Garden to Shelf!!!

As you may know by now, I have a thing for growing and preserving food, to say the least! This past gardening season was no different than the previous ones except that I grew my food with more intention. I took notes over the last two years of all the things I bought that I actually had growing in my garden and that I could stock my own selves with, and there were a lot of items! I saw that with a bit more work (or a lot!) I could shop less, use less packaging, and eat even more organically directly from my garden.

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I have already shared a few items, such as my Rose Hip Skin Oil and my Fresh Garden Tea; today I will share my All Spice Blend that includes dehydrated tomatoes, lemon balm, sage, oregano, parsley, hot peppers, and lavender. This blend can be used on basically everything you wish – even though I recommend you keep it for savory dishes! – and you are welcome to adjust it to please your taste buds and, of course, depending on what is growing in your garden. Herb gardens are the best because you can pick your herbs fresh when the weather permits and preserve them to use in many different ways from tea, spices, oils, and tinctures.

So the recipe is very simple. I use a food processor to grind equal parts of each herb then toss in a bowl so they’re evenly mixed and voilà!!! My organic, simple All Spice Blend straight from my garden!!!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Transformation

There has been some Transformation to our bathtub and boat vegetable garden beds!!! After a seriously good harvest season that went until mid-November, the beds are now totally asleep for the winter. Mulched with rabbit droppings, dead leaves, and a final layer of seaweed that will completely yet slowly break down over the next few months to create fertilizer and soil just in time to start planting again in mid Spring. Sleep well little beds and dream of plump produce!

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From Garden to Shelf

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Today I would like to share the story around my Fresh Garden Tea, which I created, you guessed it… from my garden!!! If you follow me  on social media, you may remember that I spent a lot of time in my garden last summer with the intention of dedicating a portion of what I grow to be dehydrated. Not only because I am committed to following my 3-step-diet and preserving food to see us through the winter until next garden season, but also in order to create more items that I tend to buy when they are actually growing in my garden. So this year I did just that!!!

One of my favorite teas that I came across in the last two years is a cucumber-mint organic tea (I can not remember the brand but it’s delicious). Well, guess what I have growing? an abundance of mint and cucumbers! So I made my own version of the tea, with a twist: I dehydrated some mint leaves and thinly sliced cucumbers, seeds and all. I also harvested and dehydrated some lemon balm, which also grows abundantly in my garden. Once dried, I placed each ingredient into its own bag and crushed them to a medium crushed state. Then I mixed equal parts of all 3 ingredients in a bowl and stirred until the mixture looked even. I then put the tea into one of my nice vintage jars and voilà! Fresh garden tea ready to steep in boiling water to your desired taste (I steep mine for about 3 mins and add a bit of honey!) It’s fresh, light, crisp, and part of my 3-step diet. And you can make a lovely iced tea version from this blend tooo!!! Remember though, this is a loose tea and you will have to use a strainer, or you can buy tea bags (reusable ones are the best!) and fill with approximately one tablespoon per bag or per cup. Enjoy a taste of summer all through winter!

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Mint
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Thinly-sliced Cucumber
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Lemon Balm