Patio Gardening

Greenery makes me very calm and happy. I guess that’s why I love where I live. Having trees and shrubs is good but growing your own culinary herbs and spices is even better.

One herb that I use extensively is mint.  I use it in mixed drinks, soft drinks, salads, cooking and baking. The freshness of mint is always welcome.

There are so many different kinds of mint that can be used for savory and sweet concoctions.

I have planted chocolate mint, pineapple mint, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint and 3 different kinds of basil in my patio garden. I also have lemon balm which is wonderful to rub on the skin to keep away mosquitoes.

All mint plants will tend to take over any space that they are planted in which is why I have chosen the patio for this project. I get a hearty harvest to dry and use fresh without having the plants spread like weeds.

It’s a pretty smart way to go. You can plant cucumbers this way as well as other vine plants. They love the warmth of the cement in the summer. Just remember to keep them well watered.

Enjoy your summer!

look for future posts on leather work. I have several projects that will be coming up at once so I need the time to do the prep work.

God Bless you!

Harvesting Grape Leaves

When the leaves come out on the grape vines, it’s time to harvest.

IMG_20160701_155642294_HDRIMG_20160701_155649470_HDRIMG_20160701_155626898_HDR

As you can see in the photo the leaves are sorted into sizes. I use the small ones for salad. They are the most tender. The larges ones are used in stew and soup and the medium leaves are stuffed with lamb and rice and baked in lemon juice. Delish!!!

I put the leaves in gallon sized zip lock bags, suck the air out of the bags and seal them unwashed. I put 100 leaves per bag so I know what I have to work with when I compile a recipe.

Remember,  don’t use the leaves with white fuzz on the back.

Happy cooking!