Thursday, October 1, 2009

Herbs and Roots

I have a few things hanging around in my garage. Namely, goldenrod, two types of sage, three types of basil, calendula, hyssop, evening primrose (only a few blossoms, the rest I've dried in a barely warm oven because of the quantity), and lemon balm:

I hang herbs to dry in there because it's dark and warm (in the summer, anyway).

About mid-summer I planted a potato which I found in the back of my cupboard. It had sprouted - and I don't mean a few green nubules, I mean, this thing looked like Medusa. So I stuck it in the ground rather than throwing it away. I knew that if it took, it wouldn't have time to form big potatoes, but I thought I might get some fingerlings for my trouble.

Yesterday, on the eve of a possible frost, I dug up what was there:

That's a nickle on the plate for size reference. I think if you were to put all of these little darlings together, they would equal in volume the one potato from which they sprang.

I also dug up three of my evening primrose plants, scrubbed the their roots and sliced them up for drying in a barely warm oven. This picture was taken after one night of drying, don't know how long it will take till they're fully dry:

A strong tea made of the roots is supposed to be helpful in cases of accumulated gunk in the lungs from tough colds and bronchitis.

In sad news, it looks like one of my tomato plants has succumbed to the blight that has been so prevalent this year here in Ohio due to the cool and fairly damp summer. The blight was thought to have originated in plants which were sold through the gardening departments of some hardware store chains.

Oddly enough, the only plant out of seven to get the blight was purchased at one of these stores. The other six plants were raised from seed and seem to doing fine. We're just waiting for their masses of fruit to fully ripen. We've had a smattering ripen already, from which we've had wonderful slices for sandwiches, made an extremely delicious tomato and white bean soup, and included in various other recipes and concoctions as they've ripened.

The harvesting season may be upon us, but the peas which I planted mid-summer have only just begun to flower. Luckily, peas don't mind a bit of cold weather. I also have some chard that I planted very late - later than mid-summer. It's doing well, although still small. Good thing the chard is also not averse to some cooler temperatures.

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