A HOUSE FULL OF HERBS

Just lately it’s all been about herbs, harvesting them from the garden, drying them, putting them in oil, making powder and so fort. It has been a busy but rewarding time. I’ve learnt a lot more about Dandelion plants and this means that the Dandelion is now been promoted to a primary plant in our garden. Luckily we have a lot of them as I’ve always been reluctant to pull them up from among the other vegetables. Now they have gained a firm status of valuable nutritional source. So far I have dried roots and leaves. The roots are for tea and the leaves are for either a soak in water overnight making a cool drink, or to be grinded into powder to add a touch to soups. I am looking forward to spring when I will use some of the flowers when baking biscuits, only some though as they are earmarked mainly as food for the bees. Nettles are another good source of minerals and they have been growing so well this past summer in our garden. I’ve harvested many and again grinded some into powder for the soups and will use the leaves for a green drink.

Dandelion leaves
Sometimes I hang my herbs, but mostly now I dry them in the oven with the pilot light on and the oven door a little ajar.

Just recently I had bought the long desired book by Rosalee De La Foret: ‘Alchemy of Herbs’, and I am finding it a brilliant work. So much information, and beautiful photography too. As well as this book I have once again signed on to Herb mentor from Learning Herbs, it’s an amazing informative website and course, a hands on type of learning which is great fun as well as being very interesting. (It’s online; https://learningherbs.com/herbmentor/)

A start in making use of Dandelions in different ways.
I’ve got two different types of Oregano and they grow so very well. There is the variegated Mediterranean type with white flowers, so loved by the bees, and the all green regular one with the pink flowers, which this one is. A lovely herb.

All these herbs are humble plants, many of them are even considered to be weeds by some people. I’m so very grateful that they come growing in my garden. Some, like the Yarrow, plantain and violets grow in the boreen close to where we live. On my walks I always keep an eye out for useful wild plants in case I should ever need them, then I know where to find them.

We may be very thankful for the wealth of wild plants and herbs in our gardens.

34 thoughts on “A HOUSE FULL OF HERBS

  1. I’m inspired by what you’ve been doing, Agnes. What have you been doing with the evening primrose? Eg drying the flowers? As there are no flowers on violets at the moment, did you collect the flowers earlier in the year or are you now using the leaves?

    I now have a dehydrator and do mean to start making ‘coffee’ from dandelion roots. Maybe after they have flowered last spring.

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    1. Hi Helen, yes autumn is the best time to dig up some dandelion roots it seems. I intend to put evening primrose flowers on oil but have not got around that, that will be a priority when they flower again next summer. And I have to source a more generous patch of wild violets in order to pick them, or I might sow some in the garden. Those two plants are on my watch list for the moment. I was delighted to read that what I am doing inspires you – and in turn that encourages me too. Cheers.

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      1. They are pretty and they taste nice, too. There are sweets in the U.K. called violets which must once have been flavoured with the flowers. Maybe next year, I do a bit of dabbling in that direction, more for the fun of it than anything.

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      2. So far, I’ve dried: strawberries, rhubarb, apples, onions, carrots, leeks, potato, Jerusalem artichokes, herbs. If it were just the latter, I wouldn’t need a dehydrator but I was getting so many strawberries and getting tired of making endless rounds of jam. I also realised that in a good year, we could be overwhelmed by apples and my daughter loves apple rings.

        So, the apples and strawberries were the motivation for buying the dehydrator but I soon started experimenting. Sometimes, we are overwhelmed with certain vegetables from the farm share we get, so I have been drying those we can’t get through fresh. It can then be used as a soup mix when I’m feeling too tired to do much preparation. Besides, it means that we have food on standby in case of needing to self-isolate, though I had no notion that we would be put in this position when I bought the machine!

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      3. Sound real good Helen and using a dehydrator is a very sensible idea. Interesting to hear all the stuff that you are drying for future use. More versatile than jam all right. By the way I was reading up a little more on violets and it seems we can use the young leave too as an addition to a salad. I have not tried it yet though.

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      4. Thanks for this information about violet leaves, Agnes. Good to know. Have a good evening and hopefully see some more of your writing soon.

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  2. Wonderful. I loved the photo of the herbs hanging 🙂 I too like to make powders of some of the herbs that grow here. This plant which we call Nelanelli is growing wild in our garden. I have added certain spices and made a powder with the leaves. We use as chutney powder and also in certain dishes. Thank you.
    KeelaNelli | Phyllanthus Niruri | Regenerative Nutrition
    https://www.regenerativenutrition.com/keela-nelli-phyllanthus-amarus

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