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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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…

If You Want Pollinators Grow Herbs

  • Post published:08/05/2014
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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
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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…

Garlic Harvest Fresh Out of the Ground

  • Post published:07/22/2014
  • Post comments:4 Comments

This morning I dug up my 35 hard neck garlic bulbs. My garlic harvest is looking pretty good and I am looking forward to entering them in the Heath Fair next month. Garlic is a wonderful crop. So easy. You begin with good seed garlic which you can get from a friend as I did, or go to a garlic farm like Filaree where you will be amazed at how many kinds of garlic there are to sample…

Dear Friend and Gardener – July 17, 2014

  • Post published:07/17/2014
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Dear Friend and Gardener: Where do I begin? With these new bean rows that I put in early this morning? Contender bush beans that promise to be ready for harvest in 50 days, on August 31?  We'll see.  But, they should be bearing well before frost. The rest of this bed separated by a pile of mulch, and two hills of Lakota squash which are coming along very slowly. We have had fairly good rainfall, but we have…