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TOPIC:   Herb Question 


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PEACEFULHOME
PEACEFULHOME's Photo SparkPoints: (55,459)
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6/3/09 12:46 A

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Thanks for all the good advice.

I ordered the Preserving booklet.

I remember Mom making jelly and the seive and wooden gizmo she used in it. Smelled so good!

Jan

Pacific NW Time Zone PDT



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GRAMMAJUDY1
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6/2/09 7:49 P

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Jan, you don't have to eliminate those fruits and vegetables from your jam repetoire. Just get yourself a good double layer seive and some good quality cheesecloth and strain out the seeds. Then you'll be able to call it Jelly. Remember that your family will want those old familiar flavors.


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ITSRANDELLA
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6/2/09 6:37 P

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I don't have that pickle recipe. Sorry GrandmaJudy.

Jan: I would not walk to pick up that cookbooklet. its a gem for sure and when any of those cookbooklets are gone, who knows if they will be reprinted. I look at a few places for a couple of out of print cookbooklets of JoAnna's and there are not too many to be found. A couple of cheeky sellers on Amazon has one for $32 and another for $48! Grab Preserving The Best at Timber Ridge Farm from the HE site promptly. what's interesting is on the SureJel package it says don't alter the amounts or all kinds of scary things can happen. I don't know how JoAnna did it, but her recipes are different and they work!

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
~Dr. Seuss


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PEACEFULHOME
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6/2/09 5:58 P

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I think all lavender can be used for culinary purposes as long as it's not sprayed with something (in your gardening) that would make it not good to eat. I learned this year you need to prune the lavender into "football" shapes (like a football standing on end) in the fall. I've got some that is pretty overgrown but I'm going to try to save it by pruning after it blooms. I just love working around the lavender leaves - everything smells so good.
Give your pineapple sage plenty of room to grow. The new citrus sage I got gets to be about 3' wide and about as tall. Mine got red blooms late in the fall/winter.

I'm glad to hear it's easy to freeze tomatoes. I also am interested in the jams. If we make a trip to the valley to get tomatoes & peaches (and whatever else) then I want to make it worth our while. We just found out DS can't eat things with seeds like strawberries or raspberries so I'll opt for other kinds of jams for now. I hope that flyer is still available.

I took a picture of my earthboxes and what the spinach looks like growing in the garden. I need to put them up on my page.

Jan

Pacific NW Time Zone PDT



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GRAMMAJUDY1
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6/2/09 3:55 P

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Thank you for the information on freezing tomatoes. I have canned them and dried them, but never frozen them. I hope to have lots this year and freezing seems much better than canning.

I used to make lots of jams and butters. I just got out several jars from 2000. They were still sealed so I can use them.

I also like to make pickles and relishes. If anyone has the recipe for 45 day sweet pickles, (Steinfelds) I could certainly use it. We loved those pickles and I always filled my crocks, (10 and 15 gallons) with them so that we had pickles all year. I wouldn't make that many now, but now I don't have six children at home either.



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ITSRANDELLA
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6/2/09 12:01 A

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thank you for the information on the earth boxes. they sound great for loose leaf lettuce. A band of copper around the outside would keep the snails out.

I didn't know about the master kitchen person. that's great to know.

soon, I want to start canning jams using JoAnna's preserve book. I have made the peach jam and its excellent. I want to make strawberry next. I haven't canned in a while and its time to use those jars taking up space.

we used to freeze tomatoes and its easy peasy. just blance them, cut them up and you get juice and chunks. ladle them in quart size freezer bags, seal with the air out and they are great to use right out of the freezer. They thaw when added to the skillet with your other ingredients and then cook as if you've used a can of tomatoes. much better tasting and easier than canning IMO.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
~Dr. Seuss


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GRAMMAJUDY1
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6/1/09 11:02 P

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I don't have any experience with Stevia. I wish I could be of some help.

I did find two very healthy pineapple sage plants today. and some lavender. I just don't know if I got culinary lavender or not. I will have to check that out in a minute.



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MA2DAPPLES
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6/1/09 9:38 P

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Yeah, I need to check into how to save the herbs for later use. They are growing so fast I need to trim them every couple days. The tomato plants are doing fantastic but the only plant in trouble is stevia. It appears to be dying.

Christy

Dogs are people-they're just little toddlers all their lives.


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GRAMMAJUDY1
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6/1/09 1:34 A

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I've tried growing herbs for several years, with some success. I still have some very lively mint growing in one of my boxes. I would like to get some Pineapple Sage and get it started again. It is very attractive to slugs so I will have to buy a bottle or two of beer for the slugs. I think I have some rosemary growing, but it is in my straw beds and I can't get back there. I will have help tomorrow and I will go check to see what is actually growing there. I'll also water them. I also want to get some culinary lavender plants to grow. I got some once, but they were left behind in a move. I have a fennel plant growing in the house right now and it will go outside as soon as I can find a good spot for it. I don't know where you are, but look to your local MasterGardener for more information. You can find them by calling your county extension service. BTY they have master homemakers who will gladly teach you how to preserve your produce.


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PEACEFULHOME
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5/31/09 10:58 P

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(By the way I have no connection to Earthbox except I'm a customer.)
Earthboxes are 29"L x 13.5"W x 11" H. You can google Earthbox.com and get lots of information on how they work and what to plant. I think the guy who developed them lives in Florida and they help conserve water and keep the roots of the plants watered. Here in the Pacific NW we have not enough sun and they work by giving a warmer environment.

Jan

Pacific NW Time Zone PDT



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ITSRANDELLA
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5/31/09 5:53 P

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OK. now I'm curious about earth boxes too. I am thinking of square foot gardening next year but now I'm thinking earth boxes might be a better choice?

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
~Dr. Seuss


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MA2DAPPLES
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5/31/09 1:04 P

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How deep is an earth box? I have similar looking boxes but didn't think they were deep enough for veggies so I planted herbs and flowers in them. Course, mine don't have the wheels or frame above the box.

Christy

Dogs are people-they're just little toddlers all their lives.


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PEACEFULHOME
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5/30/09 10:56 A

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The broccoli & spinach I'm growing in Earthboxes are growing leaps and bounds more than what I put in the ground. I put spinach from the same batch in a raised bed and it's maybe 2". The Earthbox spinach is ready to start harvesting.

I use my dehydrator mostly for wild mushrooms. They come with several trays (the trays can be removed) so you can prepare one tray or five.

It sounds like you're having great luck and fun with what you're growing this year!

My tiny tomato plants are starting to get blossoms on them. If tomatoes grew well here I'd plant enough to can but there's nothing like fresh, homegrown tomatoes.

Jan

Pacific NW Time Zone PDT



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MA2DAPPLES
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5/29/09 11:30 P

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Thanks for the info. I picked more today and my son is coming over tomorrow so he will take more home with him. He said the chives and parsley were great on potatoes the other night. I'm going to try drying some too and see how that turns out. Maybe I should get a dehydrator. Guess I will do some research and see the best way to grow and keep the herbs for later use.

My tomatoes are growing. Have 7 roma, 2 beefsteak and 4 sugar snacks on the vine. I love growing them. Next year I want more herbs and veggies. Maybe I will be able to actually have a small garden instead of just containers. I should be able to get around better by next summer. Having more ortho surgery in July and it takes a year to heal enough to really move without pain. I canít wait!


Christy

Dogs are people-they're just little toddlers all their lives.


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ANNINSD
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5/26/09 5:39 P

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We've never planted herbs but it sure would be nice to have parsley, green onions and cilantro at the back door. I buy a bunch of cilantro for a recipe and the rest of it eventually gets thrown out. It's green and one of the items DH must eat sparingly.

I know frozen herbs aren't that great. I wonder how Food Saver jars would work?

Ann

Ann in San Diego


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MAGNOLIAHONEY
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5/26/09 9:34 A

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Funny we transplanted dill and it did fine. Garlic really will take hold and so will onion if you let some of it go to seed each year.

My mom has had the same chives for many many years (around 30) and had not ever done a thing to it. lol We clip it to eat it, but other then that it's amazing how little attention it needs. Especially in dry arid Kansas!



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ITSRANDELLA
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5/25/09 11:15 P

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MadApple:
I have only grown a few herbs so all I can give you is my experience.

I have not frozen fresh herbs before, but I have dried them in new knee highs (bought white ones at the dollar store and can get three to four for a buck.) I just wash the herbs, place a whole bunch in the toes, tie them to a coat hanger and in a hot garage, they dry quickly. Then after they're dry, I put the herbs in fruit jars and keep adding to them as I dry more. I store them in a closed cupboard. Freezing might be a better method, I just haven't done it.

I can tell you that chives will bloom two years after you have them. just make sure you protect them in the winter for frost and after they bloom and seed, you will have them forever. I encourage mine to bloom as I always have chive when I want it. Dill, you have to start from seed, it doesn't like to be transplanted at all, but when that does go to seed, you have that forever too. that's your 'dill weed.'

That's about all I know about growing /storing herbs. I hope this helps you some.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
~Dr. Seuss


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PEACEFULHOME
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5/25/09 11:09 P

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I grow chives, oregano, parsley, cilantro (yes, it does bolt), mint, lavender, rosemary, lemon verbena, basil, dill and still have to plant some stevia. I've heard cilantro needs to be planted periodically. Also parsley will only last a couple of years and needs to be replaced. I use a dehydrator. Mostly I use the herbs fresh for cooking or tea. When I walk out to the backyard I like to pop a tiny stevia leaf in my mouth for sweetness. Some of the herbs (lavender, pineapple sage) I plant just for the pleasure of walking past it and getting that wonderful scent from the leaves. I have picked the lavender, hung it upside down to dry and it's great for sachets or dryer sheets (you can sew an unscented dryer sheet into a pocket, fill with lavender and then stitch the rest of the sheet to enclose it.
Let us know how the FoodSaver method works for you.

Jan

Pacific NW Time Zone PDT



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MA2DAPPLES
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5/25/09 10:25 P

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Does anyone grow their own herbs? I'm growing parsley, garlic chives, regular chives, cilantro, stevia, and basil. I picked some and used the FoodSaver then placed in freezer. Did I do right? I can't eat them all right now but don't want to waste them either. Gave some away but they are growing so quickly. I have to keep the cilantro picked or it will bolt. I'm not sure I am harvesting them correctly either but hoping I am.

Christy

Dogs are people-they're just little toddlers all their lives.


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