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Posted on 09 October 2010 by urbangardencasual.com

Preserving the Kitchen Garden – Part 2

mint-jellyBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Another approach to herbal preservation is through the creation of condiments.

This type of preservation creates jellies, sauces, oils, vinegars, and butters that enhance dishes when added after cooking.

Making a Jelly

Mint jelly is a traditional way of preserving mint. This process may seem to be more trouble then it is worth but I promise nothing makes a lamb dish stand out like mint jelly.

Mint Jelly

Ingredients

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Posted on 03 October 2010 by urbangardencasual.com

Preserving the Kitchen Garden – Part 1

herbs1By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

This time of the gardening year is full of chores that need to be done before the winter wind blows.

But as autumn’s crisp breath seems to be earlier this year I am being very diligent with my herb preservation.

In the past I have let Mother Nature take her course as far as my Kitchen Herb Garden but not this year.

I plan to give herb baskets as gifts this year so every herb counts.

My first task is to survey my Kitchen Herb Garden. What will I keep for winter and what will I just let be. Next I need to decide which method of preservation will work for the herbs I want to preserve. The choices I have available are as follows: growing them indoors, freezing, drying naturally, drying in the microwave, making a jelly, making a sauce, making a flavorful oil, vinegar, or butter.

Part 1 covers preservation that does not require cooking and creates herbs that traditional used during cooking while part 2 covers forms of preservation that creates additions to meals to enhance the cooked product such as jellies, sauces, oils, vinegars, or butters.

Grow Herbs Indoors

Bringing herbs indoors can Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 28 May 2010 by urbangardencasual.com

Dandelion Spring Tonic

dandelion-greensBy Sonya Welter

Here in Duluth, Minnesota, spring has arrived early, after a few weeks of above-average temps and early rains.

But that doesn’t mean we’re stuck eating nothing but grocery store produce.

Underneath last year’s dead grass, dandelion green are starting to emerge.

Today, most North Americans think of dandelions as a weed, but they were actually brought to this continent intentionally as a potherb. Dandelions easily took to their new home, and now grow wild almost everywhere.

Pioneers considered these super-early vegetables to be a spring tonic, and it’s easy to see why: imagine surviving the winter on potatoes, bread and meat, and then suddenly being able to eat fresh leafy greens again. Not only are they incredibly cheering and invigorating, but dandelion greens Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 02 April 2010 by urbangardencasual.com

Plant Duality – Flowering Kale, Ornamental Cabbage and Pansies (Part 2)

pansiesBy By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Read Part 1 of 2-part article.

PANSIES

These lovely plants are one of my favorites and bring memories flowing back about my great-grandmother’s garden.

Every Easter her yard was full of voila, which are a pansy, and flower boxes full of Johnny Jump Ups and pansies.

Every fall painted the same picture with the coolness of the up coming winter.

Now days I plant pansies as a way of treating my gardening itch inexpensively. But again my frugal nature demands duality in my plants and pansies play that part. They provide a splash of color to my garden and create a colorful backdrop to Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 19 February 2009 by urbangardencasual.com

The Foods Of Love

figsBy Cindy Naas

There are many foods reputed to have aphrodisiac tendencies, and many of these foods are fruits and vegetables.

While it may be too late to grow these for this Valentine’s Day, you might consider serving some or all at a special dinner this year.

Who knows- you may even be inspired to grow your own fig tree because of this!

  • Asparagus – long considered an aphrodisiac, French bridegrooms were fed three courses of this vegetable prior to their wedding night. It is also rumored that the Romans fed asparagus to their stallions. At any rate, asparagus is delicious, good for you and a great plant for an urban farmer, even growing well in dedicated pots.
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