Monday, March 28, 2011

Harvest Monday - 28 March 2011

As harvests go I've got nothing, but I have been using my stored food. I have only three servings of frozen chard left. I'm getting close to the end there. This was really the week of the salsa though. It was my husband's fiftieth birthday party and I brought out both my red and green salsas. Above you see a typical favorite lunch of mine. Half of it is a light coleslaw with not my cabbage and not my peppers. Then there is the open faced hmmm I'm not sure what to call it. It has a nice homemade spelt tortilla topped with not my refried beans, not my seasonings, not my cheese, not my tomatoes and at least I can say this, with my homemade salsa with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers from the garden. I'm eating a lot of vegetables now that are not my own. I have noticed that in the freezer I still have a lot of frozen zucchini. In the past I've made zucchini bread over the winter, but this year I really haven't. I've used it in a few soups, but mostly it is still in the freezer. I'll have to work on that.

This week I spent money on the herb garden. I put in an order with the Growers Exchange. They seemed to be the one place that had all the varieties I wanted and more. I've never used them before so only hope they are nice plants.

  • Rosemary 'Tuscan Blue'
  • Rosemary 'Arp
  • Rosemary 'Hardy Hill'
  • Mint 'Chocolate'
  • Mint 'Citrus Kitchen'
  • Mint 'Mojito'
  • Mint 'Peppermint'
  • Thyme 'French'
  • Thyme 'English'
  • Tarragon 'French'
  • Anise Hyssop

I wish I could really grow Tuscan Blue rosemary here, but the odds are it will die over the winter. I'm going to plant it along the southwest foundation of the house. Still it will probably die as it is only hardy to zone 8 and I'm in zone 6. The other two rosemarys are hardy in my zone. I could never get them to live in my clay soil in my last garden. They can't survive over the winter with wet feet. So maybe in my current garden they will live. Time will tell.

I was only going to grow two mints. I wanted chocolate mint and peppermint. I like chocolate mint with chamomile and I like regular peppermint with green tea. But the other mints really made me want to try them. I've grown orange mint before, but never tasted the orange flavor. The leaves were pretty, but no flavor like it is supposed to have. So the citrus mint might have more. And the mojito I kept debating on. I'm not a fan of spearmint flavor but I thought maybe I should have a kind of spearmint in the garden just in case I needed it for something. I've never had a mojito, so maybe this will get me to try one.

The two thymes are the typical that I grow in my garden. I like English because it is a hardier plant and a really fast grower. So very reliable. The French thyme is a better tasting thyme, but often I can't harvest enough for all my uses and it is more likely to die over the winter. So I plant both.

In my last garden I had French tarragon for about ten years until it died off finally. Then I could never get it to overwinter again. I'm hoping for success once more. And the Anise Hyssop was bought for the flowers. The bees love it, so I figured why not. The "herb garden" is really three different spots in the garden, but I want them all to have either herbs or flowers that attract bees. Either is good. I don't need all the space for herbs so I'd like to add some interest with flowers and flowers that attract bees are my favorite. Anise Hyssop is both a nice flower for the bees and an herb. I've never tasted it or used it in anyway, but if I hate it, it will still be useful to help out the bees.

I'm growing other herbs, but these were the ones I needed that aren't being grown from seed. And as for the tally, they add $65.19 to the total for the year. I keep adding more and more to my tally. It is going to be an expensive year.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.


  1. Your lunch looks great. I think you'll enjoy the fragrance of the anise hyssop. I think it smells like jasmine when it blooms. It was in the garden here when we moved in. I haven't used it as a herb yet though. I also recommend a lemon thyme. It seems to do very well here in our zone 5 and I love the lemon scent it adds when we use it.

  2. Lunch looks delicious! I have some zucchini in the freezer to use myself. I am down to fairly spare pickings on the frozen items so I am shifting over to using up the canned items and storage items (garlic, potatoes, etc). Luckily the greens harvests are starting to pick up to supplement the meals and if we get any kind of a warm up in temps they will really take off.

    Your herb plant choices look really good. I always really enjoy the mints - even if they are a bit difficult to keep confined.

  3. I do like the mojito mint. It's done well for me in a large container. It doesn't seem to be quite so 'spearminty' to me. I use a lot of it with green tea to make a mint ice tea.

    The Tuscan Blue rosemary has survived here for a couple of years in a protected location. I dug some gravel and sand in the planting hole, which may be helping too. I did take some cuttings so I have a spare plant in case the original dies off. Ironically, Hardy Hill (or Hill Hardy) did not make it through the first winter!

  4. I think you are making a good investment with the herbs. I did not know that zucchini can be frozen. I wonder if I can freeze pattypan squash too? Do you freeze them straightaway?

  5. You must really like herbs! lol! I just have one type of mint and it overwinters. I've had difficulty growing rosemary, so I've started it indoors and babying it:)

  6. That sounds like a really nice list of herbs! I love mint and I got some too the other day, nothing fancy, cause they don't sell fancy things in this backward country, but it will be great dried and used for infusions in the winter :)

  7. My Tuscan rosemary has overwintered here, but looks the worse for wear...I've taken some cuttings and plan to replace the original plant when one of the is ready. I love chocolate mint; it's one of my favorites. I'm going to try the mojito mint...the nursery in Olympia should be getting their herb stock in soon. I've given up on dies within a couple of weeks no matter where I plant husband hates don't suppose that he...??? Hmmmm...

  8. Your lunch looks quite yummy. That's a nice variety of herbs to add to your new herb garden. It definitely adds up when you are starting new gardens. Are you planning to keep your mints in pots or are you going to be brave and plant them directly in the herb garden? I have five different varieties here and keep all of them in pots.

  9. Emily, I LOVE the smell of jasmine. I've always been sad that I can't grow it. I've had lemon thyme in my last garden, but never used it.

    Laura, I'm going to plant the mints in pots. They are hardy enough that I think they will live fine that way outside. I hope so. I might bury half the pot. In my last garden I buried the whole pot with the bottom on so they wouldn't get out.

    villager, Well I'm going to grow all three, so hopefully I'll have at least one survive the winter. Putting in some course sand is a good idea. The soil they put in is pretty sandy already though. I'm not sure I need it. Maybe.

    Malay, I don't even blanch. I grate it and then freeze it. Yes it loses it texture, but it is great for breads and soups.

    RandomGardener, I do love herbs. For years I've dried them and used just mine for the ones that are easy to grow here.

    Annanas, I could get some fancy mints here since I'm in the greater boston area, but there is always something I want that they don't have so I just did mailorder. I hope they don't show up for a couple weeks though.

    Deb, lol I hope he isn't doing that. I have a tarragon mustard chicken recipe that I used to always make. I haven't since I lost my tarragon plant though. I want one back. But then I've forgotten the recipe and never wrote it down so I'll have to figure it out again if it does live.

    Robin, I'm going to keep the mints in pots, maybe half buried to keep them cooler in the summer, but yes pots. I would never put them directly in the ground. That is way too much work.

  10. WHat about potting the rosemary so you can bring it in during the winter? It seems to be such a hearty herb.

  11. No Harvest Monday post for me this week, we ate out a lot last week so I didn't need to pick anything to eat other than a couple heads of lettuce.

    I like the Tuscan Blue rosemary for cooking, it's the one I use the most. Funny, I haven't tried cooking with Arp yet so I don't knkw if it is tasty or not.

    Good luck with your herb garden this year!

  12. Your lunch looks delicious, my tomato sauce is also dwindling fast.
    Tuscan rosemary might overwinter in your garden if it's in a protected area. We had to clear out our rosemary plants, they can get out of control and become a massive problem.

  13. That's a yummy looking lunch with all those not your veggies. Our time is coming soon. The herbs are going to be great. I can never get rosemary of any kind to do well, never mind getting it to overwinter.

  14. Looks delicious. I'm at the library and it's making me hungry.

  15. I feel bad... I have only grown herbs a few times. To be honest, I have never cooked with many fresh herbs. I really need to work on this.

  16. Those herbs sound great. I am going to expand my herb garden this year. I am looking for a rosemary that will overwinter here in zone 5.

  17. I just finished writing about herbs myself, then I popped over here and see that you have a whole bunch of new interesting ones. Great minds as they say!

  18. We have sunshine! I made it out to the garden and was able to make a couple terrific harvests this week! Yeah!

    And like you I'm trying to empty some of my canning jars! Yummy!

  19. Your lunch is quite beautiful! Salsa definitely counts for something! It'll be nice when those harvests start pouring in, and they are the MAIN contributors to your meals! Those herbs sure get expensive when you're buying them as plants! I guess it's a good thing they keep coming back!

  20. Good luck with the herbs. I love my herb garden. Not just for cooking but I enjoy all the history and mystique associated with them.

    Your lunch looks so colourful and delicious.

  21. Delicious-looking lunch! You are really an expert in the knowledge and practice of using herbs! I only know a few, but that's more than I knew about a few years ago. I have french tarragon that has been overwintering outside for three years here in Zone 8a. It seems to do well even with this past winter and all of its snows.

  22. I like your choice of herbs. Please report whether the rosemary is really hardy in zone 6! My dad and I have been looking for a hardy variety for years now... I also spent a lot of money on the garden this year... let's hope it'll pay off!

  23. Barbie, I've tried that before. They always die for me when I do. So I keep trying to get them to live outside.

    michelle, well if it is the one that survives, I'll be eating Arp.

    Mac, that sounds like my sage plants. They can get huge and I'm always cutting them back.

    The Mom, I've gotten rosemary to grow well enough for me. But its never overwintered so can only get so large.

    Tessa, thanks

    Ggardenvariety-hoosier, thanks

    Debbie, some of the herbs I grow, I rarely eat fresh. Like rosemary. I like it better dried and the crushed. Oregano is the same way but for different reasons. But I do dry a lot of herbs over the summer.

    ali, I've never heard of one that will live in zone 5, but if you use a cold frame you might get it to live.

    Stevie, herbs are such wonderful things. They take a lot of space for their production, but what would food be without herbs and spices to liven it up.

    Kelly, thanks

    Lynda, there is just no way I'm going to finish all of my canned salsa this year. I'll be eating it for years. Maybe I should not grow tomatillos this year as I have enough.

    Megan, Usually in the summer my blood pressure drops I eat so many veggies. I just don't east as much over the winter. I really need to eat like that all the time, but I hate buying produce from the store.

    Tracy, thanks

    Veggie Pak, tarragon is such a hit or miss herb. Sometimes it overwinters and sometimes not. I just hope it works this year.

    balcony/paradise, I'll let you all know how well the rosemarys do and how they taste.

  24. Lovely lunch and herbs. Great (new to me) herb company. Thanks!