Posts Tagged gardening
I finally found a use for the overabundance of herbs in my garden – I couldn’t use them all up before we start getting freezing temperatures, but I hated to just let the leaves wither in the cold.
Wound up making wreaths with them, and they look very festive and pretty. They also smell nice, as does the entire first floor of the house where I made them – my friends host a craft night. Unfortunately the straw forms I used irritated the fuck out of my skin, but I rubbed on some Benadryl cream and it should be fine.
The best part is that because I didn’t use any glue or chemicals, once these dry out I can still use the herbs to cook with.
I had enough sage to do an entire 8″ wreath entirely out of it. I don’t use sage much in my cooking, so the fact that my sage plants exploded was a source of chagrin for me.
I made these after reviewing some various instructionals online. Basically I took two 8″ wreath forms and wrapped them slightly loosely with thin floral wire. I gathered the herbs into small bundles and wrapped the stems in masking tape – I tried using floral tape, but honestly that stuff sucked.
Once the herbs were bundled, I simply slipped the taped ends under the wire, working in a gradual circular motion around the form and angling the bundles. Then I looped a heavier aluminum wire around to create a hanger.
Here are the final products:
This one is a mixed bundle of herbs – peppermint, Kentucky Colonel mint, Thai basil (purple flowers), Italian basil flowers, rosemary, lemon thyme, and oregano.
This one is the all-sage wreath.
Both were hung on the door of our 40%-scale TARDIS for their photos:
It was a really easy little craft project. I would say it took me about half an hour to bundle all the herbs, and then about an hour to assemble each wreath. Probably would have been faster if I had had the slightest clue what I was doing.
I chose the straw forms over the styrofoam ones because I thought it would look more organic, but it made kind of a mess (straw bits everywhere) and, as I mentioned, it made me very itchy. Maybe next time I’ll stick with the foam.
Anyway, these need to dry out for a couple of days, and then one is going on the front door. I’ll probably end up gifting the other.
Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer by Tim Stark
Tim Stark is a crazy person, I think. But he has a beautiful writing style, and I have nothing but respect for the type of passionate madness that makes someone scratch out a living growing amazing tomatoes. The book is both touching and humorous.
Stark seems to choose his words with the same kind of intuition that lets him pick a ripe tomato at its ideal moment. His writing has a rich fullness that had me reading some passages out loud to myself in appreciation. This book will make you salivate if you have even the slightest appreciation for a really beautiful fresh fruit or vegetable. It reads a bit more like a collection of essays than a book written in one chunk, and a couple of the sections have appeared in other venues, but everything flows very nicely without necessarily being chronological or even carefully segued.
I picked this book up as an afterthought to Barry Estabrook’s Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. The latter is definitely recommended reading, but I warn you: while Heirloom will likely leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling about tomatoes, Tomatoland most certainly will not.