The journey of an herb – something I’ve been watching and learning over the last few years – I guess that would be decade. I’ve decided the best bet for the Kelly house is outdoor herb pots – or big wooden barrels – since they keep the herbs contained and manageable. I’ve tried planting herbs in raised beds, but certain ones, like Marjoram and Mint, tend to be invasive so better to take over a pot rather than a whole bed!
Since pictures tell the story best, I will let them to tell most of the story but being the wordy one that I am, I’ll add a few paragraphs too.
So, here’s what’s been happening so far with my herbs in 2015:
First, Stan re-stained the barrels and raised beds to look warm and fresh. Went to the local garden store for new herbs and flowers, although as you can see the Chives have wintered over again. Since they don’t stray from their corner in the raised bed, they get to stay there!
For pots this year I chose Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley and Marjoram since that’s what I use the most. Last year I grew Lemon Thyme which ended up too lemony for me. This year when looking for Thyme I didn’t see any that wasn’t Lemon so opted out. In fact, I still have dried Thyme from last year which is still amazingly potent, and lemony, for cooking anyway. I’m sure if there was once anything medicinal within, that has faded by now. I’ve also experimented with Mint which is lovely and fragrant, but takes over the whole pot so also opted out with that one this year. However, when I decide to explore tea and lemonade drinking a bit more, I will definitely return to mint because of its many benefits. I envision a row of barrels. But one step at a time.
Speaking of steps, once the herbs grow a bit, I like to cut some to bring into the kitchen so it’s handy for cooking. My pots are on the patio and by the raised bed, so out of site out of mind. I can see where small pots for the kitchen year round would be a good idea and may give that a go this year. We novices tend to use what it is at our fingertips. But till then my little cuttings will do. As Summer progresses with an abundance from the herb pots I cut a huge bunches for my mini-prep processor (mine is a Cuisinart), then let them dry a bit before I fill my spice jars. This weekend I cut back my notoriously overgrown potted Marjoram and have filled an entire jar. I wish I could share the fragrance that filled my kitchen with you but the internet hasn’t figured that one out yet. It actually tastes and smells a lot like Oregano, coming from the same family and all, but a bit sweeter yet definitely stronger. It’s great with egg dishes and soups!
Anyway, Lately in the morning I’ve been dicing up colorful peppers – red, green and yellow, sometimes, orange, throwing them into a skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil, adding freshly dried oregano or marjoram and my dried parsley. You can use fresh too, of course, but the flavors are even stronger so it depends on how much you like; then add 2 large eggs, preferably organic cage-free, freshly ground salt and pepper, cover and cook a bit; and then sprinkle feta cheese, diced garden tomato and fresh basil, cook a bit more while toasting one half of an English muffin. (You can scramble too, but I’ve been loving the sunny side up version these days.) Plate and serve with hot coffee and enjoy on the back patio.
I’d love to hear about what you like to grow and what you are learning along the way!
Next post – my new spice racks and spice jar organization project!