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Herbal Bounty

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herbsOne of the true pleasures of summer is the bounty of fresh produce from farmers markets, CSA’s and best yet, your garden. Herbs fall into my favorite category for growing and harvesting as they are some of the easiest plants to grow in Colorado.
A lot of culinary herbs are drought tolerant, hardy and pest resistant. They are loaded with flavor, full of beneficial phytochemicals, trace minerals and vitamins. Useful in everything from seasoning blends and garnishes to teas that soothe a sore throat or upset stomach, they can transform a bland dish into a culinary delight. What’s not to love?
Fresh herbs can be used in vinegars, butters, marinades, salads, sauces and drinks. Harvesting and drying your herbs during the summer will result in healthier plants and a winter pantry full of flavor and healthy benefits for your cool weather meals. There is nothing like a spice rack full of custom blended herb mixes you have made  yourself to make you swagger and bloat with pride at your amazing epicurean skills.
Harvest herbs in the cool of the morning or evening and hang in bunches out of the sun until dry. Process herbs like basil and cilantro, which don’t dry well, into a paste with olive oil and freeze for future use. Store your dried herbs in labeled glass jars in a cool, dark cupboard. Here’s one of my favorite blends to get you started.

Garden Herb Blend
General herb mixture for salad dressings, butter, cheeses or to mix with olive oil for dipping. Substitute any preferred herbs. To make a larger amount, use ½ cup to a cup of each seasoning instead of a tablespoon. Great for gifts.
1 tbs granulated garlic
1 tbs granulated onion
1 tbs dried marjoram
1 tbs dried thyme
1 tbs dried dill leaves
1 tbs dried parsley
Blend, store in a covered glass container and enjoy!

Wondering what to do with all those fabulous herbs languishing in your garden and CSA share? Come to our Chatfield location and learn how to preserve your herbal harvest for year round use in elegant vinegars, herb butters, robust pestos and savory seasoning blends. Instructor, Susan Evans, will cover the best ways to preserve and store your fresh herbs in her class, Herbs in the Kitchen, on Saturday, August 10 from 9-11 am. Recipes and samples included.  Visit us online or call for more information or to register.

Guest Blogger: Susan Evans

Susan Evans, the founder of Chrysalis Herbs, has been cultivating and working with herbs for more than 20 years. She managed garden centers and greenhouses in Denver before starting her own organic landscaping business, Flowerscapes, which she owned and operated for twelve years. She has worked as a master gardener and volunteer naturalist for Jefferson County, Colorado.

She has a certificate in Advanced Clinical Herbalism from the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in Boulder with over 1,500 hours of clinical study and experience in the uses of medicinal plants. After attaining her certification in Clinical Herbalism in 1997, she founded Chrysalis Herbs. Since that time she has devoted herself to sharing her love and knowledge of herbs and gardening, helping people to reconnect with the beauty and healing aspects of the natural world.

- See more at: http://www.botanicgardens.org/blog/recipes-field#sthash.pHZunW7t.dpuf

Susan EvansGuest Blogger: Susan Evans

Susan Evans, the founder of Chrysalis Herbs, has been cultivating and working with herbs for more than 20 years. She managed garden centers and greenhouses in Denver before starting her own organic landscaping business, Flowerscapes, which she owned and operated for twelve years. She has worked as a master gardener and volunteer naturalist for Jefferson County, Colorado.

She has a certificate in Advanced Clinical Herbalism from the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in Boulder with over 1,500 hours of clinical study and experience in the uses of medicinal plants. After attaining her certification in Clinical Herbalism in 1997, she founded Chrysalis Herbs. Since that time she has devoted herself to sharing her love and knowledge of herbs and gardening, helping people to reconnect with the beauty and healing aspects of the natural world.
- See more at: http://www.botanicgardens.org/blog/recipes-field#sthash.pHZunW7t.dpuf

Cover Image: Courtesy of KateMonekey (Flickr)

 

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