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Fall Gardening

Fall Gardening

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The heat of summer has just about past and the days are getting cooler and shorter. Summer crops like tomatoes and eggplant and squash are near about finished, however we aren't done with the garden! It is time to plant all of those cool weather crops from brassicas to lettuces and hardy greens. October is also time to plant garlic in my zone 7 garden and I've also put in some herbs like cilantro, chervil and parsley, which like cooler weather.

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Wild Rice with Cranberries and Hazelnuts

Wild Rice with Cranberries and Hazelnuts

We are gearing up for the annual Herb Harvest Fall Festival at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas on the weekend of October 2 to 5. For this event , we are featuring the Northern United States, north of historic U.S. 40.We will be studying the foods, herbs, crops and folkways of these regions. Here is a recipe that we will be serving for the Lavish Herbal Feast that you will want to make!

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How to Make Water Kefir

How to Make Water Kefir

Water kefir grains can easily be infused in lightly sweetened water to make a healthy beverage full of probiotics--they are fizzy and refreshing drinks--flavored with any fruit, herbs or fruit juices that you like. Watch this video to learn how-to-do-it! You don't have to drink sodas!

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Juicy Fruits: From Scuppernongs to Peach and Blackberry Crumble

Juicy Fruits: From Scuppernongs to Peach and Blackberry Crumble

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The seasonal fruits of summer are at their peak and I've been enjoying wild and domestic berries, the stone fruits and melons. I've been slurping up juicy melons, dead-ripe peaches, nectarines, plums and plump berries and cherries--I delight in fruits that squirt and run down your chin and drip from your hands. Just talking about them makes my mouth water. They are refreshing besides being so delicious. Eating them out of hand is best... or more civilized on a plate is an alternative. However, now is the time to make some splendid simple desserts, preserves and conserves.

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Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

In my last blog, I promised to post a recipe for my stuffed zucchini--so here it is. This is a great way to use any size zucchini or summer squash and is tasty and filling; it is a very versatile recipe.

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Squashes and Tomatoes and Corn, Oh My!

Squashes and Tomatoes and Corn, Oh My!

It's that time of year gardening friends--we're up to our ears in squash, tomatoes, cukes and corn! Oh what a lovely dilemna. Revel in the garden bounty--eat it everyday, share it when you can--and preserve the harvest by canning, fermenting, freezing and drying.

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Midsummer Garden Harvest

Midsummer Garden Harvest

Today is the first day of August, also recognized as Lammas Day (which is the celebration of the wheat harvest in parts of the Northern Hemisphere where English is traditionally spoken)and we are well into the summer gardening season. Every year by this time, the weeds are in fierce competition with the crops--sometimes even bigger than the crops. However, I did manage to harvest the root crops last week when we were in the fourth quarter root moon. Look at my onions and potatoes. Zukes and cukes are coming in fast and furious and need to be picked everyday.

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Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums

One of my very favorite flowers that I grow in all of my gardens for many reasons—are nasturtiums—and I affectionately refer to these garden rowdies as “nasties”. They are easy to cultivate, and effortlessly fill in garden space, with their mounds of fun foliage even before their showy colors appear. In the kitchen, you can use both the fresh foliage and flowers to add a pleasant hint of heat and pungency (this dissipates when cooked so I use them mostly fresh) to many summer dishes.

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Edible Flowers that are Safe to Eat

Edible Flowers that are Safe to Eat

Upon request after a recent webinar on flowers in the kitchen, I am posting a list of some flowers that are safe to eat. You are responsible for proper identification.

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Incredible Edibles: Flowers in the Kitchen

Incredible Edibles: Flowers in the Kitchen

I recently did a webinar for the Herb Society of America by the same title. Right now we are in the height of the summer season and our gardens are full of flowers in bloom--many of them are edible. Bring these into the kitchen for fragrance, flavor and fun!

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Fourth of July Fare: Potato Salad

Fourth of July Fare: Potato Salad

Most folks celebrate Independence Day with a cookout or picnic. When I think of summer foods to accompany this event--potato salad and coleslaw, summer ripe tomatoes and corn-on-the-cob immediately come to mind--they are American as apple pie. Here's a recipe for my sister, Doneth's potato salad, which is truly a family favorite.

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Four Elements Organic Herbals: Growing Medicinal Herbs in Wisconsin

Four Elements Organic Herbals: Growing Medicinal Herbs in Wisconsin

On a recent visit to Madison, Wisconsin, a group of herbal enthusiasts went to visit the medicinal herb gardens of HSA speaker, Jane Hawley Stevens, proprietress of Four Elements Organic Herbals. Here are some photos of her prolific gardens located near the Baraboo Bluffs in Wisconsin and her apothecary shop, which is in North Freedom.

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Summer Solstice: Time for Farmers Markets, Gardening, Seasonal Bounty and Weeds

Summer Solstice: Time for Farmers' Markets, Gardening, Seasonal Bounty and Weeds

It is that time of year again already! Today we celebrate the true arrival of summer with the solstice--the longest day and shortest night of the entire year. Not that summer weather hasn't already been here for some time--it is hot here in Maryland!

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Artichokes are in Season

Artichokes are in Season

Spring is the season for asparagus and artichokes, rhubarb and strawberries, spring onions and baby salad greens and foraged wild weeds. It is a joyous time in the garden as well as in the kitchen—with so many delightful flavors and textures. I don’t think that folks eat enough artichokes. Perhaps, some have just never eaten one, or do not know how to prepare them.

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Spring in the Vegetable Garden

Spring in the Vegetable Garden

It has been a very wet spring here in the Mid-Atlantic. I’m not complaining—always thankful for the precipitation—it makes it challenging for planting when the garden is soggy. Everything is verdant green and growing so fast you can see plants change daily.

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Spring is Bursting Out All Over!

Spring is Bursting Out All Over!

Whether you are in the sunny South and already harvesting your brassicas,or in the northern climes where the early spring harbingers are just popping after the last snow--it is spring!What's going on in your garden?

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Hot Cross Buns and Fresh Bay Leaves

Hot Cross Buns and Fresh Bay Leaves

Today I got a hankering for hot cross buns, which I have not made in quite awhile--it is that time of year that we see them for sale. Well, the recipe I use is an old one, from my first book Cooking with Herbs co-authored with Carolyn Dille. The ingredient that makes these buns unique is fresh bay leaves. Really, you will have to try them; I have made a few updates in the recipe which you can read below.

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Dandelions--Welcome this Spring Bitter!

Dandelions--Welcome this Spring Bitter!

I enjoy bitter--bitter herbs, bitter foods and bitters, the magic digestive elixirs. They are spring tonics and dandelions are one of my favorites--I've been harvesting the leaves, flowers and roots since they first emerged and using them in soups, sauces, egg dishes, with pasta and grains and stuffing them into quesadillas and enchiladas. Get out there and harvest some goodness for your health and well being!

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Farro Salad, Mediterranean-Style

Farro Salad, Mediterranean-Style

Recently, someone gave me a bag of farro. I have cooked farro, which is a type of wheat berry, as well as kamut and spelt in my past, however not in a long time. So I read about farro and cooked up a pot of it and then I made the following delightfully tasty recipe for Farro Salad, Mediterranean-Style.

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Wild Weed and Seasonal Green Recipes

Wild Weed and Seasonal Green Recipes

In our recent wild weeds class, we made a soup, salsa verde and salad. Here is a recipe for a soup featuring wild edibles and seasonal greens, a short video and links to salsa verde and green goodness soup. Happy foraging!

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