Monday, June 22, 2015

Garden Pictures

Finally had a day where the oregano was dry enough before a complete day of sunshine on it to make my harvest. I do not like to harvest after the sunshine has released many of the essential oils within the plant. Unfortunately it was beginning to set flowers, but was not so far along that it impacted the size of the leaves of the plant. Here you can see a picture of most of my harvest. I've spent the afternoon tying bundles to hang in my kitchen for a few days to dry. Hoping to have it ready to put into storage by the end of the week - and again with the AC on in the house, 2-3 days of small bundles should be enough.

Our current day oregano is native to the Mediterranean; however there is a similar strain that comes from Mexico. It has been used since the days of ancient Rome. However, until after WWII, it was an unknown here in the United States. Brought back with the soldiers and others who learned to love pizza. It is a natural for any tomato dish, yet I also love it with scrambled eggs and chicken dishes. Add some dried oregano to your bread dough and have a wonderful Italian flavored bread. I blend oregano with several other spices to create my Italian blend, things like paprika, garlic, pepper, and basil. I like to use this blend with pasta even if I am not using a tomato based sauce and will often add it to my white wine sauces as well.

Oregano is not used much as a medicinal plant. Yet it does have some wonderful tendencies. Colic with a baby and no catnip in the house - try a tisane (tea) of oregano. Having muscle cramps after an extreme workout in the garden, try a tisane of oregano. Its antispasmodic and calmative properties have been used by herbalist for centuries.

PS - another picture of my calendula harvest from today. My 10 plants just keep producing and producing blossoms. Time to get out to the market for a bottle of olive oil to make my first batch of salve. More about salve when I start that process within the next week.

Happy gardening!!!

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