Oregano and Spring

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Oregano growing in the kitchen box, a tree shaded garden.

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Oregano in winter, in the kitchen box at the foot of THE BELL.

A lot can happen in six weeks. Back in the beginning of March I was writing about herbs in the garden in winter. Now into the middle of May the expression that spring has sprung seems appropriate.

Herb Thresher

I grow a lot of herbs and usually dry them when it’s  harvest time. After the leaves of an herb are dry, they can be stored whole or ground up. Grinding them makes it easy to sprinkle the herb into your recipes. When I saw this gadget at the thrift store, I wasn’t sure what it was for, but it looked like it could be useful. As it turns out, it is the perfect gadget for finishing the job with dried herbs. This is one of my top ten kitchen gadgets. Continue reading

Evergreen Thyme

Thyme and lemon thyme are growing in serveral areas in my gardens.

Thyme and lemon thyme are growing in serveral areas in my gardens.

Thyme and lemon thyme are growing in serveral areas in my gardens. They are among a group of herbs that I have growing, that are both perennial and evergreen. It’s nice in winter time to see the green leaves of sage and thyme, oregano and parsley and lavender. Thyme is a savory herb that I use quite a lot in my kitchen on meat like chicken and fish. I also use it in sauces for spaghetti and almost any typ of Italian style food. Continue reading

Parsley Getting Started

I'll separate these, in another week or so, so that I have two or three to a pot.

I’ll separate these, in another week or so, so that I have two or three to a pot.

Parsley is a bi-annual plant, which means that it lasts for two growing seasons. I like to have parsley in my kitchen garden in the wintertime. One reason is because it stays green in the winter, another is that it’s almost always nice to add some fresh parsley to a meal, or at least a salad. Not the least of my reasons for having plenty of green plants growing in my kitchen boxes in the winter time is to discourage my cats from thinking that they are just two big litter boxes. Since I also have bulbs in those boxes I don’t want them digging the bulbs up. Continue reading

Certain sweet smells stimulate my senses and make me want to sniff their special scent endlessly.

Sweet Scented Chamomile

Certain sweet smells stimulate my senses and make me want to sniff their special scent endlessly. If you rub the leaves of chamomile with your fingers, you might appear to be in love with your finger tips when you smell them. I confess that I don’t remember where I read it, but I did read somewhere that you could grow a lawn of chamomile, and even mow it after it gets established. That’s a pleasant daydream. And speaking of dreams, wise witches say that chamomile in your pillow case will make for especially vivid playback during slumber. Continue reading

How to Enjoy the Benefits of Your Labor

When I see cabbage growing, I also see jars of chow chow on my pantry shelf, that I get to enjoy after my husband and I have put in the labor...

When I see cabbage growing, I also see jars of chow chow on my pantry shelf, that I get to enjoy after my husband and I have put in the labor…

In my entire school career, no one taught me how to enjoy myself. Our constitution proclaims that everyone is entitled to the pursuit of happiness. But sometimes the very things we think will make us happy turn out to be the things that cause us unhappiness. You might be happy that you can afford to eat out every night. But after six months, or a year or two, you might realize that you have sacrificed your health and gained twenty pounds. You could have spent the extra money on your future, instead of instant gratification.

Dried chamomile is good for tea, or just to inhale the smell for some instant pleasure.

Dried chamomile is good for tea, or just to inhale the smell for some instant pleasure.

Now in my fiftieth year, I have learned without a moment’s hesitation that happiness has only two sources: love and labor. We’re all victims when it comes to love. But labor, well either you work or you don’t work. You know which one it is you’re doing. You could be a master with a thousand slaves and never be as happy as the woman or man who has the satisfaction of achieving a goal, of breaking a sweat and accomplishing a task. We all must learn to find enjoyment in our work, pay attention to the details, do the very best we can and contribute to a common cause. But we also have to enjoy the benefits! Continue reading