Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Homegrown Goodness for the Felines

October 5th, 2017

I always grow catnip in the garden. Little sprigs are picked throughout the growing season and brought in for the cats. This time of year I harvest armloads of it to dry for the stuffing of cat toys, which I make and give to friends & family. I found the fantastic Cotton & Steel fabric to use for the cat toys I make. I simply cut the cats out, back with scrap fabric, and sew a piece of cotton string in for the tail. So far all the recipients have fallen in love with their toys. As you can see, it’s hard to keep our cats away from the toys I make for others.


Catnip is also valuable in the garden because it’s a great insect deterrent. If the mosquitoes are bothering me while I’m working, I harvest a handful of the catmint and rub it on my exposed skin. This works splendidly for me (the cats love it too). I once went to a friend’s home and her cats were rubbing on me and licking my legs. We got a good laugh when I remembered that I’d rubbed myself down with catnip that morning because the mosquitoes were thick in the garden. Perhaps I’ll make a few to sell someday, until then, all of our cats and our friend’s cat will be happily enjoying the homegrown catnip.

What fun gifts are making? Are you able to use any garden items in them? 

Drying Herbs

September 21st, 2017

I’ve been cutting and drying herbs, mostly by hanging them on the back porch. After walking through the hot front porch many times a day, it dawned on me that this spot would be perfect for drying herbs. On sunny days, it hovers around 100 degrees, which is perfect for drying herbs.

I didn’t have an easy to hang herbs, so I put in a few nails, string a string between them, and starting clipping bouquets of herbs from it.

At the moment I have loads of catnip (more on what that will be used for later), oregano, and sage. These herbs will keep our winter meals savory and our cats happy all winter.

What herbs do you grow and dry during the summer?

Soothe the Itch with Plantain

June 2nd, 2014

Now that the weather has warmed the insects have come out as well. Here in Maine they come in droves at certain times of the year, at the moment black flies are biting like crazy. They don’t stop my from working outside. For the most part insects don’t bother me too much, but I do get bit on occasion. When I do I grab a leaf off a broad leaved plantain, pop it in my mouth and chew it for a few seconds, then I put the poultice on my insect bite.
plantain 1
plantain 2
This works like a charm every time, it also works well for bee and wasp stings. If you’d like to read a fascinating collection of the historical uses of plantains head on over and check out this article.

Do you have a tried and true way to dealing with insect bites?

Quote of the Day: Jerry Traunfeld

November 10th, 2013

“Fresh herbs offer an astounding palette of vibrant and glorious tastes, but their delights go beyond the flavors they lend to food. For a cook, there is joy in simply handling fresh herbs in the kitchen. Who can resist stroking the proud sticky needles of rosemary, rubbing a plush sage leaf, or crushing a crinkled leaf of verdant mint between their fingers? When yous trip the fragrant leaves off sweet marjoram or tuck a few sprigs of shrubby thyme in a simmering stew, you feel connected to the soil and the season, no matter where you kitchen is.”

Jerry Traunfeld from The Herbfarm Cookbook
thyme on roast
This time of year I’m always sad that cilantro and basil are gone, but thyme and rosemary will take their place. I have potted herbs in the house for winter eating, always thyme, and almost always rosemary.
lemon_thyme
I find thyme to be very easy to grow indoors, there are always a few different varieties. Lemon thyme is my favorite one, I use it almost daily. Rosemary can be hard to maintain as a houseplant, I have trouble with it dying on me. Recently, I read that if you plant it in the soil during the summer and dig it up for winter it will survive the winter much more easily. I’ll definitely be trying that method next year.

Do you have any potted herbs in the house?

Quote of the Day: Monty Don

July 28th, 2013

“The herbs are essential to the kitchen and we aim to provide ourselves with a limitless supply of the principal herbs so that we can cook generously with them rather than treating them as a precious garnish.”

Monty Don from Fork to Fork

harvesting herbs
In my garden grow many herbs, they’re one of my favorite things to have around. There are culinary herbs, medicinal herbs and tea herbs. It would be very hard to me to sit down and list all of the herbs in my garden, there are far too many. Consider thyme, there are 15 different varieties of thyme growing at Chiot’s Run.
herbs_on_cutting_board
thyme on roast
I use mass quantities of herbs every day, at every meal. Of all of the herbs I grow, lemon thyme is probably my most favorite. If I had to choose only it would win. A close second would be cilantro.

Do you grow lots of herbs in your garden? Which is your favorite?

Shop Through Amazon

Shop through this link and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

Reading & Watching
Resources

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Blogroll
Admin