November 20, 2015

Dried Orange Slices are beautiful and Yummy Too! (Recipe)

Fall and winter is the peak time for fresh citrus. I buy multiple bags of my two favorites; Lemons and Oranges. I dry half of them for use later, for gifts and in case of disaster - I would hate to have my hot tea without lemon and orange slices. :-(    I prefer Meyer Lemons and Valencia Oranges ( both usually only available in winter) but any variety will do for dehydrating. Seedless fruit is better, otherwise you need to remove the seeds.

Slice the fruit  a little thinner than 1/4 inch, put on the rack of your dehydrator and dry at 135° until crisp. Mine only took a few hours so check often. Cool the slices and store in pretty jars (for gifts) or baggies. Do not freeze these - they will break. How simple is that!

Pop one or two in a cup of hot tea and enjoy! They are good to eat just like candy...better 'cause these are good for you. Pretty as cake toppers too - think Orange Marmalade cake. Yummy!

November 13, 2015

Golden Oregano November Plant of the Month

Golden Oregano  (Origanum vulgare 'Aureum’) is not only a good herb to cook with but it is a beautiful plant with many uses in the flower garden too. I often use it as a "spill over" plant for containers and hanging baskets. It's lovely lime green foliage is beautiful in contrast with red, purple or dark green plants and blooms. It is one of my best selling plants every spring at Mimi's Greenhouse.

It is useful in the kitchen too. Just like it's sister plant Origanum or what we know as Italian Oregano, it is good in any Italian dish, snipped fresh over a salad or pizza or dried for future use (see my post on dehydrator here)Golden Oregano has a slightly milder flavor than regular Oregano. I harvest it just before it blooms. This will cause the plant to fill out and produce more stems and leaves and I can continue to use it all summer. It is a tender evergreen plant in my zone 6 but it may die to the ground in colder climates. Add a little protection and it will come back up the following spring. It is not quiet as hardy as Official Oregano but well worth adding to your herb garden.  

Great Deals here on Ebay

November 6, 2015

Tiny "Pumpkins" for Harvest Time Door or Wall decor

I love the little metal container that hangs beside my front door. I change the arrangement in it seasonally. There is a basic collection of ivy and green plants that stay but I add different blooms and other items as the seasons change. Right now I have my little scarecrow with Pumpkin on a Stick fruit tucked into the sides and back. I think these little Ornamental Egg Plant fruits are the coolest things I have found for Thanksgiving and Halloween decorations. They are cute piled in a little bowl on the table too.

For the porch decoration I left them on their stems but I took them off for the bowl. I used green ones as well as the ripe orange ones in my little metal bowl. I tucked in a few Cayenne pepper pods and some fall leaves from the yard. Mama hen and her chick seem to approve.
Get your seeds here and grow your own little "pumpkins" next year. for next year.

October 30, 2015

Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage is a favorite in my garden. The leaves smell just like fresh pineapple and the fall blooms are fire red! It blooms when not much else is blooming so it is a welcome sight in my otherwise green herb beds. The leaves make a nice addition to iced tea too. Gives it a fruity taste.

It is perennial in my zone 6. It dies to the ground after a hard frost but comes back every spring, Don't give up on it, it is usually mid-May before I see it sprouting out of the ground but it grows fast once it is up. Look how big and pretty these plants are in my herb bed. I could have cut them back by half in late spring and they would not be quite so tall and would bush out more. I was so busy at that time this year that the sage was neglected. It is still pretty after being neglected!

I'll have a bunch of these for sale in the nursery next spring so come see me! If I decide to ship them I'll post here.