Saturday, June 27, 2009

Harvest Saturday

I had such a wonderful day today! There is nothing quite as sweet as going into the damp garden early in the morning and beginning your day gathering crisp chard for that nights dinner. After I took my basket-full into the house, I was hooked. Next was the herbs...thyme, sage, cilantro, mullein, basil, yarrow, mint, oregano and dock. I spent two hours just getting them strung and bundled to dry. After that was done, I thought I would relax and take a stroll through the woods. Good thing I brought my scissors! I could barley wrap all my fingers around the stems of all the flowers! Daisies, poppies, milkweed, chickweed and corn flower.
Whew! I'm exhausted...but he kitchen smells great!

We have gathered a basket-full of swiss chard every week for three weeks now and the plants just keep on giving. Here is one of my favorite recipes:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch red Swiss chard, rinsed and chopped
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 lemon, juiced

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Stir in green onions; cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Stir in garbanzo beans, and season with salt and pepper; heat through. Place chard in pan, and cook until wilted. Add tomato slices, squeeze lemon juice over greens, and heat through.

These yellow flowers are mullein blooms. I harvest these to make as infusion for ear aches. You crush the blooms, put them in a jar, cover with olive oil, cap and set in a warm place for 2 weeks. Strain before use.

Thyme is my all time favorite herb. I love the look, the smell, the taste and it's many medicinal uses.

Cilantro: I am going to try this recipe I found at for Sofrito

Mullein leaves:

The plant has a long history of use in many cultures. In Europe it has been used for coughs, cramps, tumors, swelling and gout. In Ireland, it is considered for all lung problems and is extensively cultivated and kept on hand. In England, mullein has been used for hundreds of years and is mentioned in almost every medical herbal. In North America the Indians soaked their sprains in mullein water to heal them and pneumonia was cured by bathing the patient in its cool essence.
The mullein leaves were steeped and the steam was inhaled to cure sore throat, catarrh, and asthma. The Indians used it to cure skin sores and eruptions. Mullein is very effective when taken in the early stages of infection, when the lungs feel hot and dry and the throat is hoarse, raspy, and when there is a slight fever present. It is one of the best herbs to use in lymphatic congestion. The lymphatic system plays a major role in cleansing the body from impurities and works continually to protect the body from toxins.
Mullein is rich in organic iron, easily assimilated to build healthy red blood, but not stored. It also contains vitamin C, bioflavonoids, B complex, vitamin A, potassium and calcium. It has a high mucilage content and contains mild saponins.

More goodies from the herb garden.....

basil and oregano...
sour dock seeds
wild daisy

I love this time of year


  1. I LOVE the photos of the herbs drying!!!! my living room is full of mint, lavender and chamomile. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Will probably try it tomorrow!

    Lisa :)

  2. Wow...I'm jealous of your herbal harvest! What a great collection of herbs. Thank you for sharing the different ways that you use them. I really love the basket in the first picture.

  3. oh, I'm so looking forward to Spring around the corner down here in the South. My Bay leaves are drying beautifully though over winter hanging in our laundry. Loved soaking up your kitchen atmosphere, feel like I can smell it from here.

  4. aaaaahhh....herbs drying in the kitchen..pure Bliss

  5. Me again...

    I've left something for you....

    ~brightest blessings~