horizonherbs

My 2014 Herb Experiments (+Giveaway)

My gluttonous seed-hoarding habits seem to be behind me now, or have at least calmed for a spell. This year I have abstained from impulse buys from swollen turnstile racks and I only placed one mail order this season. Of course, I say this having bought 40 packets of seed in Tucson, Arizona last June.

Purple Perilla aka Shiso

Summer Beverage Plants (and a Big Thank You)

Fresh sage blossoms are a tasty garnish in savoury, tomato-based beverages. Fortunately, it feels like my toothy saga is nearing the finish line. After a few consultations, I opted for an extraction of the offending tooth. It had a significant crack, and due to an experience Davin had some years ago and the options presented

Lesser Ginger Alpinia officinarum

Laser Ginger: A Botanical Mystery Solved

The urge to run away to some far off destination is strong this winter, made worse by the particularly long and dark days of this past fall, and winter events like last week’s ice storm. To appease wanderlust I have been taking advantage of the holiday break to make trips around town to browse shops

Grow Homegrown Ginger Root

Homegrown Ginger Root from a Pot

It’s already mid-December and I have finally got around to harvesting what remains of the ginger root (Zingiber officinale) that I grew in a container in my Zone 5(b-ish) garden this past summer. Yes, this spicy, tropical herb can be grown in a cold climate, and with minimal effort.

Make Your Own Homegrown Smudge Sticks

Gifts from the Garden: Homegrown Smudge Sticks

Smudge sticks are tightly bound bundles of dried woody, resinous herbs, that are slowly burned as a way to purify and cleanse the air. While the roots of burning a smudge stick, or smudging, is in North American Native purification rites and ceremony, they can be used by anyone to bring the woody smell of

Herbs Hanging to Dry

Dried By Hanging (Dun Dun Dun)

I’m currently preoccupied with preserving the harvest [aside note to say that Preserving is now a category on this site rather than a tag]. This list includes herbs and while there are several ways that I go about ensuring that the herbs I grow are put to good use and available year-round, drying is by

Edible Flowers stored in Jars

My Best Tip for Storing Fresh Flowers

If you’ve read my books or attended my presentations, you’ve probably heard this one by now. This method of storing freshly harvested, edible blossoms over the short term is a miracle worker and has completely altered my ability to keep and use them more effectively.

Bay Laurel Grown in a Container

Growing Bay Laurel in a Pot

Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a Mediterranean tree whose leaves are most famously used as a flavour boost to soups and stews. I bought econo-sized bags of scentless bay leaves for years before I was converted by my first experience with the real thing. Bay has a sweet and heady perfume with a spicy nutmeg

Urban Garden Balcony Garden

Urban Gardenspiration

We’ve hit midsummer, a time in my area when the garden tends to go downhill. While there is much bounty to be had, many plants begin to suffer in the heat. Or it is just their time to go. Or we’re just too darn tired/hot/fed up/over it to keep up with garden chores. Sometimes we

purple shiso aka perilla

Refreshing Shiso Iced Tea

Shiso (Perilla frutescens) is a beautiful herb that self-seeds with abandon. It’s flavour is hard to pinpoint, something akin to mint meets a savoury herb like caraway with a hint of citrus. I’ve been growing it for years, but it’s aggressive nature always seemed to be curbed on the roof where conditions could be exceedingly

thyme drying in a paper bag

Davin’s Patented Herb Drying Contraption

It has been unbearably hot and muggy here over the last few days. If you’re living with the same conditions, I recommend waiting for the humidity to lift before attempting to air dry any significant quantity of herbs. However, the other night Davin picked too much thyme for a meal and spontaneously constructed this contraption

ammoghiu: Sicilian Herb and Garlic Pesto

Heck Yeah! Sicilian Ammoghiu

Last night we enjoyed dinner at The Black Skirt, a Sicilian/Calabrian Italian restaurant here in Toronto. Before the meal, we were served slices of Italian loaf, as is the custom in most Italian restaurants. But where most restaurants tend to provide a plate of good quality olive oil for dipping, The Black Skirt offered something

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