• In the Herb Garden

    Solving the Mystery of the Welsh Onion

    This delicious perennial green onion is one of our first harvests every year, but why is it called “Welsh” Onion? —> “The name “Welsh Onion” has become a misnomer in modern English, as Allium fistulosum is not indigenous to Wales or particularly common in Welsh cuisine (the green Allium common to Wales is the leek, A. ampeloprasum, the national vegetable of Wales). “Welsh” preserves the original meaning of the Old English word “welisc”, or Old German “welsche”, meaning “foreign”. The species originated in Asia, possibly Siberia or China.” (source: Wikipedia) SaveSave

  • In the Herb Garden

    Spring Comes to the Micro-Farm

    We’ve been having unusually cold weather and still have snow on the ground, so it doesn’t quite feel like Spring even though today is the Equinox. Last year at this time I was already planting radishes but this year…. well…. I don’t think I’ll be planting outside anytime soon! Inside the (unheated) hoophouse though, we have Spinach ready to harvest with Lettuce, Kale, and Mâche not far behind. And the cold-season greens are not the only ones who’ve been enjoying the advantages of the new hoophouse. Me, the Rosemary, and the English Thyme could not have gotten through this long, cold Winter without it 🙂

  • In the Herb Garden

    Planting Seeds and Dreams

    Cold cold cold! I’m not really a fan of Winter, but can appreciate the crispy clear air and the exquisiteness of frost patterns on cold frame glass. Don’t get to see that everyday! But honestly, I’d rather be inside curled up with a blanket, cup of tea, and pile of seed catalogs dreaming about next year’s garden (bound to be a cat on my lap in this scenario, too- bonus!). Pouring over the descriptions and pictures of all the different herbs and vegetables in the catalogs is endlessly entertaining. I have a list of what we grew last year, a list of what we want to grow again and what…

  • In the Herb Garden

    Winter Gardening in Western Massachusetts

    Gardening season outside is way over – I woke up to a dusting of snow today – but our Hoophouse garden is in full swing! (the hoophouse is an unheated plastic greenhouse) These little sprouts of Beet, Lettuce, and Spinach will be dormant during Winter, but will start growing again when the sunlight comes back in early February and should be ready for eating by March. We also have Mizuna, Tatsoi, and Kale started, as well as a few Rosemary and English Thyme plants I moved in from the garden to over-winter. Though this ‘extended garden season’ makes getting through the cold, dark Winter much easier for me, I still…

  • In the Herb Garden

    The Last Flowers

    It’s the middle of October, so a killing frost is just around the corner. I’m spending as much time as I can in the garden, soaking up the beauty of the last flowers before they are gone for the year….    

  • In the Herb Garden

    Herbs for You, Me, and the Bees

    Want to know the downside of this beautiful basketful of herbs? It was stolen! Yes, stolen from the bees. They were already busy at work in the garden when I went out in the morning to pick. Being all too painfully aware of the horrors threatening the bees’ survival (Colony Collapse Disorder, poisoning, industrial farming, loss of habitat), I grow medicinal herbs as much for them as for myself. Our animal and plant friends need the nutrition and medicine that herbs offer the same as we do. So make sure you plant lots of extras 😉 (herbs in the photo, clockwise from top left: Holy Basil, Bee Balm, Echinacea, St. Johnswort,…

  • In the Herb Garden

    You Have to Feed the Caterpillar

    Yes, this a Parsley Worm and yes, it’s currently chowing down on my garden parsley plants. “Get rid of that”, advises my husband “before it eats everything!”. But you see, if I do in this hungry little caterpillar, then I’ll never get to see the beautiful Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly it will become….

  • In the Herb Garden

    Let the Herbs be Wild

      Down with deadheading! “Lazy” gardening has much to recommend! Common wisdom tells us to not allow Arugula (aka Salad Rocket) to flower and go to seed. But look how beautiful Arugula’s flowers are! And they’re edible too. Not only do you and the insects get to enjoy the flowers, this lets the plants plant themselves. Arugula, lettuces, and many herbs will naturalize in your garden if you let them. So you get more plants with less work. Go wild 🙂