Herb Section

We have a herb section in the middle of our garden as we grow fresh spices for cooking along with teas and tinctures to keep us healthy. I started off mainly wanting to have fresh herbs to cook with. Now, we have a library of reference material on herbs by reputable herbalist and we are much more interested in the healing capabilities and qualities derived from our herb garden.

The hardest part for me initially was figuring out how to identify the sprouts as they came up. I’d kill them as I weed until it got easier to recognize them. Almost all of the images available online are of blooming, fully mature plants which do not look very much like a mature plant when they sprout out of the ground. I really wish that the seed packets would put pictures of what the sprouting plants look like. The cultivation success rate improves along with the ways we utilize the herbs as we learn more about them.

It is important to figure out which herbs are annuals needing careful seed retrieval to replant and which were easy self-seeding varieties. Also, which herbs are truly perennials hardy enough to survive our winters in the Inland Northwest climate. Do I need to protect them with a straw covering over winter? If it dies over winter I put straw over the next year to see if it can survive. It has become easier as we dedicate areas for each herb allowing the perennials room to grow and the annuals places to drop their own seeds.

The herbs established in our garden so far include basil, borage, caragon, caraway, chamomile, dill, elderberry, horseradish, hyssop, lavender, mints (lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint), mullein, oregano, parsley, poppy, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, valerian, yarrow. Following posts will show information and photography of each one of these separately along with information about successfully cultivating.

Garden Sanity

Blue Screen Sanctuary

Our garden is a large part of my sanity. It is the place I go to do some weeding, watering, and picking. There are absolutely no screens to look at, and no phones to answer.

Free With Nature

I can hear the birds sing, play with dogs and kids, and get real dirty and never worry what people think of me. Anyone who knows me recognizes that is a really natural state for me.

Harvest Begins In SanityCucumbers

At the end of the summer coming into fall it becomes a lot more work as more and more produce needs harvesting and processing. My hands get blisters and dried out from all the washing, cleaning, cooking and canning but the quality of the yummy food is well worth it throughout the following winter months. Here are some cucumbers getting ready to be pickles.

BucketsDahlia Dill and Tomatoes

Here are the buckets from this morning, tomatoes, dill herb, Dahlia’s, and tomatoes. Any kind of flower blossom brightens my day!
zuchini
A normal sized zuchini is what I am holding. Honestly, it is how big they get all the time.

Tomato Sorting

sorting ripeness of tomatoes

Back up at the house, the tomatoes are washed and sorted into ripeness groups. The group on the right is red and ready to eat or can. The group on the left will get to sit in my vegetable baskets by the window to finish ripening. I’ll process them probably the next time I pick.