A Garden Nibble Walk

What fun to walk through one’s garden and see all the plants coming back to life! Those of you who love and grow herbs will totally understand what I’m about to share, that is, nibbling on fresh spring herbs.  My garden is large enough that I can enjoy a leisurely walk around the perimeter, admire the growing plants and take a few nibbles of the edible herbs. Let’s see what we have on the spring menu from photos I took yesterday:

If I’ve just eaten a meal, I like to start with rue, a bitter herb which aids in digestion. Chewing a fresh rue leaf is known to also relieve tension headaches and anxiety.  The name rue comes from the Greek meaning “to set free” and therefore its ancient reputation “to set free from disease.”

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How about a little hyssop nibble, another bitter herb which acts as a digestive stimulant. Hyssop can also act as a nervine to calm anxiety, but it is better known for its anti-viral actions, especially effective for respiratory infections.

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Lemon balm leaves are a tasty little “snack” while walking or working in the garden. Just like the name reveals, it has a lemony flavor.  Those of you who are familiar with essential oils probably have used Melissa essential oil, which comes from lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and is known to have a calming effect (nervine).  I like to make an herbal tea with fresh leaves or from those leaves I have dried.

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A whole kale leaf (or more) is almost a meal instead of a nibble! 🙂 The kale is doing well this spring in spite of being set back by by a hard freeze because “someone” forgot to close the lid to the cold frame.

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And what would a garden nibble walk be without a couple chickweed stalks? Considered a weed, this little plant is very tasty, especially picked fresh and placed in your favorite sandwich. Flowers, stems and leaves are all edible. I like to add chopped chickweed to our lettuce salads. Nice mild flavor.  Eat weeds? You betcha! Learn more about which weeds are edible from an expert, Green Deane, here

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So what’s for dessert?  Peppermint! Nothing like a fresh peppermint leaf at the end of a pleasant garden nibble walk. The peppermint patch is growing well so I should have plenty of leaves to make peppermint tea for my family and friends this summer.

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Thank you for coming along with me on a garden nibble walk. Even though you didn’t get to actually partake, maybe you will be inspired to plant some herbs and enjoy your very own fresh nibbles.  Blessings to you all.

 

Fresh Food, a Garden Joy

One of the joys of gardening is bringing in fresh food!  You know where and how it was grown.  Because I never use pesticides or herbicides in my garden, I know the food I have is safe to eat.  So what did I harvest today?

Potatoes! The first potatoes I dug up are Rose Gold, a variety I had never planted until this spring.  They look lovely and I expect they will taste good too.  Bought the Rose Gold seed potatoes from Wood Prairie Farm.  The nice thing about potatoes is you can leave them in the ground until ready to eat them.  Where I live in the northwest corner of Arkansas they will do fine left in the ground over winter, although I do dig up most of them and store in the refrigerator.

002A basket of garlic! Our family loves the flavor garlic gives to many different foods, plus all the health benefits from garlic.  This year I grew three small beds of garlic and here is the first harvest.  More to come.  The variety below is Red Toch, a soft neck garlic with a spicy fragrance.  It originates from the Republic of Georgia, near Tochliavri.

015 004Lettuce and young kale.  What a super good salad this makes.  Our family never gets tired of a fresh salad.  Sure, it is more work to have to go outside to pick the greens and then carefully wash it all, but for me this is actually a pleasure.

001For the love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies, but always grows and grows to an enduring and ever-increasing source of happiness.

~Gertrude Jekyll