Still Closing Up the Garden

September 23, 2014 lisa63 gardenherbsrecipes

SQUASH VINE BORER

We have spent the past week or so preparing for Fall. We removed more plants from the garden. It’s hard to see blossoms on a plant, but know there isn’t time for it to bear fruit. So we took five more tomato plants and three pepper plants and moved them to the compost. That left two of the raised beds empty. So we took black plastic sheeting and covered the beds. I hope we get some more warm days this Fall before it snows. The black plastic, if we get some warm days, will kill the bacteria and hopefully the squash vine borer larvae that is in the soil. If it doesn’t work, we’ll have to try using Bt next season. I don’t like to spray anything on my plants, but I’m becoming desperate.

HARVESTING AND DRYING HERBS

I have been harvesting many of my herbs.  So far I have collected Calendula, Rosemary, Basil, Purple Basil, and Lemon Balm.  I use the basket method for drying most of my herbs.  They are small enough that air drying works the best for them.

The Rosemary dries very quickly when spread out in a wicker basket.  After 4 or 5 days, depending on the humidity, it’s ready to store.  The Rosemary I harvested went into my mini-chopper.  I like to use it in my recipe for Herbs and Olive Oil Dipping sauce with Ciobotta bread.  Using a mortar and pestle doesn’t chop the herb small enough to use in the dipping sauce, so I prefer the electric chopper for this job.  And if you know anything about me, I don’t often use electric kitchen appliances, but Rosemary demands it.

The Purple Basil and Basil are taking a bit longer to dry.  The large leaves and the humidity just won’t let them dry out completely.  If I try to store them before they are completely dry, they will mold in the jars and ruin the entire batch.  So I will give them a couple more days in the baskets and then they will go into the dehydrator.  Within 24 hours, the Basil will be dry and in storage containers.

The Lemon Balm is already dried and ground.  The small leaves dried quickly and completely.  What I harvested didn’t amount to more than an ounce of ground herb.  I will have to harvest the last of the herb this weekend and make do with what I get.

The Parsley is next on my list for this weekend.  The Parsley plants I had in the garden didn’t fair very well this season, which could be due to the rabbit that is living in the herb bed.  I have two pots of Parsley on the back deck which did very well.  Unfortunately, it won’t be enough to see us through the winter, but I’ll take what I can get.

ZUCCHINI BREAD

Last week, my father-in-law brought us some HUGE Zucchini.  So what else could I do?  I started making zucchini bread.  I have 4 batches made.  The first batch didn’t come out well, so Steve made zucchini bread pudding out of the two “bricks.”  The second batch turned out perfectly and is waiting to go into the freezer.  I still have at least two more batches worth of shredded zucchini left to make this week.  We will have plenty of bread in the freezer for the winter months!  The rest will be made into zucchini pancakes and fried.  They will be delicious with the pork chops I’m going to make.
Check my Recipes page for the Zucchini Bread recipe.

Happy Drying,

Lisa :)


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