Sunday, April 11, 2010

All my little seedlings are in their big-boy pots, ready for the post-frost weather (I'm hoping we don't get that chancy late-April cold snap this year...some of those soil-filled pots are HEAVY!). I replanted some of the radish and mesclun thinnings, just to see how they do. Now I'm only waiting for the May Herb Festival to fill in the blanks!

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Saturday, February 27, 2010
i got a bit antsy...
...about gardening this year. So back when it was still snowing a two weeks ago, I started a bunch of seeds indoors. Mostly, it was in reaction to the insane winter we've been having this year. I need some green! I don't think I'm really fooling nature by starting too early, but I think she'll be kind and allow me a bit of a headstart on the spring crops.

Tons of basil, rarin' to go, just as soon as April decides to get warm.

Miniature planter of lettuces for very tiny salads.

And the peas can stand the cold, so I got them in the ground (we'll, pot actually) as soon as the Farmer's Almanac would allow. Everything else can wait a few weeks. I've gotten my fix.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009
doing battle...
The garden is flourishing (literally) lately with all the sun and rain. My snap peas are nearly 4 ft. tall, and the basil crop is really taking off. Plus, this is the first year that I've had dill actually survive to flower!

I've got the beginnings of hot peppers, and a nice crop of lettuces. And if you look closely, you'll see nearly a dozen tomatoes ready to start ripening...

But earlier this week, to my dismay, I noticed a few buggies hanging out on my bell pepper plant...APHIDS!!!

I admit I had way too much fun picking them off with scotch tape. There weren't too many, only a few dozen, and I know they won't do too much damage to the peppers, but I worry about some of the other plants. So after a bit of research, I've made a bug brew of steeped rosemary, basil, and sage that I'll be spritzing the plants with occasionally.

Why exactly the infusion will help more than the presence of actual rosemary, sage and basil plants, I'm not exactly sure. Adding a dash of dishsoap is suggested...I'll try a bit of Dr. Bronner's peppermint, since it seems a bit safer for edibles (hey, if you can technically brush your teeth with it...).

Meanwhile, I've started the second batch of lettuces in an old mixing bowl on the kitchen table. Hopefully keeping it out of the direct heat of the day will help it not bolt as quickly. I planted these guys on Sunday, and they're already sprouting like mad!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009
I've been making tea with my lemon verbena plant (and mint...yum!) lately, and ran across this recipe from The Herbfarm Cookbook for Lemon Verbena sorbet. Just the smell of it makes my mouth water, and it's in the freezer for tonight. My plant's not very big yet, so it was only really enough of a harvest for a fraction of the recipe. So here the divided by three version I just made...

Lemon Verbena Sorbet

1/3 cup lemon verbena leaves, packed
1/3 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup cold water

Put the leaves and sugar into a food processor and grind away until the sugar is green.

Then add lemon juice and water and zizz it a bit until it looks fully mixed.

Strain out the leaves, leaving the greenish liquid behind.

Put liquid into a metal bowl or baking dish and place in freezer. After 3 or so hours, mash with fork to break up chunks and serve.

This really came out less like a sorbet (because I don't have an ice cream freezer) and more like a granita. But delicious and refreshing. Kind of an herbally lemony taste. Next time I may try a bit of mint in with it for added refreshment.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009
parsley, sage, rosemary...
...and thyme. And dill, basil, and cilantro, and oregano, and mint, and lemon verbena.

Saturday involved braving the rain and the crowds at the WNC Farmer's Market annual Herb Festival. If I had actual ground to plant a bunch of stuff in, I probably would've come home with more pepper plants, edible flowers, and a bunch of crazy medicinal herbs like astragalus, boneset, and wormwood. But since I'm mostly limited to pots on the fire escape and windowsill, I'm only growing things I can eat...

In addition to all the herbs, I've also got some tomatoes, a bell pepper, loads of lettuces, and some sugar snap peas. A few more weeks and we'll be swimmin' in salad!

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