Monday, November 26, 2012

What's Growing in the Late November Kitchen Garden: Journal Entry 11/26/12

Volunteer Dwarf Siberian kale in the late November kitchen garden -
This volunteer dwarf Siberian kale plant doesn't mind the cold.

Did you eat anything from your garden for Thanksgiving? I'm kind of embarrassed to admit the only thing I harvested was some fragrant lemon thyme that I stuffed inside a locally raised, pastured chicken (along with some of this year's garlic via the pantry), but it wasn't for lack of anything growing out there. It was more like we'd been enjoying freshly picked salads nearly every night for months, so we celebrated Thanksgiving by having things like champagne and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and apple streusel pie with ice cream for breakfast.

But now the holiday weekend is over, and we're back on our usual veggie kick. It may be late November here in zone 5 Missouri, and we've already had quite a few nights down in the low 20s, but thanks to some floating row cover, old bedsheets, and a few plastic tarps, the kitchen garden is still supplying us with plenty of autumn bounty.

In various 4' x 8' raised beds:

More below. . .

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Growing (and Using!) Your Own Fresh Herbs: My Six Favorite Varieties

Greek oregano growing in the unheated greenhouse on 11-13-12
Taken today: a happy pot of Greek oregano is surrounded by volunteer, easy to grow Swiss chard in the unheated, homemade greenhouse.

Chives, basil, Greek oregano, lemon thyme, Italian parsley, and lemon balm. It's the middle of November in zone five Missouri, and five of my six favorite herbs are still thriving in the kitchen garden, despite weeks of heavy frosts and several nights in the 20s. Even some of the heat-loving basil lasted until a week ago, thanks to some old bed sheets and a plastic tarp.

When my publishing network, BlogHer, asked if I was interested in writing an article for their Go Green to Save Money series, I immediately thought of homegrown herbs. They're easy to grow, cheap to keep, don't require lots of space or attention, and aren't usually bothered by diseases and pests. They're pretty to look at, bursting with flavor, and far fresher than those pricey little packets at the store.

Do you grow any herbs in your garden? Any favorite varieties, stories, growing tips, or recipes to share?

©, full of freshly picked flavor.