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Fall is in the Air: Enjoy the Last of Summer Bounty While You Can!

Fall is in the Air: Enjoy the Last of Summer Bounty While You Can!

The cool weather has arrived and summer is going fast. Summer crops have stopped producing in my zone 7 garden; just picked the last tomatoes, though still have some herbs to harvest and chiles are ripening on the vine. The summer fruits--peaches and plums--are also dwindling, so now is the time to enjoy this last summer bounty. Harvest from the garden or stop by your local farmers' market or farm stand and enjoy the seasonal produce for supper--or put some up. Here is a simple recipe using the last of the plums along with some of those leggy, scented geraniums which need cutting back.

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Summer Salad, Nicoise-Style

Summer Salad, Nicoise-Style

Summertime and the living is easy--supper time involves as little cooking as possible--and preparing something simple with garden produce. Here is a recipe for an easy salad, Nicoise-style, using whatever you have on hand.

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Summer Vacation to Canada

Summer Vacation to Canada

I recently did a road trip to Toronto with herbalgalpals to attend the International Herb Association's annual conference. Here are a few highlights--gardens for you to visit vicariously, or next time you go to Canada--or put them on your list of things to do.

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Summer in the White House Kitchen Garden

Summer in the White House Kitchen Garden

While all of our gardens are peaking right now, here is a garden you might want to take a closer peek at--the Nation's Kitchen Garden. Did you know that you can arrange a date for a private tour of the White House Kitchen Garden during this summer season? Last week, I went with the Potomac Unit of the Herb Society of America and we had the whole garden to ourselves (well of course, we were accompanied by some security as well as a guide)!

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How to Make a Shrub

How to Make a Shrub

This is not a shrub as in a bush that grows in one's garden, rather it is a beverage made from infusing fruits, herbs or even vegetables in apple cider vinegar.

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Midsummer Garden

Midsummer Garden

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We've just celebrated the solstice and midsummer is officially dated at June 24--so now we are heading into the summer garden season. The garden is abuzz--full of pollinators--plants to harvest and all sorts of lovely veggies coming on. Oh and the weeds... the never-ending garden chore... Here's what is happening in my zone 7 garden...

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Vegetable Bundle Basics

Vegetable Bundle Basics

When I wrote about grilling last weekend, I got a number of requests on how to make veggie bundles. So here are veggie bundle basics--telling you which veggies combine well with which herbs--and a link at the end for a recipe. Just in time to cook for the summer solstice--enjoy!

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Grilling Season

Grilling Season

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Once the weather warms up and the farmers' markets reopen for the season and our gardens start producing crops to harvest, the grilling season has begun! Vegetables on the grill are an easy way to fix dinner or entertain and there are infinite variations.

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Springtime in the Emerald Isle

Springtime in the Emerald Isle

Just returned from a trip to Ireland, where the countryside is lush and green from the spring rains--no wonder its moniker is the Emerald Isle. Come take a brief tour of some of the botanical wonders to behold there.

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Springtime Chores

Springtime Chores

Finally the warmer spring weather has arrived and we all want to be outdoors. As a gardener, though I delight in everything bursting forth, I want to feel the soil and sow seeds. However, once I go outside I am distracted by all there is to do--here are a few chores, which need taking care of...

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Artemisia:  Herb of the Year 2014

Artemisia: Herb of the Year 2014

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Artemisia is herb of the year for 2014 and I am gearing up for growing them in my garden. Next weekend is the Medicinal Herb Fieldtrip and Workshop at the Ozark Folk Center, where I will be giving a program on the medicinal aspects of some artemisias... here are a few excerpts from my handout for the program. Why don't you try growing a few of these easy-to-grow plants? Celebrate Artemisia!

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 Are your Plants Dead or Alive?

Are your Plants Dead or Alive?

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After the severe winter weather that many of us have experienced, there are a good number of plants out in the garden that are brown and look dead. Don’t go pulling them out or cutting them back, until you check to see if they are wick.

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On the road again: Springtime in the Ozarks

On the road again: Springtime in the Ozarks

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After a long, cold winter, we gardeners across the country welcome spring. And what better place to experience the season than in the mountains of Arkansas?... Come along for a little Ozark adventure…

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Spring Harbingers are Popping Out

Spring Harbingers are Popping Out

After all of the cold weather this winter, most of the nation is experiencing a late spring. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring--here are a few herbal harbingers that are just popping out! And a fast and tasty recipe for herbs with scrambled eggs.

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Plantains: Add a Tropical Twist to Ho-Hum Winter Fare

Plantains: Add a Tropical Twist to Ho-Hum Winter Fare

Rice and beans are a staple winter meal. Keep cabin fever at bay by adding a tropical twist to your everyday fare--plantains are easy to cook and fun to eat.

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Costa Rica: Cloudforest

Costa Rica: Cloudforest

Okay, I know three blogs on Costa Rica when we are all dealing with snow and freezing temps is a bit much, however I would be remiss if I did not show you the cloudforest and volcano!

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Costa Rica: Pura Vida

Costa Rica: Pura Vida

While my last blog was also on Costa Rica featuring fauna and flora and a paddleboard trip through the mangroves, this one will highlight going up the coast to visit a spice farm and inland to where they grow vegetables and fruit.

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica

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While much of the country has been besieged with snowstorms and below-average temperatures, it is summer in Costa Rica. I had the great fortune of a recent visit there--let these photos from eight degrees above the equator take you away for a quick trip to the tropics!

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Artemisia: Herb of the Year 2014

Artemisia: Herb of the Year 2014

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Every year the International Herb Association selects a new herb to feature--this year is Artemisia! Learn more about this wonderful genus of herbs beloved by gardeners for centuries, used by cooks and in the apothecary.

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Winter Days, Travels and Comfort Food

Winter Days, Travels and Comfort Food

I've been on the road and going north (rather than south!) in this cold winter weather, which many of us are experiencing. Many of us are hunkering down in the cold weather--hang on, spring is just around the corner-- meanwhile, click on this seasonal vegetables with rice dish.

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