tag: herbs

Posted by in simple living

herb drying

there’s nothing quite as satisfying, more delicious, (or cheaper!) than drying your own herbs.

herb drying
i am blessed to have fresh rosemary, oregano, and lavender growing in my yard (with some mint and basil patiently waiting to be planted) and yesterday i grabbed a few clippings from each of them.

herb drying

one of my favorite kitchen gadgets has been my ceramic herb drier. mine looks like a ‘ribbon’ that has been placed in somewhat of a figure eight shape, and though i can’t find this exact one, i found several that would do the trick. just rinse your herbs and place them in the ‘vase’ until they are dry enough to harvest.

herb drying

1. vertical pod wall vase; $29

2. blue and brown hasta wall vase; $34

3. textured teal beaded wall vase; $24

4. cage wall sculpture; $42

what is your favorite way to dry herbs?

simple living

 

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Posted by in gardening

planting kitchen herbs

{chamomile}

there’s just nothing like using freshly picked herbs in the kitchen.  i cherish them dearly and they make our dishes so delectable, savory and often times more beautifully presented. most culinary herbs are easy to grow indoors and make it easy to pick from your own mini herb garden year round!  you can plant them in individual pots, or in one container easy to move around.  most herbs are easily germinated from seed but are often very affordable as starters at your local hardware store or nursery.

planting kitchen herbs

{sneak peek from sfgirlbybay}

best herbs for the kitchen:

basil: sweet, fragrant leaves that are commonly used in sauces, pesto, salads and italian dishes.  an easy grower that produces in the summer and fall and needs maximum sunlight.

chives: a member of the onion family; best used in potatoes, salads and on fish.

dill: used in many asian and mediterranean dishes, dill has aromatic fern like scrumptious tops.

mint: fresh and clean herb, best used in drinks, salads and sweet dishes.

oregano: often used in italian dishes, tomato sauces and on veggies.  easy to grow with many health benefits.

parsley: usually used uncooked and as a garnish; has a very mild flavor.

rosemary: woody and fragrant, best used on potatoes, bread or vegetables (my favorite!).

sage: has a slightly peppery flavor, often used in meats or in italian dishes.

thyme: a basic ingredient in numerous cuisines, an essential and aromatic herb to grow.

planting kitchen herbs

{::herbs::}

growing tips: most herbs prefer sunny locations, either outside or in a south facing window. make sure the bottom of your pot or planting area has a drainage hole, as herbs prefer well drained soil. make sure that each herb has a depth 7-9 inches for root growth. consider keeping invasive herbs such as mint, lemon balm and peppermint growing separately so as not to overcrowd the others.

kitchen herbs

here’s my latest project and how i made my mini kitchen herb garden! i ran across this old tool box on a vintage hunt recently, and couldn’t wait to get home and plant it up.

kitchen herbs

after drilling a few holes in the bottom for proper drainage, i filled her with good organic potting soil and planted my sage, rosemary, basil, oregano and dill. i also added an aloe plant, a cactus and a succulent at the end, just to spruce it up  a bit.

kitchen herbs

i think this is my all time favorite garden project! i love the tool box because i can easily move into the sunshine, and then indoors for the winter.  happy planting!

simple living

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with some local corn, i made these scrumptious little corn medallions last night, and they turned out so well!  easy to eat, too- they were deliciously crunchy around the edges and just fell off the cob as you ate them.  plus, i think they made for a prettier side than a whole big ear of corn on your plate!

herb buttered corn medallions | seasonal summer recipe

ingredients:

2 ears of corn, shucked and sliced into 1.5″ medallions

2 tbls of butter, melted

1 tbls of fresh herbs; chopped (i used sage, rosemary, dill and oregano)

coarse salt and ground pepper to taste

preheat oven to 450°.  place the corn medallions into a greased baking pan.  mix your chopped herbs into the melted butter and pour over the medallions, tossing to cover them with the mixture.  bake until browned around the edges, about 20 minutes. enjoy!

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Edible Garden Rethink

May 20, 2010

Hello!  How are you doing?  Are your thumbs green yet?  Have you begun to harvest from your garden? Can you believe it is past the middle of May!  I’m in a bit of shock as to how fast time is flying by.  It’s almost time for me to plant my tomatoes and basil though…yay!  I’m also planting even more kale…because I love it so!

kale&tomatoes

This past week did not allow for a great deal of personal gardening time.  Between client meetings and sourcing plants I also took two afternoons to travel up to Brimfield and browse through the goodies.

So I’m scrambling to create gardens for my vegetable plants this year.  After the sawdust fiasco I decided some of the garden would be planted in straw bales, and that the herbs I use most would be potted up and placed by the kitchen door.  The straw bales are being conditioned and planted this week, and I have begun the process of making more space for containers.  I bought two matching plant stands at Brimfield and I’ve placed a wooden plank between them to create a raised shelf for parsley and chives to grow behind the huge Endless Summer Hydrangea.

chives

I’ve placed the mint buckets by the back door – lots of rambunctious plants in those, I tell you!  I have planted mint in garden beds, and I love it as a groundcover underneath large established shrubs.  But the best is to keep it corralled in a large, not too deep, container.  These old wash buckets are ideal.  I drilled holes in the bottom before planting them up.   We have several varieties of mint, and I will be planting more – these are the ones that overwintered well without any special attention or fuss…

3mints

I had planned a rather large vegetable garden and was looking forward to trying a bunch of new vegetables.  But that does not seem to be in the cards this year, and after some time to readjust I’ve decided I’m really happy about it.  I am guilty of overextending myself in my own garden.  I underestimate the amount of time and energy tending a large vegetable garden requires, and I usually end up feeling very stressed out and overwhelmed by the end of the season.  Last year I ate one tomato out of three different tomato plants.  The rest were eaten by the local chipmunks.  I had hit the proverbial wall, and even going to look at the tomatoes was too much.  Yes, there was a lot going on in my life besides that vegetable garden, but last week I was remembering how much I resented my vegetable plants at the end of the season and decided to embrace the less is more mantra. Plus, we have signed up for our local CSA and are going to be swimming in vegetables during harvest time.  This year only my absolute favorites are making the cut.

sweetmarj

I have started the plant selection process with the herbs I am planning on growing.  I visited Gilbertie’s Herbs in Westport, CT for ideas and today I sat down with their catalog and created my herb plant order.  Basically I am buying a whole bunch of basil….Cinnamon Basil, Thai Basil, Sweet Basil, Peruvian Basil and Spicy Globe Basil.  I’ll probably impulse buy a couple more…yeah, I love basil!  I will be planting different corianders, oreganos and dill, as well as herba buena and epazote.

I already have a large sage plant, tarragon and bronze fennel growing in what I am turning into an herb garden with one tomato plant.  This small garden is behind the garage and I used to grow my cut flowers here.  I will still have some blooms in this area, but it will primarily be herbs.

herb garden

As far as vegetable plants go, I will be planting 6 tomatoes, more salad greens and radish (I have already been harvesting these, but they are not photogenic at the moment…), several varieties of kale, beets, beans and possibly a watermelon.  This is still a lot of garden, I’m not kidding myself, but it is about a third of what I had originally planned.

I guess the lesson learned for me is that I do not have to do everything I think I want to do.  That spending at least 6 hours a week tending to only the vegetable garden is too much for me to ask of myself…especially since I work with plants, and some days they are the last thing I want to think about when the work day is done.  I do not have to be the one with the coolest varieties of things nobody has ever heard of.  I would rather be the one with a happy belly and lots of time to share the bounty with my friends and loved ones.

Have you ever let your enthusiasm get the better of you when it comes to your garden?  Do you have any tales to tell or any lessons learned to share?  How are your gardens doing? I’m all ears!!!

Caroline Finnegan owns Ladybug Landscaping, a full service organic landscaping company. based in CT. She is a NOFA accredited landcare professional and when not designing gardens can be found rearranging her furniture or out at a flea market finding new goodies. She almost always has dirt under her nails.


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