The garden is magnificent this time of year! Heirloom tomatoes abound and the the scarlet runner beans are taking hold on the tripod support system we created. Birds are loving the new fountain - we enjoy seeing hummingbirds, painted buntings and cardinals every evening. However, I have such trouble this summer with ants on my squash and pumpkins (sigh). On the sad side, I am battling ants and doing that chemical free is challenging. On the plus side, it has opened my world to baby squash! Basically, harvesting immature squash and 'making lemonade'.
You can harvest squash in any stage of its life. They are soft, cute and decadent when they are young and every bit as delicious as their mature versions. Tonight, I am sauteing immature patty pan squash and butternut squash with onions and shiitake mushrooms. I'm seasoning with thyme, salt and pepper. (Adding a little white wine while cooking is also very fun and adds a lovely dimension to cooking~)
So, although this entry is short - the message is sweet! Cooking with baby squash is delicious and adds beauty and whimsy to your dinner plate.
I hope you are enjoying your lovely Sunday and if you are like me this Sunday evening... you are planning the menu ahead as well as planning for a jam packed work week. Rest well lovely garden friends :)
Summer is upon us! If you are like me...you are wondering where the time has gone. How did we get to June! Well, we are here. Nevertheless...Mother Nature has not forgotten. The world is exploding with abundant fruit, flowers and vegetables as we speak. Shown here: A lovely picture of my Texas Wildflower garden. I've been thoroughly enjoying the lemon mint or Mondarda citriodora this year. Infused in honey, vinegar or tea...it's a winning herb in our home. I'll blog in the near future about a lovely facial toner you can make with this wild borne exquisite flower! It's heavenly~
I've been a busy bee this gardening season. I've planted and harvested two kinds of cabbage: traditional all season cabbage and Napa cabbage. Both are extraordinarily delicious. I have several heads of traditional all season cabbage still growing in the garden. I used half of one head in a wonderful soup and gave the other half to my neighbor. She was delighted. Gardening is a wonderful avenue to connect and share....it's pure love. With the Napa cabbage, I shredded the leaves and introduced into a mushroom stir fry. You just can't go wrong with homegrown cabbage...you just can't.
Squash is also a delightful veggie growing in the garden. Shown on the upper left is our butternut squash. Aren't they just beautiful. In the moonlight, they glow ever so gently. To the upper right, is our pattypan squash. I simply love baby pattypan squash. I love to harvest early (before they fully mature) and enjoy while very young. Sauteed with onion, shallots and a bit of olive oil or butter - it's a wonderful addition to risotto or any other dish. Fantastic! You must indulge and plant and harvest for yourself!
Earlier this summer I gathered the very last of the dried red corn poppy heads. Beautiful on their own, they are solid and stout reminders of the flouncy red beauties they once were. As I gathered the heads, I can't help but notice each one is like a nature made salt/pepper shaker. Tapping each head into my palm...hundreds of tiny seeds spilled out. Amazing. I have enough for next year's crop and enough to share with special friends. Poppies, like friends, are beautiful through and through!
My very favorite fur kids have been equally enjoying the garden's bounty this summer. Basil enjoys watching the finches, hummingbirds, butterflies and bees happily pollinating the garden flowers. Meanwhile, Briar simply enjoys eating the goods! His absolute favorites are strawberries (he hunts and harvests them himself) and tomatoes. This dog loves his organic veggies, that's for sure!
Hope you are enjoying the summer season as much as we are.... lots of goodies to eat, dehydrate, infuse, and preserve!! That's the hill country garden way!
In honor of the blooming herbs here in the Hill Country garden I dedicate this post to the topical uses of Borage, Yarrow, Vitex, Calendula...
Interested in IVITA botanical products?
Hill Country Herbalist lovingly makes vibrant, nutrient rich, nourishing lotions, serums, balms, salves, facial scrubs and elixers for your face and body. All products are handmade using organic and pesticide free herbs and oils. Interested? It's simple! Email me for a price list at email@example.com. Unleash your skin's smile!
I am a Texas native, an artist, a foodie, and an herbalist. I studied under Nicole Telkes Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine in Austin. I mostly focus on developing and producing body care products using plants I grow or purchase organically.
I’m a nutritionist to dear friends and family, I understand food sensitivities and intolerances and how foods can affect cognitive and physical health. I once suffered from GI illness and through studying alternative means of healing and applying discipline to my wellness plan have overcome chronic inflammation and pain. I was fortunate to heal myself outside of the typical medical model of prescriptions and think many of us can, too. I believe we have the power to heal our bodies. We are all introduced to a myriad of pollutants each day. We are eating, applying them, or inhaling them with little thought. I aim too reduce this minefield by producing toxin free products that are beneficial, nutritive, and easily absorbed through the skin. We all need a little help navigating through today’s exposures. My mission is to help reduce pollution in people, one product at a time. Thank you for joining me in my herbal adventures!
Statements made on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Entries made by Hill Country Herbalist are not intented to replace medical care, nor are they intended to diagnose, cure or prevent illness or disease. Please speak with your health care practicioner for health concerns. Discussions and comments made on Hill Country Herbalist are not intended to replace consultations with your health care provider and should not be construed as medical advice.
we all grow up
Verbena (Vervain) Loving Spring
Cactus in Bloom
Spring in the Hill Country 2010
Flowers for Mum
reaching towards the sun
Briar and Basil in the Greenhouse
Pets love to garden too!
IVITA Botanicals on Etsy!
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