BRRRR! How is the weather where you are?
Here..... well, its almost freezing! We seemed to have about a week of fall and then the winter switch got flipped. 30 miles from us it was snowing! Fall on the farm means getting ready for winter. We seem to be having troubles keeping up with that here.
This week though we brought in some herbs from our greenhouse and garden so that we could have some during the winter to use fresh in cooking and in making tea. Lemon balm, anise hyssop, rosemary and chamomile.
While at a second hand store I found these adorable tea cups with herbs all along them and thought what better use than to put herbs in them too.
Below is a short tutorial and video on how to make your very own! Just plant - even if its in a tea cup and in your kitchen. Its a space everyone can have a little living green in their home and there is nothing like fresh herbs in cooking or in your tea pot! Cheers!
Tea Cup Kitchen Garden
What you need:
1 tea cup, coffee mug, or small pot of choice
1 small plant per cup, mug or pot
1/4 cup or so of a well drained potting mix (something with peet moss and vermiculite is great!)
Handful of small gravel, small river rock or other similar material
1.) Fill container (cup, mug or pot) about 1/8 to 1/4 full of your rock of choice. The smaller the better. The rock is going to drain the water so that the roots don't sit in water and rot. Sand works also and some research also says that adding some activated charchol will really help with the drainage.
2.) Place plant on top of the rock inside your container of choice, making sure any roots are pointed downward.
3.) Add soil mix around the plant so that the plant stands up.
4.) Water a little tiny bit not more than 1 tsp for a small cup. Decorate the top with remaining rocks if you wish.
trouble shooting drainage issues
- Remove plant and planting material. Drill a small hole with a dremel and diamond bit. Repot as before. Make sure to put a plate or other water catch under your cup.
- Change up the soil adding more sand and peet moss to help with draining.
- Make sure your plant is the right size for your container. You may need a larger container or smaller pot.
Our yard is over taken with black berry leaves, here in Oregon they are invasive and usually a pain for many a land owner. They grow wild on the side of the road, they over take everything if not kept at bay. We have taken that problem and turned it into a solution by using them in one of our most popular teas. Check out this weeks YouTube video on how we use many of the wild edibles and weeds in our yard!
The "farm" animals
This week in the garden (ours and thiers!)
in the dehydrator
in the bakery (aka kitchen)
Since our little farm is in the very beginning stage in terms of growing plants most of the medicinal herbs we use come from Mountian Rose Herbs or Amazon.
I was in need of some dried ginger for a tea blend and the price to purchase it already dried was rather high so off to the store I went and picked up some fresh ginger for a couple of dollars.
There are several ways to peel ginger, or rather several tools that can be used. Such as a pairing knife, a spoon and a potato peeler. I found that the pairing knife worked best but that the spoon was handy for getting around all the knobby parts of the ginger.
Once the ginger is peeled next take a sharpe slicing knife and cut the ginger into 1/4 inch slices and then into match sticks and from there into 1/8 in squares or so and place them on your dehydrator tray.
Make sure to spread the ginger evenly, or somewhat evenly, over the tray so that the air can circulate around it and it will all dry in about the same amount time. Dehydrate the ginger at 115 degrees for about 2-4 hours. It really did not take as long as I imagined that it would so check often and see how your ginger is doing.
The ginger is dry when it has shrunk about half its size, its brittle and very light weight with no stickiness to it. When you ginger has dried all the way place your dehydrator tray at a slant over a cloth dish towel and scoop/scrape off the dried ginger on to the towel. This towel keeps the mess mostly contained and then allows you to shake the ginger off the towel into a container. Or if there are left overs on the towel that are too small to save it is easily shaken outside and thrown into the wash for simple clean up. Place your dried ginger in a dry sealed container such as a class canning jar and seal with a lid. Store in a cool dry place such as a pantry or cupboard. Should last quite some time so long as moisture is kept from the jar.
This ginger may be used as is in a tea or decoction for things such as colds, flu, coughs and sinus infection. We plan to mix it with several other herbs in a tea blend. It can also be used in soups, stews, stir fries and any other recipe that has enough liquid to rehydrate the ginger. Or grind up these dried bits into powder for homemade ginger root spice for things like pumpkin pie or curry. There are so many different medicinal uses for ginger that a search online will turn up a whole host of things such as arthritis or assisting with burns and more.
Welcome to our Family Tea Farm!
Howdy from our farm to your home! It is said that the, "farm is the nursery of the family," and that "the family is the nursery of the nation." We hope you enjoy your visit to our blog as we share with you the happenings on our little "nursery". Thank you for following us on our journey and watching us GROW! Read more about our farm HERE.
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