Category Archives: Gardening

How to Dry Your Own Herbs

We all have good intentions when we plant herbs in the garden.  But what happens when the basil takes over or the dill weed is out of control.  Before it gets to that point, you can harvest it and dry it for use later.

I know I have wasted good herbs in the garden because I didn’t know what to do with it all.

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It’s super simple and easy to do. Kinda like one of those “set it and forget it” moments, but don’t forget to check on them things LOL.

STEP 1. Grow your herbs

OK, this step is pretty simple but hey, if you don’t want to grow your own, you can easily go buy herb plants that are already grown and start from there.

STEP 2. Pull a bunch off and get a piece of twine and tie the bottom ends together (the cut pieces)

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STEP 3. Set it and forget it LOL, well, make sure you check on them from time to time but they will take roughly 2-3 weeks to dry.  Hang them on a rack or from a piece of twine out of the way so the kids don’t pull them down or the dogs don’t think it’s a snack!  The laundry room is a good place.  No one ever goes in there, right?

STEP 4. Once they are all dry, remove the twine, grab a cutting board and a knife.  If you have a coffee grinder, you can use that too.  Just make sure it’s clean from all the coffee grinds ha ha! Take the knife and just start rough chopping the herbs to your liking and fill them into a jar.

STEP 5. Enjoy your fresh dried herbs in your soups, stews or whatever you are cooking. This is great for flowers as well.  Stay tuned as I will be posting about drying flowers for herbal remedies later this spring.

I hope you have a great weekend and share this with your friends and family.  Tag me on Instagram with your herb pictures – @lhsimpleliving

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Using What You Have

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Sometimes things just don’t work out.  Especially in the garden.  All the years I have been gardening, I have yet to find a cage/trellis/thing a ma jig or anything that will work for my tomatoes.  I LOVE tomatoes and always plant several varieties.  They start growing and then basically take over their space!

Well, I am excited that this year I am trying a few new things that I think are going to work out pretty nicely.  As I was planting this spring, I spaced my tomato plants far enough apart but I forgot which variety I planted so I guess I will have a surprise when they start growing LOL.

In my search to build the perfect “cage” so to speak, I walked out back of our shop to see what I could find.  I always use stuff laying around here before I go out and buy something. Being in construction, we are always have something I can use LOL.  And, I don’t like being wasteful.

I found two pieces of re bar and I used mason twine, which is much stronger than your normal twine.  I already had an old chain link gate that I started training one of my tomato plants but I knew it wouldn’t be enough.  So, I pounded the re bar in the ground in front of the tomato plant and then wrapped the twine around and staggering it every 4 inches.  This one will work out good cause as the tomatoes grow, I will just hang them on the twine.

The other tomato plant, I set two fence posts the length of my garden bed and then just tied the twine and staggered it.  As this one grows, I can train it to go through the twine and then hang the tomatoes as they grow.  I am so excited and so glad I’m not frustrated this year with my tomatoes!

Now that I have my trellises made, I have to tell you that I have never been able to grow tomatoes in the month of June before.  It’s just way too hot here in Florida.  This year is different since trying the Back to Eden Gardening method.  I am truly amazed at how planting God’s way has made a difference in how my garden grows.If you get a chance, check out their video on how it all works.

What types of things do you use for trellises or cages?  Do you use things around your property or have you found something in a store that’s truly amazing?  I’d love to hear either in an email, comment below or on my Facebook page.

 

Blessings!

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The Most Amazing Pickles

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Who doesn’t like pickles?  I mean, really.  They have to be dill for me and of course, the more garlic, the merrier!

My good friend Annette over at Cassia Fresh Farm gave me a few pickling cucumbers as mine weren’t ready to pick just yet.  She also told me about an amazing recipe for fermented pickles.  We used to can our pickles several years ago and I remember the disappointment in both of our voices as we bit into one.  No crunch and very soggy.

These are really the most AMAZING pickles!  It’s kinda gross as you go along in this process, but don’t give up.  They are fermenting so at the end when they are all ready, you can always drain the pickles and then add fresh brine to your jars.

I ended up making two jars of whole, one of spears and one of chips.  We had the chips tonight with our burger and oh, my!!!

You can find this recipe HERE.  I can’t take credit for this one but it goes to Alton Brown.  I learned how to cook eggs from him many many years ago.  Now, I’m learning how to make fermented pickles.  Whoah!  How exciting!!!

Follow the recipe and don’t forget to check on your pickles every now and then!

 

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Blessings,

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A Little Faith

There is just something about biting into a fresh picked veggie, isn’t there?

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At first, when my friend Dara mentioned a new gardening method, I felt a little like “No way I can grow veggies without water”.  I watched the 2 hour video on the Back to Eden website and just absorbed all the info that I could.  Have you heard of it?  I decided to change my method to the BTE (Back to Eden) this Spring.  What better way to honor God than through the garden.  After all, that’s where it all started, right?

Just five days ago, this little cucumber was this size below.  Isn’t is amazing how we take a seed and it grows!

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I’m so excited about my new garden this year.  I do not have irrigation installed.  In fact, we don’t even have a well installed yet at our new property.  I only use water on the really hot days which fortunately, hasn’t been too many so far.  When I do water, I take my 2 gallon sprayer container and go back to our shop ( about five acres away) and fill it up.

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So, here is the new method I am using.  I have to say, there are not pests at all.  I NEVER use pest control as my garden is all heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Seeds.

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The above photo is where it all starts.  I lay newspaper or cardboard down and then add a layer of manure on top of that.

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I then add about 8-10 inches of wood chips.  The wood chips help retain all the moisture hence the no need for much watering.

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Then, goes the rows filled with manure again.  Once the plants start growing, then I will spread the chips on top of the roots.

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I truly am so amazed at how gorgeous all of my veggies are growing.  I had the faith that God would provide and he has indeed!  Above is Basil that I planted all from seed.  I will split the basil up here in just a little bit so it doesn’t get so top heavy.  A future goal of mine is to grow herbs in pots and sell them and maybe a possible veggie stand in the future . 🙂

Alrighty, stay tuned as I’ll be posting the progress of everything else too.  Have a great week!

Blessings,

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Roasted Radishes – Think Twice About This Peppery Veggie

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So, my first question is this…..do you really like radishes?  I honestly can say that I can’t stand them…

UNTIL NOW!  I know they have a bunch of health benefits and I just love their sister, the Daikon Radish. I can eat those babies all day long.  There’s just something peppery about the taste that I don’t like them raw.

So, I had an idea and a thought (well, I actually saw a recipe for roasted radishes on a group I’m in on Facebook).  I still had a thought though.  I of course grabbed my iron skillet and added coconut oil. Chopped all the radishes up and I had two turnips I picked from my garden so I through those in the skillet too.  Added some rosemary and salt and pepper and baked them in the oven.  The rest is history!

Oh my goodness!  These are my new friends.  I like meeting new friends.

Here is my version of roasted radishes.  If you’re on the fence like I was, give these a try.  You will not be disappointed!  So delish!

Oh and the health benefits.  Check all this out:

Weight Loss

Cardiovascular

Constipation

Blood Pressure

Diabetes

and there’s more!  You can finish reading the article on radishes’ health benefits HERE.

So, are you ready to get roasting?

Roasted Radishes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

10-12 Large size radishes
2 Tblsp. of Coconut Oil
2-3 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
Himalayan Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Take radishes and cut them in quarters. Place coconut oil in iron skillet along with radishes, seasonings and rosemary. Toss it together until well coated and cook on 400 degrees until fork tender.

That’s it! Eat and enjoy!

Don’t Have a Pressure Canner?

Just because you don’t have a pressure canner DOESN’T mean you can’t still preserve fresh vegetables!

 

 

 

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So, what do you do when you have a garden growing of green beans or kale and you planted more than you can consume?  Pressure Canners can be costly, so what do you do?

Well, you can freeze them.  Yep, you sure can.  If you follow the process directly, then you can enjoy fresh veggies whenever you want.

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First, wash your veggies and get all the dirt off.  If you using green beans, make sure you pull all the stems off.  When using something like kale, make sure you tear the stalk off.

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Next, put them in boiling water and blanch them for 2 minutes.

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Have a bowl ready with ice water.  When you pull them off the stove, dunk them in the bowl immediately.

WHY DO WE BLANCH?

Blanching fresh vegetables before storing them in the freezer preserves their color, flavor and texture. Blanching slows the enzyme action that can cause frozen vegetables to deteriorate and lose nutrients and taste. Vegetables frozen without blanching are still safe to use, but there is a significant loss of quality, particularly if they’re stored longer than a few months.

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Let your blanched veggies set in the ice water for a few minutes.  Then, pull them out and put them on a towel to dry.

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Once they are dry, package them in a Ziploc bag or you can use one of those fancy food saver thingys.

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I opted for the Ziploc bags LOL.  Since my beans aren’t ready yet for pickin’, I went and purchased 2lbs. for .98/lb at my local market.  I also purchased (2) bunches of Organic Kale.  I knew they wouldn’t last in the fridge all week, so I decided to blanch them today instead.

Now, I can use the kale in my smoothies and pull out green beans when I need to!

You can find detailed instructions here at PickYourOwn.org

Hope you’re having a good week!

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Oops!  I almost forgot….don’t forget about “what to do with the little pieces and stems”??  They go to any of your critters out back.  We’re dual purposing LOL.

You can find this post at the following:

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Are you ready to grow your own food?

In just a few short hours, The Self Reliance Summit kicks off!

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They will air two speakers per day.  Here’s what’s happening today: