Sunday, October 10, 2010

Herb harvest

It’s the first hard frost tonight, they say, and the chill wind confirms. I spent the day cleaning up the garden, harvesting the herbs. I wasn’t sure there was much there, but I brought in lemon balm and thyme, sage and catnip, a little parsley, some oregano and even a few last tiny squash. My kitchen smells wonderful.

Most of the herbs are tied with twine and hung from the spice rack, but I put the parsley into the oven to dry. Start at 200 degrees, put in the parsley and turn off the oven. Repeat several times. That really works!

Tomorrow I plan to forage for a few more experiments. Goldenrod and mullein can be made into teas, they say. And there is plenty of mint. Beautiful, invasive fernleaf tansy, no—unless taken in small, weak amounts tansy can be poisonous. I should have cut tansy earlier to see if the tiny yellow flowers and the foliage would dry for wreaths.

I’m reading and re-reading all my herb books these days, thinking of next year’s garden. I only have two acres, but I can grow a lot of herbs. I’m working through what products I might be able to make and sell to make my garden habit profitable. The dreaming is worthwhile in itself.

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