Thursday, September 17, 2015

The kitchen smells like pizza

Yo, where's the pepperoni?
Those awful-looking things to the right are actually oregano leaves that have spent the last 2 hours in the dehydrator.  As it's barely 8:00, I suspect they'll get two more, then an hour to cool, then I'll mash them to bits before storing them in a little herb jar.  Since I'm making salsa and spaghetti sauce tomorrow, I should have saved a few fresh for that, but I guess I'll just have to go cut more.

As fall closes in, so does harvest, so tonight you get a quick little post about what's being harvested and what I've learned about it.

Oregano: You're gonna need a bigger boat. I originally planted oregano as a companion plant for my pumpkins.  But as the pumpkins, zucchini, and squash all collapsed like the 1940 French Army before Nazi Squash Bug Panzer Divisions, I ended up with a few plants standing alone.  A few plants are either not enough or too many.  They are not enough if you want to harvest your own oregano for sauces and the like, and too many if they are just taking up space.  I have seven out back, two of which have gone to seed already* and the other five of which went into the dehydrator. So I've already decided to add another raised bed** next year dedicated to oregano, because I'm loving the smell and the fact that they are perennials. But I'm also planning a possible switch to Greek oregano instead of common, assuming the 7 Greek oreganos I've got going now survive this winter better than the 7 commons I have already established. It's a test. Like science, only tastier.

Green beans: Little kids can't pick green beans properly. Their hands just aren't big enough.  So if you ask a kid to pick green beans, prepare to suffer some vine damage.  It's ok, though, your vines will be fine.

Tomatoes: I mentioned earlier that this weekend was already dedicated to canning the 25 gallons of pears that the lovely and gracious Rogue collected last weekend.  But as my tomatoes have decided that this is the week to ripen en masse, we'll also be doing salsa, spaghetti sauce and probably ketchup as well. In addition to the fresh oregano I hope to find for the spaghetti sauce, I have some purple bell peppers that, while a disappointment***, are still prime candidates to dump into the salsa. And maybe some of last year's jalapenos as well.

Cilantro: after harvesting a full load of coriander, the spicy seed of cilantro, in June, I have another full load of this lovely herb ready to harvest, this time for adding to salsa. Of course, the nicest thing about growing your own is not that it tastes better than store-bought cilantro, but that's it's usually not carrying any nasty Mexican diseases into your kitchen. Cilantro grows like crazy here, so long as it's kept from the worst of the heat. Which we didn't have any of this year. Because global warming climate change progress, or something.

Tomorrow night, in addition to canning, I'll be harvesting and drying a bassload of sage leaves, close to 20 plants' worth. But as that won't make the kitchen smell like pizza, it will be dried down in the workshop.  The lovely and gracious Rogue can't stand the smell of drying sage, and if I want her to help with the canning, something's got to leave. I need her, so sage it is.

While great at canning, I'm afraid she would not have made a very good injun.

* So I gave them the basil treatment, but didn't harvest the leaves.
** and I may do a real, actual, wooden raised bed.  but only because I have some fitting lumber left over from last year's expansion projects and I'm tired of it taking up room in the barn.
*** Purple vegetables are a story for another day.

1 comment:

  1. You call her lovely and gracious. I called her ma'am, or madame. Good, bad, ugly, pick a term you both can live with and... Oh, no mockery afoot. Some grins, biting of tongues, and honest happy right tomfoolery.

    Sounds good though. Odd about doing those sorts of things... you never think there is time. It often turns out, at least if you have health, that there is so much more time than first thought. May you hum a little hum while you live a little hobbit life. The whole clan at that.