23 September 2007

Fingerless Mitties.



This was my first time knitting in the round and knitting cables. The pattern is from a back issue of knitty which is an amazing resource for knitters and crocheters alike! Tons of really cool FREE patterns lurk in the archives, not to mention the myriad of technique and tip articles. Each pattern has a bio of the creator at the bottom, often with a link to their blog. I love this site! And i love these mittens.

Please excuse the dirty fingernails, I was gardening all morning!

12 September 2007

Sophie!

Hallo!... Hai. My name is Sophie.

Seed Saving!


catnip flowers

I've been trying my hardest to save every seed possible from my vegetables. I've been doing pretty well! The romaine lettuce I grew this year and collected seed from was grown from seed that I collected last year, so for some plants I'm saving the second generation of seed. Herbs are fairly easy to save seed from, tomatoes and flowers too. Root plants I haven't attempted yet. Perhaps next year after I get a proper root cellar set up I can see about that. It's been really interesting to see how and where each plant produces it's seed. Soapwort has been one of the most interesting plants to see where the seed grows. The flowers grow in dense clusters at the top. Pods form that hold an amazing amount of seed. When the head dries, and is tipped upside down, the seed just pours out. Chamomile and catnip seeds are tiny. Marigold seeds dry very easily.

tomato seeds fermenting:


marigold seed packets drying:


cilantro seeds drying:


I made the seed packets outlined in the You Grow Girl book, and i think I'll make some more elaborate ones for gifts.

10 September 2007

Homegrown Herb Tea! yummers!



I decided this year to try to grow herbs that'd be great for fresh herbal tea. Peppermint, pineapple mint, catnip, spearmint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, basil, lemon mint (lemon bea balm), wild bergamot, chamomile, and dill. The peppermint dries SO fast. I haven't been drying the lemon balm or lemon verbena as I use it fresh in the tea. I'm storing the mint as whole leaves in jars in a dark, cool cabinet. When I want some tea, I crush the leaves in a morter and pestle. Then I like to spruce it up with some lemon verbena and some lemon balm. The other day I added some freshly cut ginger. I haven't tried the dried chamomile, the pineapple mint, the wild bergamot or the lemon bee balm yet, but the winter should provide plenty of tea experimentation time!