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Herbal Harvest: Basil and More...

Herbal Harvest: Basil and More...

It's that time to gather in the last basil harvest--as well as any other tender herbs--because they will go with the first frost. Here's a few things that I do with an abundance of basil.

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Grow Ghost Peppers for Heat and Flavor

Grow Ghost Peppers for Heat and Flavor

Bhut Jolokia, also called the Ghost Pepper, is one of the hottest peppers in the world. At more than 1,000,000 Scoville Heat Units, vegetable gardeners are warned to be careful growing, handling, and eating them.

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September Garden Harvest

September Garden Harvest

Well the late September garden is full of chiles as well as herbs to harvest and preserve... that's what I've been doing the past few days. And the annual flowers are blooming their hearts out--getting the last of the calendula flower heads and gathered the nasturtiums for a lovely, peppery vinegar. I also sowed some lettuce seeds, cold-weather spinach, cilantro,kale and radishes; I am not sure whether they will germinate and produce before the cold weather sets in, though I decided to take a chance. If they do germinate, I'll be covering them with floating row cover for sure.

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Last Day of Summer

Last Day of Summer

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Today is the last day of summer and tomorrow heralds the autumnal equinox. The summer garden is definitely looking like fall is in the air. See what my zone 7 Maryland garden looks like and what I'm harvesting and preserving.

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Small Batch Fermentation Made Simple

Small Batch Fermentation Made Simple

Fermenting is the age-old method for preserving fruits and vegetables and making pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi and more. Here's a DIY fermenting kit to help vegetable gardeners get started with small batches of tasty, healthy foods.

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A Celebration of Heirloom Vegetables

A Celebration of Heirloom Vegetables

The National Heirloom Expo, billed as The World's Pure Food Fair, wrapped up three days of celebrating the entire heirloom industry. Here's a taste of what you missed.

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Container Garden Pepper Roundup for 2016

Container Garden Pepper Roundup for 2016

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This gardening season I grew seven different kinds of peppers in the container garden on my patio. Here’s the annual roundup to consider for next gardening season.

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DeBaggio Herb Farm and Nursery

DeBaggio Herb Farm and Nursery

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Last, though not least, I want to write about the last herb farm that we visited on our IHA field trip, DeBaggio Herb Farm and Nursery. Although they are closed for the season, they weeded their gardens and opened up for us to visit.

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Blooming Hill Lavender Farm

Blooming Hill Lavender Farm

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The IHA post-conference fieldtrip went to Virginia. One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to Blooming Hill Lavender Farm with an herbal lunch catered by Kim Labash, proprietress of Loudon Valley Herbs. Cyndi and Peter Rinek are collectors of many things besides lavender and you will enjoy the photos herein of their delightful farm in Philomont, Virginia.

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Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm

Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm

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A delightful herbal luncheon served al fresco alongside a pond with fountain, surrounded by numerous theme gardens was part of our IHA pre-conference tour to Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm. Enjoy a tour of this small family farm owned and operated by Maria Price Nowakowski and her husband Martin.

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The Green Farmacy Garden

The Green Farmacy Garden

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The Green Farmacy Garden is Dr. Jim Duke's medicinal herb teaching garden (his book the Green Pharmacy published by Rodale in 1997 has sold over a million copies) used by the Maryland University of Integrative Health, located in Fulton, Maryland. Recently, the International Herb Association went on a field trip there--read all about it here!

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Flourish! Inside and Out at the U.S. Botanic Garden

Flourish! Inside and Out at the U.S. Botanic Garden

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Even though it has been really hot, I've been visiting gardens this summer--so I'm going to share some of them with you in the next few blogs. This year's exhibit inside and outside at the USBG is colorful and aesthetically delightful--might be one of my favorite outdoor displays there ever--check it out!

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Candyland Tomatoes Make a Sweet Garden Treat

Candyland Tomatoes Make a Sweet Garden Treat

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One of the newest award winners from All-America Selections is a currant-size tomato named for the classic children’s board game. These tomatoes are sweet and fun to grow.

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Its Time to Celebrate Tomatoes

It's Time to Celebrate Tomatoes

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A tomato fest was the perfect way to celebrate National Farmers Market Week in Longmont, Colo. From tomato taste-off to specialty tomato recipes, it was a day to show some love to one of our all-time favorite fruits.

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How Eggplant Got its Name

How Eggplant Got its Name

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It’s easy to take for granted the vegetables we grow in our gardens today. But each one started as a wild plant that needed to be tamed. Here’s how eggplants found their way into our vegetable gardens.

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Measuring the Miracle in Miracle Plant Foods

Measuring the Miracle in Miracle Plant Foods

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This gardening season I tested the marketing claims made by three different companies in side-by-side trials. Were the results exceptional and miraculous? Was I able to grow more beautiful plants? Here’s what I found.

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Summer Bounty

Summer Bounty

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It's that time of year when we are reaping the harvest--benefiting from all of our earlier hard labor--and approaching a vegetable glut! Hot weather makes us want to cook less, so think about making salads in the morning or on the weekend to have for supper, then you just need to slice some tomatoes and cucumbers and maybe steam some corn. Enjoy the bounty now!

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 The Aromatherapy Garden--Book Review

The Aromatherapy Garden--Book Review

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If you are a gardener who enjoys fragrant plants, then Kathi Keville's new book The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being, should be on your reading list!

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Make Fresh Summer Drinks with Shrubs

Make Fresh Summer Drinks with Shrubs

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One of the ways folks preserved their fresh fruits in Colonial times was by making shrubs, a fruit, sugar and vinegar drink they could spike with brandy or rum. It's time for these old-fashioned drinks to make a delicious comeback.

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July in the Garden

July in the Garden

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Summer is full on and the garden is growing in leaps and bounds. Here in Maryland, we have had pretty great weather--our days have been in the upper 80s rather than the usual 90s and so I can't...

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