I must say I had great fun with the WHAT ARE THE 9 HERBS? contest. I’ve posted all the comments/entries on the original webpage post, so you can go back there to see what everyone said. I did receive additional entries via email…from the folks who covertly peruse social media sites but don’t dare make a comment online. You know who you are, you people that are in hiding out there! No one guessed all nine herbs correctly but a couple of people came very close so I am calling it a tie and am giving them both plant presents.
And the two winners are…. Ryan (@ryanelberson) and Julia (travellingbanana.com)! Ryan got the most right: 7 out of 9. Yay Ryan! He didn’t exactly follow directions; he posted the answers on Instagram rather than on the website, as requested, but that’s okay. Instagramers aren’t known for their propensity to follow directions, so he’s forgiven. Julia guessed 6 correctly. There were a number of other people who guessed 6 properly but she was the first. Julia’s originally from the UK and is currently residing in the same area code as me, so she gets her present hand-delivered if she wishes! Ryan, I’ll track down in Instagramland.
Thanks to everyone who entered and those of you who cheered the rest of us on.
Potted plants require more attention than those that are planted in the ground. The soil dries out faster and needs more fertilizer. When I’m in town it’s not a problem to frequently water the containers, but when I’m travelling it is. My friend Jorge came to the rescue this weekend and kindly helped me set-up a drip irrigation system for the potted plants. From a main line, we put ¼” lines into each of eight planters, and connected the main line to a timer. It is summer now, our rainy season, so we set the timer to water twice a week. In the winter, I’ll change it to three times per week. Now that I’ve got the hang of this, I think I’ll set up a system for the planters on my front porch too…
I helped my sister plant her first little herb garden on a ledge in her back yard (in Maryland), two months ago. We stuck the little plastic tags that came with the tiny plants into the ground, along with the herbs, so she would remember which herb was which. She also put a wire barrier around the plants to protect them from foraging rabbits. Today the basil, parsley, oregano and rosemary are all thriving and are being used in recipes…including a mysterious biscuit recipe her husband used the parsley in, this morning.
“I want to grow something edible; will you help me?” my sister asked. “Sure, let’s plant some herbs. That is the easiest thing to start with. Which do you like to eat?” I said. After discussing the different herbs, we settled on Sweet Basil, Parsley and Oregano; and off we went to buy some little plants at the local garden supply. We got back to her house with her new herbs and found the ideal spot to plant them: the corner ledge of her terraced yard. Here they will be out of the way of the lawn mower and next to some begonias she waters regularly. And in the raised bed, the herbs will be easy to harvest when they are ready. Since the herbs were grown in peat planters, all we had to do was dig holes in the ground sufficiently deep to accommodate the little planters, cut off the wrapping on the top of the containers, plop the planters in the holes, then pat the soil around them and cover with mulch. It rained that night, so the plants where thoroughly drenched. The next morning the herbs looked like they had already grown a little bit!
It’s time to use some Parsley from my plants! In South Florida and mild climates, Parsley is a perennial herb that can continue growing for 2 or 3 year. I think the best variety to use for cooking and juicing is the flat-leaf kind. Plant 3 plants in a box container or in the ground. The Parsley stems that have reached approximately a foot tall can be harvested. Cut the leafy stems from the base. This will help the plants continue growing bushier. The parsley can be used fresh, frozen or dried. For the following recipe, use fresh or frozen parsley and a strong blender, rather than a juicer. I use a Vitamix Blender.
Recipe: Core & de-seed Apples. Fill blender half-way with Apple. Fill the other half of the blender with the Parsley. Add enough water for the blended juice to get to desired consistency. It should be sufficiently blended to the consistency of juice–cloudy in color but not “pulpy”. Enjoy! This is a sweet drink that is also nutritious. The Apple is high in anti-oxidants and the Parsley helps protect against inflammatory problems.