Herbs Series – Week #1

Herbs

Today I would like to talk about herbs and what I am learning about each one of them.  Each Monday I will make a post for the next several weeks about a particular herb with detailed information.

Oregano, Sage, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Santolina, Artemesia, Tarragon & Fennel prefer soil that is dry and rock (light soil).

Herbs generally do not require fertilizer.  Improve the soil structure twice a year by adding organic material.

Basil, Chamomile, Thyme, Lavender, Mint, Dill, Chervil, Fennel & Parsley attract beneficial insects to your garden.

Basil, Lemon Grass & Garlic Chives require more water than herbs listed above.

Herbs that are invasive include:  mint and some oregano, so you will want to control these invasive herbs by planting them in containers or cut the bottoms of the container and sink container into your soil.

In the fall the following herbs can be started:  Anise, Borage, Caraway, Catnip, Chervil, Chives, Cilantro/Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Fennel (bulb), Garlic (clove), Garlic Chives, Horehound, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Burnet, Santolina, Savory (Winter), Scented Geraniums, Thyme and Yarrow.

Herbs that can be started from cuttings in the fall include:  Horehound, Lavender, lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Santolina, Savory (Winter), Scented Geraniums, Thyme and Yarrow.

Herbs that are started from divisions in the Fall include:  Catnip, Chives, Fennel (bulb), Garlic (clove), Garlic Chives, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Tansy & Yarrow.

Look for posts on Mondays on specific herbs over the next several weeks where we will be looking a detailed information for each herb.

Lord bless you and keep you!

Advertisements

How to make Tagliatelle with Parsley Sauce

Plain Parsley

I have attached a video showing how to make Tagliatelle.  The recipe in the video is different than the one I have posted below.  Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make this dish  that serves 4:

1lb fresh spinach tagliatelle (I substitute any pasta noodles)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
3T olive oil
4 cloves garlic
12oz button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 c. chopped curly-leaved parsley
salt and black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
2/3 c. heavy cream
8oz feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions:
Cook the tagliatelle (or pasta) in boiling salted water until it is tender.  Drain and keep warm.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and cook the onions over medium heat until clear or translucent.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the mushrooms, stir, cover and simmer over low heat for five minutes.  Stir in the parsley slowly to avoid breaking the mushrooms, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add the cream and heat all the way through.  Turn the tagliatelle into a warm serving dish, pour on the sauce and toss well.  Sprinkle with Feta cheese and serve with bread, a salad of roasted red and yellow peppers or tomatoes sprinkled with basil and sunflower seeds.

Enjoy the delicious dish.

How can I use herbs in the kitchen?

Curled Parsley

Once I had herbs growing, it was time to figure out how I can use them in the kitchen for meals.

Herbs can be used in soups, starters, main dishes, egg dishes, pasta, salads, cheese dishes and vegetables.

Chervil and Tarragon can be used in clear/light chicken broth for soups.  Dill, Lemon balm and Tarragon can be used in fish soups.  Caraway, Dill and Fennel can be used to make Lentil soups.  Chervil, Dill seed, Fennel, Lovage, Oregano and Sage can be used to make pea soups.

These are just a few ways to use herbs in cooking.  How do you use your herbs?

What Kind of Soil do I need for Parsley to Grow?

Plain Parsley

When I first started gardening I didn’t know a thing about soil much less different types of soil that certain plants needed.  So I’ll share some things I have learned about herbs and soil.

There is clay soil, medium soil, light soil, sandy soil, wet soil and loam soil.  You can determine what kind of soil you have by getting a quart class jar with a lid.  Put a few tablespoons of soil in the jar and fill it with water.  Put the lid on the jar and shake really hard and then leave the jar alone for a couple days while the contents settle.  After a couple days get a marker and mark the jar at the point of each layer you see.

Here in Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9) we have clay soil.  Which means my jar once settled will have a narrow band of sand and stones covered by a much thicker band of clay.  This is called “clay soil”.  Medium soil will have equal layers of sand and clay.  Light soil will have a thick layer of sand and a narrow band of clay.

In light sandy soil water drains quickly and takes all the nutrients with it.  All Mediterranean herbs will love light sandy soil, such as:

Borage
Chamomile
Coriander
Evening primrose
Fennel
Lavender
Tarragon
Thyme
Wild marjoram
Winter savory

There are herbs that prefer Clay soil, such as:

Bee balm
Comfrey
Mint
Wormwood

Moist loam soil is loved by some herbs, such as:

Angelica
Bee balm
French sorrel
Lady’s mantle
Lemon balm
Meadowsweet
Mint
Parsley
Sweet Cicely

Here is a list of herbs that prefer wet soil:

Angelica
Bee balm
Marsh mellow
Meadowsweet
Valerian
Watercress

Loam soil is rich in nutrients and well drained, therefore the following herbs thrive in it:

Basil
Bay
Caraway
Catnip
Chervil
Chives
Coriander
Dill
Fennel
Lady’s mantle
Lovage
Rosemary
Rue
Sage
Thyme

Plain Parsley

Plain Parsley

Parsley

ParsleyIn our garden we have a few different kinds of Parsley growing, so I thought I would post some information that I have learned.

Parsley is a hardy biennial that grows in Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9).  Parsley likes full sun with afternoon shade. Make sure the soil is fertile and hummus rich.  It is grown from seed.  The leaves and roots can be used for cosmetic, culinary, household and medicinal purposes.

The plant will overwinter easily but we grow it as an annual.  The plant will grow 9″-12″ tall and will produce flowers in the 2nd year.  The seed germinates well if kept warm and moist.  This can be accomplished by soaking the seed in warm water for a couple hours before sowing.  Keep the soil moist until it sprouts.  Continuous sowing will allow for a continuous   harvest.

Do you grow parsley and how do you use it?

Herbs – Week #4

Caraway

Caraway is a hardy biennial herb that will enjoy full sun in the fall.  The stems will reach between 18″-30″ that will provide a white flower and produce a seed used to flavor candy, cookies, cakes and breads.  The thick like roots can also be eaten.

Caraway flowers in the summer and does not transplant well so sow the seeds in a place you want it to grow.  You can either harvest the seeds for replanting or let them fall in place to reseed on their own.

Caraway likes a loamy soil which would consist of equal amounts of compost, clay and sand.

Caraway seeds ground up and use in your lentil dishes.  It is also good in any cabbage dish.

Caraway seedheads will be brown and tan when dried to use in craft projects, such as wreaths and garlands.

Caraway seeds can be chewed as a breath freshner.

Lord bless you and keep you.

Garden Wednesday

Here are photos this week of vegetables currently growing in our garden.

Slicing Cucumber

Slicing Cucumber

Peaches and Cream Corn (2)

Dinosaur Kale

Dinosaur Kale

Kale & Tomato

Kale & Tomato

Jicama

Jicama

Globe Artichoke

Globe Artichoke

Slicing Cucumber and Hot peppers

Slicing Cucumber and Hot peppers

Crane Melons

Crane Melons

Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe

Bush Beans & Bush Pickling Cucumber

Bush Beans & Bush Pickling Cucumber

Bell Pepper plant

Bell Pepper plant

Bell Pepper plant

Bell Pepper plant

Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers

Armenian Cucumbers

Armenian Cucumbers

Vegetables in the garden currently.

Vegetables in the garden currently.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Recipe Tuesday – Borage

Borage

Looking for another way to use those Borage flowers, then try using them in a Moist Method potpourri.

1 cup partly dried marigold petals
1 cup partly dried bergamot flowers
1 cup partly dried marjoram flowers, stripped from the stalk
1 cup partly dried lemongrass leaves, finely chopped
1 cup partly dried lemon verbena leaves
1 cup partly dried borage flowers
3 cups fine salt
1 tablespoon anise seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon dried orris root powder
5-6 drops essential oil

Making a potpourri using the moist method, partially dry the leaves and petals and layer them with salt in a covered container.  Leave them for two weeks.  Break up the block that has formed, add spices, orris root powder and a essential oil.  Stir well, then cover and let sit for six weeks, stirring every day.  In a wide-necked container mix the developing potpourri with your fingers.

Lord bless you and keep you.

Herbs – Week #3

Borage

Borage is a herb that bees and wasp love, so make sure it is not planted close to a walkway.  The flowers are a pretty blue star pattern.  Sometimes the flowers may be pink or white.  Allow enough room because the plant can take up as much room as a squash plant.  It will also self-seed annually.

Borage is not picky about the kind of soil.  I have seen it grow in our compost, in a brick border that has clay only or in one of our raised beds, but perfect soil would be light soil.

The flowers and leaves can be used for cosmetic, culinary & medicinal purposes.

Borage likes full sun in the fall and let dry out in between waterings.

Borage flowers can be sprinkled on top of a salad as a garnish.

Borage has been known as a symbol of courage.

Borage flowers can be used in potpourri.  Can be used in skin lotions for cosmetic purposes.  Use the leaves & flowers in soups, garnish or fruit punches.  Leaves can be invused for feverish colds.

Next Monday’s post will be about Caraway.

Lord bless you and keep you.

Vegetable Thursday

Broccoli Waltham 29

Today I am going to journal about Waltham 29 Broccoli.

The seed packet give me the following information:
1) seed depth 1/4″
2) seed space 2″
3) sprouts in 7-10 days
4) plant space 18″-24″
5) matures in 65 days

I love broccoli!  I will be planting our broccoli in bed #1 this fall.  Bed #1 is a bed that faces north/south and is 4’x8′.  So this means I can plant two rows of broccoli on each side of the bed for a quantity of 4 plants on each side.  This gives me a total of 8 plants.  The germination is 7-10 days, so I will stagger the planting dates one week a part.

I start my seeds using 5 parts peat moss to 1 part perlite to ensure it is a sterile soil.

Here in Phoenix, AZ our first frost average date is December 11th each year.  So I need to plan to harvest prior to this date or have a plan in place to protect the broccoli from a hard freeze.

According to Urban Farms planting calendar here, I can begin planting seeds August 15th.  So my first seeds I will start August 15th and then every 7 days start another Waltham 29 Broccoli.  The broccoli starts will go into the garden beginning October 7th.

Recipe Tuesday – Anise

Anise

Now that we have our Anise growing, it is time to figure out what to do with it.

Here is a video I found on YouTube talking about how Anise is good to lower Cholesterol.  I don’t know anything about the medicinal values of herbs yet, but I like to share information with others.  So feel free to comment in the comment section about what you have discovered about Anise.  Video is here.

If you are interested in making a Anise tea for a cough simmer one teaspoon crushed anise seed and 1 tablespoon powdered licorice root in 3 cups water.  Let steep for 20 minutes.  Then pour over two teaspoons thyme leaves.  Cover and let steep another 10 minutes.  Then strain through a cheesecloth.  Drink one cup that is hot three or four times day.

What are some ways you have used Anise?

Lord bless you and keep you.