It’s demolition week here at Dandelion Ridge Farm!
We’ve taken down our tomatillo, tomato, pepper, basil, parsley, and edible flower plants in the high tunnel to prepare for tilling and fall planting. It’s bittersweet to raze the veritable jungle that has been growing and producing abundantly. But the plants are now winding down and it’s time to move on to the tunnel’s next phase: extending our growing season into the fall and winter. It looks so empty in there now! Here is a “before, during, and after” montage of our work!
Now that we don’t have all the tomatoes, tomatillos, and green beans to harvest, this seems like a good time to talk about herbs! Folks often ask us what to do with the different types of mint we grow. We grow a classic spearmint, good in savory dishes like salad dressings or this delicious fresh pea soup. It is also tasty with berries and other sweets. We also grow Kentucky Colonel Mint, a versatile type of spearmint with large leaves, classically used in mint juleps and mojitos. It can be used interchangeably with standard spearmint.
Chocolate mint is a type of peppermint with an amazing soft chocolaty aroma and flavor. We use it to make a wonderful infused water: just lightly crush a handful of the herbs to release the oils, then place in a pitcher of water in the fridge. We refill our pitcher with water multiple times over several days before we have to replace the mint. It’s the perfect way to quench your thirst on a hot day! Chocolate mint is exceptional in desserts, as you might imagine! Stay tuned for some recipes on that front!
Mountain Mint is actually not a member of the mint family, but is a close relative that has minty flavor, but also some spicy undertones that some people compare to oregano. I find it to be best in savory dishes like tabbouleh. Or use it fresh or dried to make a tea.
Butterflies love mint as much as we do! (How many can you find?)
It sure feels like spring is behind us and summer is in full swing—and our garden looks that way, too! Our plants are so much bigger each day that I feel like I’m watching a time-lapse video of growth. And of course, the weeds grow twice as fast as anything else! We’ve been busy trellising a jungle of tomatoes in our high tunnel—later than we should have, but they managed to get away from us! Our tomatillos are forming husks, okra plants have their first flowers, and we harvested our first zucchini. Yikes!
I’ve also been in the kitchen working on some new recipes, canning our last batch of Sage & Thyme Butternut Pickles for the season, and perfecting a new Sunny Zucchini Relish that we’ll be unveiling soon, seasoned with mustard seeds, celery seed, turmeric, and ginger. Take a sneak peek!