A few weeks ago our friends Kevin & wife Hilda spotted twenty-one Robins in their front yard! Kevin is the music teacher at our childrens school and he told the children how he and his wife gazed out their living room window in awe counting. Back in February when Neil & I were in Saugatuck we watched about seven fairly large flocks of Canadian Geese heading North. Well, many an old timer would say, 'The birds know..." I believe it.
This weather sure puts me in the mood for gardening even more! I have several herbs planted in the green house right now; Basil, Rosemary, Parsley, Oregano, Sweet Marjoram and several others. A few years back my daughter Taylor was reading through one of my Country Garden mag's and came across an article on Kitchen Gardens. That was all it took for her and then, 'Mom, could we make a kitchen garden?' Well I never say no to creating another garden, so we went right for it and now we have a lovely garden right off the side of our garage that is easily accessible from the back door and adds beauty to our yard. We incorporated a Tea bed and several perennials along with the veggies we plant each spring. My favorite spot in it is the Herb Garden. I used several old drawers and other containers to put the herb's 'in'. There are all the perennial herbs that come back year after year and then we try a few new ones each year as well. We always incorporate the annual have to's - primarily Basil! Oh how we love our fresh Heirloom tomato Brushetta with fresh picked basil and garlic.
Here are are a few tips for making your own Kitchen Garden:
*First, make sure your new garden is near an entry door to the house where you can easily go out and gather the bounty for your meals.
*Make sure there is a water source nearby that a sprinkler can be used.
*Do a 'map' of the area and what you would like to incorporate before you start. Get the proper info on each plant and know how much space you will need for it's growth habits. I have made the mistake of not giving enough room too often in the past and end up climbing over and through a mass of plants.
*Use container's of all sorts to add an eclectic look. This will also help keep things where you want a bit easier.
*Use flowers to add beauty & charm- you can choose edible ones as well!
I like to take before & after pictures so I can see the progress and see growth over the years. Have fun in the garden, it is a happy place to be.
Cute Herb Tag Idea: Take small pieces of broken old slate, painting the name of the herb on it, and spraying it with an acrylic sealer. Place the marker at the base of each herb. Then the next year when cleaning up the garden spot there won't be any problem with identification.
Here is a yummy Winter Thyme Potato Casserole
Of course you can get your potatoes, bacon and thyme all from The Garden Gate Farms booth at the market...
20 Redskin Potatoes 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded & divided
1 tsp Seasoning Salt 1 tsp. dried Thyme
1/2 lb. Garden Gate Bacon, crisply 1/2 cup Butter, melted
cooked, crumbled & divided
1. Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender; drain. cool and slice about 1/4 inch thick.
2. Arrange half the potatoes in a greased 9"x13" baking dish. Season with Matt's Mix & Thyme.
3. Top with half the bacon and half the cheese. Layer on remaining potatoes; repeat with other half of bacon & cheese. Drizzle butter over top.
4. Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees until cheese melts and casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes.