The Potager

The Potager

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Evening

We took a graduation present to our son-in-law this afternoon. We left home in 88 degree humid heat and got to their seaside home just after a thunderstorm - it was 67 degrees there! What a difference 30 miles can make! We are so jealous of their rain there. We are in a drought. Everyday the forecast for rain changes to hot and sunny. It rains all around us, but never on us. Fortunately we have a well drawn irrigation system that is keeping everything green and lush. Perhaps a little too lush in one shady corner of our yard. We seem to be growing large mushrooms!

I do not know what kind they are, but they are rather interesting to look at.

Tonight's harvest was oregano.
Oregano is a member of the mint family and can get out of control if you aren't careful with it. I seem to divide my clump every year! Harvesting it a few times a season is a good way to keep it under control. (I have not yet discovered a good way to keep mint under control!) When it is almost ready to flower, cut the whole patch down. Oregano tastes better dried than fresh. I still use it fresh, but the dried version of it imparts so much more flavor. I bundle my harvest into 20 or so stems each tied with a slip knot that I can tighten as it dries and hang then from my mantle to dry. As long as you have a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, oregano is easy to preserve this way.
We have a series of cup hooks on the back of the mantle for our Christmas stockings. They work perfectly for herb drying! The oregano will return and give me at least one more harvest this summer, usually more. I love using herbs that I have dried in the winter.

I also harvested strawberries and arugula tonight. The strawberries are getting quite abundant now. Tonight I made a Strawberry Arugula Salad. The dressing was simply olive oil, white wine vinegar, a bit of honey and some poppy seeds. Tossed with the fresh garden arugula, strawberries and some sweet onions. It was yummy.
Real Food experts tell us that we should eat what is in season and shop for produce grown locally. You can't get more in season or local than your own back yard potager!

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