Tag: herbs

Happenings Around the Homestead

What a slow week around here, at least on ‘homestead’ things.  I can’t think of a single thing I have done other than dehydrate some herbs and make yogurt.

I had hoped to work on the roof of the chicken coop this weekend, but I didn’t get around to it with the rain on the early part of the weekend and a need to just take it easy in the later part of the weekend.

This week I hope to dry some more mint, re-pot some mint, work on the chicken coop roof, and pick garlic.  Yes, I actually have some garlic that is ready to be harvested.  It is a little earlier than normal, but it is time.

Now off to finish my cup of coffee and think about all the things I wish I had accomplished this week.  🙂

Happenings Around the Homestead

WEEEEELLL – it helps if you hit the post button.  😀  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.  🙂

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.



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

Happenings on the Homestead

Whew!  This has been a busy weekend around the homestead, though that doesn’t mean much at all when comparing it to the busyness of the spring, summer, and early fall.

The number one task I had for the weekend was to get the Carolina Reapers potted for the winter, and that is done.  I also had hoped to pot the Pineapple Sage, but I didn’t have enough room on the drying trays to dry it all yet, so I will pot it later this week.

Speaking of the Pineapple Sage, this little beauty is still in full bloom!  It is such a refreshing jolt of summer red in a world of fall-like colors right now.  Look at this shot taken yesterday:

Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage in Full Bloom

In addition to Pineapple Sage, I needed to dry some Horehound as well.  As soon as I get a little more room, I’ll trim back the Pineapple Sage some more, dehydrate the rest, and then pot it up for the winter.  Speaking of that, I am still trying to determine if I will pot the Horehound or not. I  don’t know if it can survive the winter or not outside.  Okay, I just checked.  The Horehound seems to be hardy, so I will hope it survives the winter.

I do have at least one other plant I need to pot up for the winter – a small Eucalyptus tree.  This thing is kind of amazing.  The leaves smell just like Vick’s Vapor Rub.  😀  It won’t survive the winter here unless it is older and more established, so I will pot it, I think, for the winter so it can live another year.

I almost always write these posts over the weekend, and this post is no different.  After I wrote it though, I ended up shelling some of my flour corn.  I shelled all the Cherokee Gourdseed Corn that I grew this year (about 2 gallons shelled) and about half or a little less of the Cherokee White Flour Corn (about a gallon shelled so far).  I was shocked at how easy it was to shell the gourdseed corn – more to come on that later.

The other big task of the weekend was knocking down corn stalks, which my oldest son took care of for me.  He also worked on burning a big pile of brush and weeds that has needed to be taken care of for quite some time.  I am not sure he knows this fully, but I really appreciated his help.  He wasn’t alone though. My middle son also was out there with a machete whacking away at weeds and brush, trying to clean up this corner of the yard.  Good boys, they are.

I am so ready to start spreading these woodchips I have been collecting for next year’s garden, but I am still at least two loads short of what I need.  I am not sure where the wood cutters are working this week, but they only dropped off one load. I might try to catch them again Monday morning at the gas station to encourge them to drop off some more.  It’s too bad this isn’t the same priority for them that it is for me.  🙂