Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why Use Dried Herbs vs. Fresh?

One of our storage areas for spices and dry goods
Maybe some of you are wondering why someone like me, a grower of a large variety of herbs, would ever want to use dried herbs. Or even better yet, why would I waste my precious time in the pursuit of drying and storing herbs?

Well, first and foremost is basic laziness. If it is pouring rain out (210 inches so far this year in Boquete) and I need an herb for a sauce or soup, I am not venturing out to pick fresh. Plain and simple.

Another reason is that I only have some herbs available only part of the year. Even though I live in the Tropics and the weather is just about always in the 60's to 70's, some herb gems like Marjoram and White Sage seem to have to leave me for half of the year. Some love the rain...some love the dry.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Second Greenhouse is Up!

Farm Update: Even though the rains have been more than frustrating and a bit of a hardship on our farm, gardens and disposition this year, we actually are grateful because the challenge has made us rethink our setup and techniques. The garden beds have all been reconstructed for hard rains and wind and beautifully planted with herbs to hold up the sides. The second greenhouse was erected this past week. Smaller cloches for the other beds are going up and new organic brews and teas have been set on a schedule for insect and disease prevention.

All of these changes will allow us to be more prepared and more productive for the future.

With the latest greenhouse, much smaller than the first one, now gives us almost 200 feet by 22 feet of inside growing space.

In the short amount of time that they have been up, the resulting growth has been incredible. It is amazing what can happen when things are not drowning!

Here is a list of what has been planted and on its way soon. 6 kinds of heirloom tomatoes, (already flowering!), tons of cucumbers, eggplants, loads of regular spinach, 8 kinds of lettuce, bell and hot peppers, butternut, crookneck and pattypan squashes, cantaloupe, 4 kinds of basil, spotless Swiss Chard in 4 colors, tender radishes and tons more.