grow outdoors during the summer, and then come indoors for the winter. The plant on the left is a prostrate rosemary, bought in error when I was in a hurry. I grew it outdoors that first season adn then potted it in this handsome redware container. I did not put it in the ground again for no reason other than inertia. The plant still lives and I have been known to harvest…

Indoor Kitchen Gardening by Elizabeth Millard

  • Post published:12/19/2014
  • Post comments:1 Comment

When I first started reading Elizabeth Millard's new book, Indoor Kitchen Gardening: Turn Your Home Into a Year-Round Vegetable Garden, ($24.99) I had some idea about growing herbs and sprouts indoors during the winter, but I wasn't so sure about tomatoes. For that reason I dashed right past all the basic information about getting started to the back of the book, past microgreens and herbs, past the potatoes! and straight to  tomatoes. Millard acknowledges that growing tomatoes, which…

Mary Gardens for Meditation

  • Post published:12/08/2014
  • Post comments:5 Comments

Mary Gardens do not bloom in December, but since the liturgical season of Advent is a time of waiting for the momentous birth of the Christ Child I cannot help but think about what a confusing time it must have been for Mary. All mothers waiting for the arrival of their first child often feel confused because emotions can range from frightened to joyous. What will the birth be like? What will the baby be like? What will…

Time to Plant the Garlic

  • Post published:10/19/2014
  • Post comments:2 Comments

It is not widely known but I was crowned the Garlic Queen at the Heath Fair this year. It is only right that I was crowned by Rol Hesselbart, who gave me my first garlic cloves to use for planting. Hesselbart has been growing garlic and and saving the best bulbs to use as seed for many years. The bulbs he gave me were easily twice as big as the garlic you usually buy at the supermarket. It…

If You Want Pollinators Grow Herbs

  • Post published:08/05/2014
  • Post comments:4 Comments

When I planted my herb garden I was not in search of pollinators. However, I have found that several of my herbs are pollinator magnets. You may have to take my word for the presence of several bees in the thyme. There are so many, and they move so fast, along with a few tiny butterflies/moths that I just point the camera and hope that I captured one or two. This thyme grows at the edge of the…

Doubling My Garlic Harvest

  • Post published:07/24/2014
  • Post comments:4 Comments

I learned a new way of doubling my garlic harvest this year. On July 12 I cut off all the garlic scapes (I got all but two as I later learned) brought them into the house and cut them into small pieces which I then put on a cookie sheet and put that in the freezer for about an hour. Don't leave them in much longer because they are very fragrant! Then I slid the separately frozen cut…