Tag: Chocolate Mint

Happenings Around the Homestead

WEEEEELLL – it helps if you hit the post button. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†This week you will get a double update.

It’s been a bit of a slow week around the homestead, at least outside. ¬†Inside I have been drying some herbs, both oregano and mint. ¬†It might be better to air dry these both outside, but I prefer to use the dehydrator on low (around 95 degrees) because it is consistent. ¬†When things are dried outside I have to keep a closer eye on them to ensure pests aren’t getting into the items I am drying, and I have to watch for the rain. ¬†I don’t have either of those worries inside.

The oregano I am drying is a nice, strong, True Greek Oregano, whereas the mint is Chocolate Mint (my favorite), Orange Mint, and Spearmint. ¬†There is something special, I think, about herbs that have been dried at home. ¬†I don’t know whether it is simply knowing where they come from, or if there is a quality difference (I am sure of that, btw), but I sure do like it.

The plants I started last week are all doing well though.  I am so hopeful that the sweet potatoes take off and grow well.  My biggest concern is the deer.  Once they find these plants, they will certainly eat the leaves off of them.  They always do.  I probably need to get a covering for them as soon as I can to try and keep that risk down a little.  I may put the tomato cages over them temporarily until I can get something more appropriate.

I am a little surprised that the brassicas I planted early in the spring haven’t all bolted yet. ¬†They are in a part of the yard that gets afternoon shade, so it may be that this is enough to keep them from bolting, but it is also enough to keep them from growing like I want to see them grow. ¬†Even so, I don’t mind the plants taking their time as long as they don’t bolt. ¬†ūüôā

Since I originally wrote this, last week, I have successfully finished drying the mint and the oregano.  Today I plan to put Feverfew on the dehydrator.

Perhaps the item of most interest this week is that some of the winter sown plants have just been happily living in their milk jugs since winter.  My oldest son has been wanting to plant some things, so I showed him where to move them yesterday.  That means I now have Skullcap, German Chamomile, and two types of Echinacea in my raised flower bed.  Woot!  Here, let me share a picture or two:

German Chamomile

One of the new flowers/herbs in my garden, German Chamomile.

Chocolate Mint

My Favorite Fresh Mint: Chocolate Mint

Happenings Around the Homestead

As I have said in a previous post, I am not planting my garden in full this year.  I decided to only plant those things which were already ordered (sweet potatoes and herbs) and some things I had already planted before deciding this (corn, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and garlic).  So even though I am not doing a lot this year compared to previous years, I am still planting quite a bit.  This weekend I needed to plant some sweet potato slips that arrived a couple of weeks ago, as well as Goldenseal plants.

I must have ordered more sweet potatoes than I remember ordering. ¬†I planted 45 slips, 15 each of¬†Beauregard, O’Henry, and Purple Passion. ¬†Those are orange, white, and purple sweet potatoes, respectively. ¬†Oh, you didn’t know there were different colored sweet potatoes? ¬†Yep, and while they taste similar, they do not taste exactly the same. ¬†I find the purple sweet potatoes to be more dry and a little less sweet, while the white sweet potatoes are more mild, and actually make a pretty good white potato substitute. ¬†Here is a picture of one of the slips I planted:

O'Henry Sweet Potato Slip

O’Henry Sweet Potato Slip

The garlic is coming along nicely, and it won’t be too long until it is ready to harvest. ¬†It is not all that is doing well though – the mint is growing like wildfire this year. ¬†Check out these pictures:

Chocolate Mint

Chocolate Mint – one of my favorites!

Orange Mint

Orange Mint

I mentioned the Goldenseal.  Check out the roots of this plant!  They are so golden in color:

Goldenseal Roots

Goldenseal Roots

Here is picture of the leaves.

Goldenseal

Goldenseal

I am anxious to see how this grows.  It is native to this area, so it should grow well.

Happenings Around the Homestead

What a difference a week can make! ¬†Last week we were basking in wonderful temperatures, and this week we have had freeze warnings! ¬†I read one person on Facebook who said, “If I knew spring was only going to last three days, I would have made sure to enjoy it more.” ¬†ūüėÄ

I am running into the same issue I ran into last year about this time.  My workload at the office has increased to a point where I can barely get anything done at home, and when I am at home, I am quite frankly ready to rest.  I am determined that this will not slow down planting when that time comes this year though.

Oh, speaking of plants, let me share what I saw yesterday!

Chocolate Mint

Ms. T, the tenacious Chocolate Mint

I rarely “name” my plants. ¬†In fact, I think it sounds kind of crazy, but this one earned a name. ¬†I call her Ms. T., which stands for Ms. Tenacious. ¬†I have been growing this mint for a number of years now, and when I first bought the plant it barely survived. ¬†In fact, the other mints that were purchased at the same time died. ¬†Why? ¬†They were potted and didn’t get watered during a very hot, dry spell. ¬†She has also survived two winters of very cold temperatures, and a summer of very hot, very dry weather. ¬†No matter what is thrown at it, this mint just keeps going. ¬†I was happy to see her popping her head up good and strong this spring – a sure sign warmer days are to come soon.

This weekend my oldest son and I spent some time staking out the garden so we would know exactly where to plant things this spring. ¬†I didn’t finish it though, as I became a bit overwhelmed with it all. ¬†I’m not sure why that is. ¬†I may try to finish it this upcoming weekend. ¬†Thankfully I have some time.

One other thing I spend some time on this weekend was roasting coffee.  This has been one of the better coffees I have had in a while Рit is a Brazilian coffee, which is typically one of my favorites.

Roasting Coffee

Roasting Coffee

I sure do enjoy the fresh-roasted coffee. ¬†Until you have had it, you can’t imagine how good it is.

Oh, one last thing before I go – be sure to watch this upcoming Wednesday for a post with a great comic one of my son’s created.

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