Gardening Gone Herbs!

Summer has come to an end along with its harvest. All that is left to do is to clear the beds and prepare them for a fall and winter crop.  That is rewarding in that I cleared one bed and found some lovely dill hidden under the Bolivian cilantro.  I love volunteers and expect more such volunteers to show up between the lettuce, chard, and red cabbage that have just been planted.  With cool and cold weather on the horizon, gardening chores will be so much more enjoyable!

Bolivian cilantro with volunteer dill

The first of many pine needles have come from our own lot and also from the neighborhood.  Finding them bagged on the curb makes using them much easier. Those needles will protect tender roots from hard frosts and provide a weather covering to conserve the soil. The needles will also be used to cover new beds of blueberries. Being sustainable includes diverting organic matter from the landfill!

The Bolivian cilantro has done very well and I have been able to share it with many families. Regrettably, the season was not long enough for the formation of flowers and seeds.  Perhaps next year there will be blooms. In the meantime, I will try making pesto with it because drying the leaves left me uninspired as to their taste.

The new galvanized planters were a sweet potato success story and a few more of these structures will be put together and added in the next few weeks!  And, the mini-greenhouse is still producing green beans for vegetable soup!  The next planting will be a seeding of a salad-greens mix, put together at Russell’s Farm Supply store.   

Sweet potato harvest

Goldenrod has been dried and stored. Staghorn sumac is also in the larder for a vitamin-rich hot tea.  All that is left to process is lemon verbena which can be added to a variety of hot drinks.

Goldenrod hanging on a clever makeshift drying rack

So now that the hard work is over, a nice pot of hot chocolate with whipped cream and some delightful gardening books are on my schedule during hoped for rains.

I hope you too are enjoying some parsley and dill in your garden this fall!

~~ Reni Erskine

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