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Purple Basils have more fun

basil

 

Somebody has been chewing the Genovese basil, but not the Dark Opal. That somebody is missing out!

Dark Opal basil is totally delicious. It’s said to have a stronger anisey taste, but I don’t notice a difference. Of course, I pile basil leaves on sandwiches like other people do lettuce so maybe an overwhelmingly-strong basil flavor is my kind of thing.

You can substitute Dark Opal basil in any recipe that calls for green sweet basil. Try pesto for fun– it turns your mouth purple.

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The Solstice Tide

Rosa mundi

Summer Solstice is on June 20th this year, but you can already feel it in the air! The sky is still light at 9:00 at night and the garden is overflowing with roses.

Heirloom roses are better than gold to me– they smell incredible (seriously, better than any rose scent you’ve ever smelled) and are really useful in herbal medicine.

(yes, yes, you can eat them too)

Today I’m using rose petals to make a richly moisturizing skin salve for my dry, cracked, achy gardening hands. Combined with red clover, violet, marshmallow, and meadowsweet, this salve will be exactly what my summertime skin needs.

Happy Solstice! And remember, it’s always a good idea to salve up after all that sun 🙂

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Moving Day

wheelbarrow

It’s finally moving day! We’re turning Hawkeye’s photography studio into ‘farm central’ so we can have all our plant projects under one roof. I’m so psyched- I’ll have a big space to play herbal mixtress in and we’ll be able to keep the paperwork organized!

We’re going to start moving into the studio this week, but probably won’t have time to get fully settled in until Summer. Planting season is upon us!

I’ve been seeding kale, chard, and leeks inside this week, and have spinach sprouting in the hoophouse. Lots of spinach over-wintered in our cold frame too, along with a glorious patch of chickweed and a few dead nettle which are flowering.

Serious beauty on a busy road 2/3 mile from downtown…. You could almost call it Paradise 😉

Happy Spring!

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Turn of the Season

fall asters

The season is coming to an end. Our herb garden was done in by the freeze two nights ago and all that’s left in the veggie garden are greens we have protected under chenille row covers. (Asters photo taken the day before the frost)

Greens still growing include Lettuce, Kale, Tatsoi, Mizuna, and Arugula, and we’ll be harvesting them for a few more weeks yet.

I brought a couple of Rosemary plants indoors to overwinter as well as my big Patchouli and Rose Begonia, so I’m not totally without my plant friends. But I’m already missing the garden….

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Savoring Summer’s End

heirloom tomatoes

It’s the last day of Summer. And it’s cloudy. And cold. Which means I’m trying hard not to get bummed.

Hawkeye to the rescue! He’s cut up a big batch of our heirloom tomatoes to cook into sauce and can. The smell of the tomatoes is like having sunshine indoors. I can already feel my mood lifting.

(The glasses of cabernet sauvignon he poured might not be hurting, either 😉 )

 

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In love with Swiss Chard

swiss chard

Its calcium, iron, and vitamin C content are not the only reason I love Swiss Chard. When the sunlight hits it, the vibrant stalks light up like stained glass. Never fails to knock me out.

We treat it as a cut-and-come-again, harvesting individual stalks as they’re ready instead of cutting the whole plant at once.

Alone or combined with other leafy greens like Kale, Tatsoi, and Mizuna, it makes for a quick and easy side dish, cooked with onions, garlic, rosemary, and a dash of Bragg’s.

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