Tag Archives: Heirloom

Herbs add flavor to any food dish

Reworked, updated first posted 2015.

Herbs Make Common Foods Taste Special

Most herbs will do well in containers, window boxes and planted directly in your garden soil.
If herbs are conventionally located to you and your kitchen you are more willing and more likely to use them when cooking and serving meals.

Sage is a herb that does well if properly cared for. It requires a lot of pinching and cutting to keep it from becoming woody. As a rule, sage will need to be replanted about every 3 years since it will become woody with few leaves no matter what, so keeping it in a pot makes this change that much easier. Sage dries very well and if you pinch the leaves throughout the growing season, put a rubber band on them and keep them dry and in a dark place after drying. You will have wonderful sage all winter to give your family and guest a special treat.

Rosemary is always a kitchen favorite. It dries perfectly, holds its strong taste all winter, comes indoors and keeps growing in a sunny window and is rarely bothered by insects.
Use rosemary for many herb standards or topiaries. The woody stem is perfect for crafting. The stem also seconds as skewers so each harvest yields two separate herb crops. 1)leaves and 2)stems.
Keep the stems in a freezer bag and use them for grilling skewers. Rosemary doesn’t like to sit in water it likes to dry out between watering’s. Being in its own container makes the herb grow that much hardier, since it can receive special care.

Basil is one of the most rewarding herbs to grow in a container. It really lends itself well to the other popular container plants like the tomato. Basil likes to have plenty of water to keep its fleshy stems and tender leaves plump, but is susceptible to mildew. In a container, you must be sure the plant gets plenty of airflow.

Thyme is an undervalued herb. Many times it gets planted and never used. Thyme deserves a higher standing on our list of culinary herbs!
It will thrive in a container environment, needing only minimal watering. Some varieties grow into small shrub like plants that enhance an entrance to your home. It’s tiny purple flowers are lovely. Being such a low maintenance herb, thyme will fit in your container garden.

Mint is notorious for getting away from gardeners. You plant one and soon twenty will follow. Planting a bottomless pot into your garden is one way of controlling mint, but keeping it out of the garden completely, by using a separate container, is a better idea. Mint is also so tasty, it will be used more often if it is handy.

Chives Leaves/Flowers Use in fresh or frozen soups, salads, salad dressings, eggs, dips, vegetables, chicken, soft cheese spreads, butters, white sauces, and fish.

English Thyme Use leaves flowers with fresh or dried wild game, beef, soft cheeses, fish, chowders, pâté, vegetables, and tomato sauce.

Tarragon French or Spanish Use leaves fresh or dried with chicken, fish, eggs, tomato juice, butters especially nice on steak, vinegars, salads, mustards, sauces hollandaise, béarnaise and tartar, soups, chicken, fish, mushroom and tomato and marinades for fish, lamb or pork.

Greek Oregano Use leaves fresh or dried
in white and tomato sauces, stews, soups, fish, lamb, pork, vegetables, butters, and vinegars.

Rosemary Use leaves fresh or dried
with beef, lamb, fish, poultry, stuffings, soups, stews, fruit cups, soups chicken, pea, and spinach, vegetables, and marinades.

Sage Use leaves flowers fresh or dried
with stuffings for fish, poultry, and meat, pâté, eggs, poultry, pork, beef, lamb, pasta, cheeses cheddar, cream, and cottage, sauces brown and meat, soups cream and chowder, beef stews, and vegetables.

Hint of the Day: Use fresh herbs blended with ‘real’ butter or sour cream for that special taste. Herb’s go well with fresh baked potato’s, snack dips and fresh garden salads.

Flowering Bulb Planting for Spring Flowers

Way back in 2011 I posted a short post with a suggested bulb Planting Chart.
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I hope you find this chart useful when planting spring flowering bulbs.

Spring time – plant your garden seeds soon, or miss your optimal planting time

It’s that time of year again, soil, day and night time air temperatures are nearing the optimal temperatures for direct seeding in your garden or raised bed soils.

An older blog post you may find useful Seed To Fork
North Dakota State University Agriculture Extension – Combinations found to be beneficial

Temperature, it’s all about the soil temperature.
Soil temperature is almost never to warm, however, soils that are to cool and damp at worst can cause your seed to rot in the ground and at best take many days to germinate. Seedling in cool soil grow slowly and often do not develop into healthy productive plants.

vegetable seed germination chart

herb seed germination chart

Words of wisdom: Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Harry S Truman

Home(stead) and Garden Projects [3]

OK, OK, this is the last of my project pictures…. I promise.

24 foot double gate

20 foot farm gate

sheep or goat milking / grooming stand

4 post bed frame

hunting cabin wood burning stove

shop work on a cold day

salvage trailer

finished salvaged flatbed trailer

12X24 foot portable building

salvage livestock trailer

finished salvage livestock trailer

Home(stead) and Garden Projects [2]


This was a winter project. It was built for my daughter to serve as a bookcase. Much to my surprise she said she has only one book, her mothers old cookbook.

It seems that she gets all of her books on tape and listens to them while in her car and at work. Anything else is found using an internet search for one time reading.
It has morphed into a pantry shelf filled with flavored coffee’s, tea’s, chips and boxes of dog bones and bird feed for her macaws.

When did people stop buying, reading / collecting books?

Below are two examples of what I call Yard Art.

Home(stead) and Garden Projects [1]

To allow wordpress to more quickly load pictures I am displaying photographs in a fairly small format. To see the larger version click the picture to zoom in.

This is my design and is handmade porch / patio bench I constructed for a friend and his new ‘trophy’ wife.

This porch / patio table was constructed using a slab of granite stone salvaged from a botched kitchen counter top installation. It has been on a patio for more than 25 years and looks as good today as it did the day I finished it’s construction.

A custom designed and handmade walk bridge connecting a path from a hobby work shop and the covered front porch of a home in the country. Walk bridge is 4 feet wide by 12 feet long.

2020 Gardening season is here

Happy 2020 Gardening Season

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Christmas Message

Treat yourself to a Christmas gift that will keep on giving

Tomato Growers Supply is a valuable research resource that you can use to select next years tomato and pepper varieties that you want to grow in your garden. Their website has a picture and a short informational description of each variety they sell.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with this company. I have not been paid nor have I received gifts from this company.
I list them as a ‘Research/Reference site only. As a informational resource. Purchase your seed from a source you trust.

No matter where you purchase your pepper and tomato seed this site is still very helpful in helping you select just the right variety for your growing zone,
and selecting plants sized for the space you have available to grow tomato’s or peppers.

Tomato Growers Supply Company has a free catalog of tomato seeds, pepper seeds, and eggplant seeds. More than 500 varieties of tomatoes and peppers, including huge selections of both hybrid tomato seeds and heirloom tomato seeds, hot chiles, sweet peppers, tomatillos and eggplants.

Abandoned and Orphaned – Give them a second chance

As we approach the holidays think of the many poor abandoned and orphaned Fruitcakes.

If someone forces a fruitcake through your letter box or abandons it on your door step. Sometimes you will find them hidden on dark shelf’s of pantries, lurking behind a jar of juice in the back of your refrigerator. They may be found well concealed in an Amazon, eBay or Walmart box marked ‘Christmas gifts.
While at work you may discover someone has abandoned a poor little Fruitcake and secretly placed it in your bottom right desk drawer, don’t despair.

If you have no place in your heart or home or desire to adopt and care for one of these abandoned or orphaned Fruitcakes post them as soon as possible to me at Town and Country Gardening blog.

I will give them a home, treat them with respect, feed them with a sprinkling of spice rum from time to time while waiting for them to mature. Fruitcakes will get the attention they deserve being displayed on my best silver platter as a special treat for my family, friends and special holiday guest.

About Texas Fruitcake I find serving large quantities of wine, brandy and whiskey before serving Collins street bakery Fruitcake makes my Fruitcake more appealing and it disappears quickly as my guest comment of the luxury taste and texture of my holiday Fruitcake.

FYI: I am in no way affiliated with nor do I receive free gifts or monetary compensation. from this bakery. I just like their fruitcakes.
Happy Holiday season