Friday, June 4, 2010

♥ Garden Herbs

Fresh Oregano & Lavender
Dried Crushed Oregano & Thyme

We started growing fresh herbs in the garden & flower beds last year. Now that the plants have matured, we are beginning to dry them. What an amazing change for our spice cabinet! The flavors & smells are so much fresher & the taste is wholesome. You can imagine how many years a dried spice can sit in the store before you purchase it - Why not grow your own...? This is a great way to teach the kids about gardening & how to grow & nurture perennial plants. And, you'll be stocking up on your own home grown spices & spending precious time together!

We are growing Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Parsley, Mint, Cilantro, Lavender & Hot Peppers for this purpose. Every couple of days, we snip off a small bunch of stems, tie them together with twine & hang in the kitchen. (They shouldn't be placed where the sun will hit directly.) In a couple of weeks, the leaves dry & we strip them from the stem. We use our old coffee mill to grind the spice just until it breaks the leaves a little bit (not crushed beyond recognition!). The kids have designed labels for the glass spice bottles. Now, we will have to wait until the Hot Peppers are ready in the garden to begin harvesting them and then drying their seeds...will write more on ‘crushed pepper’ when we get there. Until then...!

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