Project #1: Drying and storing our herbs

So, yet another reason I have been looking forward to knowing more about where my food came from: here I am, at home on a Monday, recovering from an overnight bout with food poisoning (self-diagnosed). Not fun--for either of us. Whenever I am home sick, I get hit with that need to be productive for like 15 minutes. Hence this little project, which took about that long. We have a neat little grow lamp that we got from my awesome cousins for a wedding gift, and we use it to grow herbs. Here it is, just after I gave the herbs a little haircut:

We put 8 of little nails into the side of the cabinet, so that I can cut and dry the herbs. Our nails were all full, and the oregano met a tragic end in some dishwater yesterday, so I figured it was time to come up with a better storage option. Luckily, I had saved some old spice jars, so, with a little label from a sharpie, We have some newly jarred herbs:

Pictured here is mint, rosemary, epazote, sage, and red rubin basil. I've never cooked with Epazote before, but the high price tag at Penzey's and the turpentine smell it produces has me curious. Anyone know a good recipe?

This gave me room to dry some more basil:

Can you believe the size of those leaves? I just want to curl up inside it. But instead I have been putting it on egg sandwiches.

And, of course, the little dried leftover stems and the (biodegradable) twine, all ready for the compost. Full circle:

Here are pictures of our seedlings, or maybe I should say future seedlings. We are starting some bell peppers and soybeans and rosemary early, but most everything else will just be planted in the soil. We also got this awesome little cherry tomato plant from Desmond's parents. A couple are already turning orange-ish, and my mouth is watering--a little basil, a little mozzerella, a little olive oil, a little bread and the boiler....

So, we are in an herb nirvana!

Total spent on this project: $0 (seeds and grow lights were a gift, everything else was stuff we already had)
Total saved: I don't know, like $25ish dollars. Epazote is really pricey!
Total time spent: About 20 minutes.

Hmmm...one more step towards paying off that initial investment! I am consulting with experts to see the best time to plant--coming up soon!
That's all for now,
a and d


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