Monday, May 4, 2009

Herb Sunday

Yesterday we decided to get of of the house for a bit. Sure, money is tight, but we had to get out of the house for a while, even if it meant spending money that we really shouldn't. We've managed to make due, and it's gotten pretty boring spending all of our time at morning out isn't gonna kill us.
We first went to breakfast, which of course made me laugh a bit. There are 3 1/2 dozen fresh eggs in the fridge, and what do we both order? Yep, eggs, lol. It's been quite a while since I have had eggs other than our own, and you can sure taste the difference. I guess I'm also too used to fresh ground coffee on our non-electric drip. The coffee was dissapointing as well, it tasted stale, bland, and weak. It's times like these that make me remember the many reasons why we do what we do. But, no matter, we got to sit in a comfortable booth and be waited on, so it was a nice break.
After breakfast, I wanted to go to Lowes to price some lumber to build trellis' for the tomatos and for grape arbors. We ended up in the garden center first, and nothing really stood out. Most everything was flowers, shrubs, ornamental grasses, fertilizers, spreaders, and most everything you can imagine to make your yard pretty and worthless. Lisa can spot a clearance rack at a half mile, and here was no different. The half price racks had mostly flowers, but there were some herbs mixed in the bunch. We got a 12" pot of various italian herbs for $6, a few other small pots of herbs, priced my lumber, and left.
On the way home, we stopped for a couple frozen coffee drinks since we had a coupon for buy 1/get one, then stopped at Tammie's before going home. I wanted to see if she wanted to come get the two delaware hens that she asked to get back. I don't really care for them myself, they're just too noisy, but she likes the noise and I offered to give them back to her. (Lisa of course says now we need more new ones, lol ) Tammie told us yes, then told us that a local state park was having their annual craft and herb sale this weekend.....HOW did Lisa manage to miss THAT? LOL She followed us home, took the hens, and we headed for Quail Hollow park.
The crafts were the typical ones that we both expected. Overpriced simple jewelry, painted gourds, canned goods....basic craft show stuff. We hurried through the crafts, and headed for the building with the herbs. Lisa picked out a few, and we left for home.
When we got home, I started by filling the old cold frame with fresh soil. The windows I had used for the top were just too old, and had fallen apart. I'll replace them sometime before fall, but for now it's a temporary herb garden. Lisa filled it, then the area next to it, and I made another bed for her with some 6 foot concrete parking lot bumpers I had in the area we park in. The fence is up in front of this area, and planted with raspberries, so I dont need the bumbers there anymore. I marked out the area, pulled the sod, tilled it, and sat the bumpers in place. We had gotten a pile of cut oak from her sisters place, and I stacked some of them behind it, putting Lisa's little gnome door that I had made in front of them. That area is now full of plants and seeds, and other than 6 more herbs that Lisa wants, we're done with them.
The list of what's now planted is: Lavender, chives, parsley, stevia, lovage, spearmint, garlic, yarrow, aloe, catnip, chocolate mint, peppermint, lemon verbena, flat leaf parsley, wormwood, rosemary and dill. We still need to get chammomile, basil, oregeno, sage, soapwart, and pennyroyal to complete the list that Lisa has planned out. We need more lemon balm too, since I forgot about it and put the chicken run and house over what we had.......oops. Along with everything else we are doing, herb gardens are growing more and more. We're looking at use for cooking, and also for medicinal pruposes like teas, tinctures, and other home remedies.
We've been doing a lot more research on homemade cleaners and bath items as well. I've been doing a lot of reading online and in our books, and have a notebook started just for these little recipes. Most of the cleaners are so simple that it's rediculous. We're just so programmed to go buy everything we need for cleaning that we don't think of the old ways or simple alternatives. It's just scary when a can of spray oven cleaner says to open windows, wear gloves, and try not to breath the fumes.......hey! I COOK in there! Is THAT safe? I started a list of some things that we need to try some of these. Most we already have and use, but we need lemon juice, castile soap, and some olive oil so I can try a few more. No toxic chemicals, no extra cans or bottles in the trash/recycle, and something we can make in just a few minutes. To me, it's just a win-win situation no matter how I look at it.
I snapped a few more pictures to post, mainly of the new herb gardens. I did take a few of the old apple orchard next door. It's beautiful this time of year when all the old trees are full of blossoms. There is one of the rabbit greens bed, one of the dwarf apple trees that we planted last year, one of our house from across the orchard, and one of the fence along the parking area, which is now planted with the raspberry canes. The last one I took is of an OLD highway marker that's at the top of the orchard along the street. The road we live on used to be a major route through this part of the state, and that marker has been there since the turn of the century. Our own front yard was at one time a kind-of rest area along the route. There was a shelter, outhouse, and a stone well somewhere in our yard. (backfilled of course) It's obvious when I walk around and look at the tree's. The pines up front are in a perfect straight row, and there is a break between them and the big maple tree. I'm assuming that this open area is where the buildings and well were. I'd love to find the old well and restore it above ground just for decoration, but that's an unnecessary project that neither of us are all too concerned about. Maybe someday......


Barb and Steve said...

Sounds like you had a great day yesterday. It is good to get out once in a while. Makes you appreciate how good you have it at home :-)
Your yard looks great! All the apple trees blooming & new herbs planted. What else could you ask for?

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

I LOVE the gnome door! I read carefully thru the list of herbs and there are a couple I've not heard of before. I'll have to do some research. Love the photos!! What great progress you're making. I agree - it's good to get out sometimes.

ChristyACB said...

Things are really looking good over there!

I've expanded my herb plantings again this year. A whole lot of stuff came right back up, big and healthy, from the original spot I planted it so you might get that going too. Even the Stevia did, if you can believe that. I'm also experimenting with health enhancing stuff from them too. Seems to be flus this year, dog has fewer urine crystals, etc.

And the cleaners..I so hear you. In fact, I just jumped over to Vinegar and water instead of windex this past weekend and posted a picture of it. Works fab!

Kathleen said...

I made the mistake of ordering eggs at a restaurant a while ago and remember wondering what was wrong with them when they were served. They looked "anemic" and tasted bland as well. I will never eat anything but fresh again. It's to bad we don't live closer, we are about 100 miles away from each other. I have lemon balm coming out of my ears. I grow a large variety of herbs also and we have been using natural stuff for cleaning for several years now. No more choking while cleaning house!
Nice pictures.

Patrice Farmer said...

Those pictures looks so nice, Chris. I need to look into those natural cleaners.

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

I have 1 chamomile, 1 comfrey, 1 large lemon balm, 2 basil.
Now you do know...I DO have extra heirloom tomatoes. If any of my varieties are of interest you just need to say the word and they are yours. I started a flat of the yellow pear, striped cavern and orange tomatoes which are still small seedlings but will give you plenty for your rainbow of heirlooms. I also have 3 Marmande (red 6 oz. french heirloom variety)which are over 1 foot tall just sitting on the front stoop.
You guys are so good to me. I know you said before you were going to look around but I went ahead and saved some for you just in case and started that flat.
If you want them...They are here.
Now I just need to inspect the garden after that freeze threat...

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