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gardening-msg - 3/18/08

 

Period and modern gardening techniques and suggestions.

 

NOTE: See also the files: seeds-msg, gardens-msg, gardening-bib, herbs-msg, herbs-cooking-msg, p-agriculture-bib, p-agriculture-msg, Palladius-art.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.

 

Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 11:55:59 -0400 (EDT)

From: Uduido  at aol.com

Subject: SC - Food lore

 

<< to add to that-If you wack an orange tree with a baseball bat(or other

similar shaped object) it will start to bear fruit.  To kind of wake it up.

  My grandmothers tree has fruit on it for the first time since it was planted

(6 years)   Don't know if it works on all citrus trees.

Ivy~ >>

 

Given certain gardening practices that have survived the centuries this is

not too far fetched. My gram used to take willow branches and beat the trunks

of the apple trees every spring while grandpa went be hind her and droce an

iron nail into it. Never had a single apple crop failure. :-)

 

BTW, there are extant examples of tree whipping in woodcuts and illuminations

from the Middle Ages. Unfortunately I do not have sources handy to share.

When I come across them I will post them.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 22:12:36 EST

From: LrdRas  at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - What's happening?

 

In a message dated 2/4/98 3:34:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, dkpirolo  at cts.com

writes:

 

<< Specifically I would like to find out

what plants were grown together for mutual benefit of the plants, >>

 

Unfortunately , I have no sources or pictures that people in the MA, used

"companion" planting which is part of what you're describing. However, there

are many pictures in various works that show raised beds and espallier. For a

good example of espallier , visit the Cloisters in New York City where they

have espallier examples growing in the Monestery garden. Since I am currently

envolved in replanning my herb beds, I will be looking closely at any

pictures of Medieval gardens that I can find.

 

So far as Native American gardening techniques are concerned , it is those

techniques, such as row planting, hills, etc. that were a direct influence on

modern farming techniques for mass planting. Medieval persons depended upon

scattering and trampling the seed into the ground for field crops such as

wheat, barley, rye, etc.

 

Kitchen and castle gardens are depicted as well planned systems of raised beds

using full advantage of the sun, etc. and including structures such as shade

houses, sheds, etc. in their formation.

 

If anyone has any information that links companion planting techniques or

French Intensive techniques to the Middle Ages, I would be more than a little

interested in that knowledge. Thanks in advance.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 11:14:24 -0400

From: renfrow  at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - What's happening?

 

>If anyone has any information that links companion planting techniques or

>French Intensive techniques to the Middle Ages, I would be more than a little

>interested in that knowledge. Thanks in advance.

>

>Ras

 

Hello!  I suggest you find a copy of "The Gardener's Labyrinth" by Thomas

Hill, 1577,  edited & with an introduction by Richard Mabley, Oxford Univ.

Press, 1987. ISBN 0-19-217763-X

From the dust jacket:  "His detailed account of types of soils, the making

of hedges, the cultivation, qualities, and uses of more than fifty herbs,

vegetables, and flowers, is interspersed with complex zodiacal schemes for

planting and harvesting, and extraordinary suggestions for deterring pests

and controlling the weather.  The book is packed with meticulous

instructions for every possible garden activity:  laying out paths and

constructing arbours; drying herbs and flowers and storing roots;

transplanting seedlings; weeding and watering..."

 

The book is packed with illustrations, some of knotwork gardens & raised

beds.

 

Cindy/Sincgiefu

renfrow  at skylands.net

 

 

Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 12:07:50 -0400

From: renfrow  at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: Wild speculation (was RE: Northern Foods was Re: SV: SC - Introducing  Myself)

 

>So here comes the wild speculation...If planting and harvesting by "the

>signs" then perhaps "the right time" to bring in the harvest would be

>before the grain was ripe?

>

>Has anyone encountered any references like this in Old World ms?

>

>Agriculturally yours,

>Emme

 

Hello!  There are myriad references to planting by the zodiac and by the

Moon in Old World. That's where your Appalachian folks originally came

from, after all.

 

Thomas Hill's The Gardener's Labyrinth (1577) contains more than a chapter

on *sowing* different seeds in this manner, & cites many Greek & Roman

sources such as Columella and Cato.

 

Hill doesn't discuss rye, but under melons he says "Also the Gardener ought

to conceive, that those named the winter Pompons, doe never grow to a full

ripenesse on their beds, and for that cause to procure them speedily to

ripen, he must (after the gathering) hang them up in the roof of the house,

and eat of those, when they appear yellow within." So the concept of

picking unripe fruit & ripening it indoors was known to them.

 

But any farmer who blindly followed such planting & harvesting schedules,

without taking into account that they were written in warmer climates,

would soon be very hungry.

 

Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu

renfrow  at skylands.net

Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th

Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing

 

 

Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 15:55:02 EDT

From: Gerekr  at aol.com

Subject: SC - De Agricultura

 

Poking thru some pretty gardening magazines from work... and found a

review of:

 

Cato on Farming: De Agricultura, a modern translation with commentary, by

Andrew Dalby.  Prospect Books, pp. 243, L12.50, ISBN 0-9073-2580-7

in the March '99 issue of Gardens Illustrated magazine (published in

London).

 

Hmm, Prospect Books - that's a good sign.  A Facing translation!  Latin

on the left, translation and notes on the right.  THAT's a good sign!

Review is by "Dr Toby Musgrave, horticulturist and garden historian".

 

Has anyone seen or heard of this?  Know how Dalby is as a translator?

Etc., etc.???

 

Chimene

 

 

Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 22:33:19 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy  at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - De Agricultura

 

Gerekr  at aol.com wrote:

> Cato on Farming: De Agricultura, a modern translation with commentary, bu

> Andrew Dalby.  Prospect Books, pp. 243, L12.50, ISBN 0-9073-2580-7

<snip

> Hmm, Prospect Books - that's a good sign.  A Facing translation!  Latin

> on the left, translation and notes on the right. THAT's a good sign!

> Review is by "Dr Toby Musgrave, horticulturist and garden historian".

>

> Has anyone seen or heard of this?  Know how Dalby is as a translator?

 

I dunno, I like mine. Dalby seems a competent translator and has

experience with recipes (is also one of the authors of something called

"The Classical Cookbook"). Also excellent annotation.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 23:52:17 -0600

From: "RANDALL DIAMOND" <ringofkings  at mindspring.com>

Subject: Subject: SC - winter thoughts

 

On Mon, 29 Nov 1999 18:29:21 -0500 Puck wrote:

>The Wonderdawg and I have decided (with Stoopid Cat's tentative

>concurrence) that there is just too much grass at Puck's Glen.  I mean

>lawn grass, before all you left coasters get too excited.

>It's ecologically unsound, a pain in the butt to mow and just plain ugly.

 

Oh man, you are so right on the mark!  Grass sux!  Up the flowery mead!

 

>So the Yaller Dawg and I are beginning to plan our garden.  I'm trying to

>find a reasonably priced copy of _The Medieval Garden_ or a similarly titled

>book that I've seen before, but in the interim, what do the lists suggest?

 

For basic data on period gardens, I find GARDENING THROUGH THE AGES

by Penelope Hobhouse, Simon & Schuster, NY 1992 to give an excellent

overview of period gardening and garden plants.

For period structures and layout suggestions, I recommend CLASSIC GARDEN

DESIGN by Rosemary Verey, Random House, NY 1989.  This gives

how -tos on things like topiary, laying out knots, building a period turf

seat, pleached arbors and much more.  The author gives excellent period

references should you need to get back to the original data.

Since you describe the effect as a glen, I suggest further reading in THE

NATURALIST'S GARDEN by John Feltwell, Salem House, Topsfield MA, 1987.

This book has a smaller focus but is more specific on period gardening.  It

gives good details on period plants (including food plants), their time of

introduction and first uses as well as a very good section on herbalists and

period herbals.

If anyone is mainly using Culpepper, I suggest it be rolled up and put by

the porcelain altar where it at least would be useful. Dover has a very

good basic Gerard and was able to  buy the full and complete reproduction

folio size by Dover at Pennsic this year.

 

>I have a few definite requirements already:

>Wine grapes in the front yard, as well as an herbal Celtic knot.  Still

>leaves a butt-ton of room in the front yahd. There is an area running

through >the back yahd which becomes a minor stream when it rains.  I'm

figuring some >fruit trees through there.

 

An essential text for development of  the kind of space you describe into a

productive yet glade/grove like place  is UNCOMMON FRUITS WORTHY OF

ATTENTION by Lee Reich, Addison Wesley, Reading MA 1991. There are several

chapters on some very important period fruit trees and also good information

on bilberries, gooseberries, currants, and alpine and musk strawberries (the

period strawberries).

 

Herbal knots are very late Tudor (as you already know I am sure) but a whole

lot of what you see is Gertrude Jykell's interpretation. If you really want

one, I suggest  reading the HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH HERB GARDEN by Kay N.

Sanecki, Ward Lock, London, 1994 (PB).  I think with a moniker like Puck,

you should put in a Troy (truf maze) instead.

 

>I'd like to do hops on the back fence, but it is under shade.  Does anyone

>know if hops will do well in the shade?

 

Hops require at least 1/2 day of full sun and a lot of water (but good

drainage in the soil).  The best book I have ever found on hops is HOMEGROWN

HOPS  by David R. Beech, Reveille Farm, 92984 River Road, Junction City OR 97448. Published by the author in paperback.

 

>Do olive trees do well in the north (I think not, but anybody know for

sure?)?

 

Olive trees do not even do well in the SOUTH!   They are a climate zone 10,

so they grow in south CA, FL and TX (but really well only in CA because the

other two don't have the right kind of soils).  I suggest cornelian cherry

(cornus mas) as a substitute.  They are very similar in appearance and

tastes to olives but grow almost anywhere in the US (except where olives

would grow-figure it out.) There are several large old fruiting cornels in

Central Park in Manhatten.

 

>Must leave a little room for the beehives.

 

If you have in mind period skeps, you can probably forget it.  Almost every

state has strict laws against non-movable frame beekeeping.  This is because

of diseases and for infestation control;  non movable frames cannot be

adequately inspected.  There is a Shire booklet called BEE BOLES AND BEE

HOUSES that may give you some workable alternative under the laws of your

state.

 

>I hafta put a pond in so I can be absofriggenlutley sure Ras catches a fish

>next time he visits ;-).

 

If you have a running water source you can get by with a small pond.  If you

rely on runoff,  a pond will have to be a minimum size (fairly large) to

maintain a balenced ecosystem with edible fish.  Are you in New York or New

England?  I have not been onlist long enough to locate folks geographicaly.

If you are in the northern clime, ponds are going to have to be rather deep

to keep from freezing out solid.  Do you know if your soil type wiil hold

water or will you need a liner?

 

I hope some of this information will be of use to you.  If anyone has

gardening

questions, I shall endeavor to answer them as best I can. (I am a mundane

landscape designer/ architect).

 

Akim

 

 

Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 12:03:46 EST

From: LrdRas  at aol.com

Subject: Re: Subject: SC - winter thoughts

 

ringofkings  at mindspring.com writes:

<< chapters on some very important period fruit trees and also good

information on bilberries, gooseberries, currants, >>

 

You may want to consult with your local agricultural extension office

concerning the planting of currants and gooseberries. Both plants are hosts

for pine rust which is a fatal disease to some evergreens. The planting of

gooseberries and currants is illegal in some areas and/or states because of

this.

 

Ras

 

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 10:32:52 EST

From: LrdRas  at aol.com

Subject: SC - Lovage

 

glendar  at compassnet.com.au writes:

<< BUT on the up side, I've found a place that sells Lovage plants  >>

 

A gardening tip:

Plant your lovage in an out of the way spot. The plant can grow up to 6 feet

tall and can take up a significant amount of space if not kept in check. It

is perennial and the clump will grow bigger each year if left untended.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 10:39:24 EST

From: LrdRas  at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - 1430-1450 recipe for Strawberye...

 

Rachel  at witchwood.prestel.co.uk writes:

<< I don't know about anywhere else but in Britain you can buy the plants

(i.e. native European varieties)  >>

 

Alpine strawberry seeds are carried by most seed companies and can also be

found in many garden center seed racks. They are not difficult to grow, have

good germination rates and can be planted along fence lines or even along

hedges and walkways if space is at a premium. While there are limited sources

for the plants in the US, that is not a problem since seed is readily

available. Try Pine Tree, Nichols, Agway garden centers, Lowes, Burpees, etc.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2000 21:35:40 EST

From: LrdRas  at aol.com

Subject: SC - Gardening

 

DianaFiona  at aol.com writes:

<< Hummmm--I seem to recall that germination is improved by a period of

cold, from the last time I was trying to find space to plant some. Or am I

confusing my plants again? >>

 

Possibly. :-) I place most of my seeds in the freezer or refrigerator for a

week or so depending on the seed as a matter of course. I also start almost

all my seed in flats instead of the ground which allows for temperature,

humidity and light control.

 

If, all things being equal, a plant simply will not grow well in a spot it is

supposed to do well in, a soil test is always in order and then remedial

addition of fertilizers, lime, organic matter or whatever is indicated

usually solves the problem. Soil test kits are available at any gardening

center inexpensively or you can get a test done at your local agricultural

extension office for a reasonable fee.

 

Raised beds with lots of organic matter are the best way to grow kitchen

garden plants and are medieval.

 

Gardening is fun but it is much more than scratching in the earth and sowing

a few seeds. :-)

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 04:13:11 -0500

From: "Bethany Public Library" <betpulib  at ptdprolog.net>

Subject: SC - New Book for Historical Gardeners

 

We just had donated to the Library (as have all other libraries on

Pennsylvania, in honor of National Library Week April 5th to 13th) a truly

fabulous book for gardeners devoted to historical breeds of produce. The

publisher is in Pennsylvania, and has donated about 10 books on herbs,

organic gardening, herbal medicine, etc., in a most generous way to the

Penna libraries.  Most of the book is dedicated to colonial gardening

varieties, but it's a short hop to renaissance gardening from there, and

another quick jump to medieval varieties.

 

The very best information is at the back: resources for heirloom seeds and

plants, contacts for heirloom gardening societies, lists of Historical

gardens in the USA and Canada.

 

Here's the scoop:

 

Title: Heirloom Gardens, Timeless Treasures for Today's Gardeners

Author: Sarah Wolfgang Heffner

Publisher: Rodale Press

Price: $27.95 retail

Other vital info: Copyright 2000, ISBN 0-87596-818-X (hardcover)

available from www.rodale.com , www.amazon.com, www.barnesnoble.com an any

larger bookstore near you

 

You might also want to check out Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza, from

the same publisher. It's a method of easy and expedient soil preparation and

no fuss gardening, not a list of plants to cook lasagna with!

 

Aoife

 

 

Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 00:52:07 EDT

From: allilyn  at juno.com

Subject: Re: SC - "The Medieval Garden"

 

Landsberg, Sylvia. The Medieval Garden. Thames & Hudson, 1995. ISBN

0-500-01691-7. Thames & Hudson, Inc. 500 Fifth Avenue, NY 10110. The

author has designed several 12th to 16th C. gardens, including one at

Shrewsbury Quest for the fictional Brother Cadfael and one in Winchester

called Queen Eleanor's Garden. Contains lists of plants from period

works, photos of present day gardens, reproductions of garden plans, 14th

& 15th C. paintings which include gardens, labors of the month paintings,

lots of good illustrations. Have not seen some of the reproductions

before; they are of interest to the costumer, as well. This is nice to

browse through even if you are not a gardener, as I am not, but

wonderful, if you are planning to have a medieval garden of your own.

There's a photo that contains a yellow flowered woad plant in bloom, too.

Peasants' gardens, Ladies' pleasaunce, orchards, all kinds of gardens,

here. This also has suggestions for your own garden, vine arbor, rose

trellis, and much more. RECOMMENDED

 

This is from my bibliography.  I really like this book for the knowledge

it gives me, the dreams it inspires (I can't even keep a Philodendron

healthy) and the general enjoyment.  It's a keeper.

 

Allison,     allilyn  at juno.com

 

 

From: Jenne Heise <jenne  at mail.browser.net>

Subject: Re: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period gardening (was easy to grow herbs)

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Date: Wed, 9 May 2001 11:21:56 -0400 (EDT)

 

> Disclaimer: I haven't personally tried this, but gramma said it works.  Pick

> some of the inchworms off.  Whir them in the blender with some water until well,

> um, blended.  Spray on plants. 'Course she also advocated smoking a cigar and

> blowing the smoke on various insects, too.

 

I believe (have to check my sources) that both these methods are recommended in Hyll's _Gardener's Labyrinth_, in which case they are among the few 16th century pest control recommendations from that volume that would actually do anything...

--

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise       jenne  at mail.browser.net

 

 

Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001 13:40:23 -0400

From: Tara <tsersen  at nni.com>

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] heritage veggie varieties

 

"Dunbar, Debra" wrote:

>

> legacy/heritage veggies -

> I too would love to find a place where I could get seeds to grow these.  My

> gardener friends warn me that it's difficult to grow older varieties because

> modern hybridization and pesticide application have made strains of nasties

> that are particularly tough on these legacy varieties.  I don't know how

> true this is though, since my heritage roses do SO much better with pests

> and rot then the horrible modern hybrid teas.

> Wrynne

 

I don't know about super-bugs, though it's possible.  Some of the

hybridization that's been done is to improve resistance to such pests.

So, some older varieties may not have resistances we're used to.

 

But, most hybridization has been done to improve things like size of

fruit, length of growing season, yield per square foot, etc.  In these

cases, it is usually done ignoring disease/pest resistance, and in fact

often makes the hybrids more susceptible than their ancestors (i.e.,

higher sugar contents, more yield per area is a stronger biological

beacon, longer growing season means more potential pests.) This is part

of why modern agriculture is so reliant on chemical interventions.  So,

you'll find that, like your roses, many heritage varieties are much

easier to grow.

 

Many heritage varieties were also developed in the 1800s to be ideal for

particular climates.  These days, seed companies try to hybridize

varieties that work in a wide range of areas, so they don't have to

handle 15 different strains and explain to people why they need this one

and not that one.  But, while they will grow in many areas, they're not

optimized for any one clmate.

 

-Magdalena

 

 

Date: Sat, 08 Sep 2001 06:33:30 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna  at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks  at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] heritage seeds

 

You might also want to add these books to the listing:

 

Weaver, William Woys. Heirloom Vegetable Gardening. A Master's

Gardener's Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History.

New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997. [also in paperback]

--439 pages of detailing the heirloom garden today and 280 selected

heirloom varieties with histories and descriptions.

Comprehensive for American gardeners, lists sources, bibliography.

 

Weaver also wrote 100 Vegetables and Where They Came From.

Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2000.

 

The New York Times featured Weaver and his garden in an article

entitled "A Keeper of Seeds, Exotic and Antique." section B12,

Thursday, March 15, 2001.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

From: pe11inore  at aol.com (Pe11inore)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: 29 Feb 2004 20:52:22 GMT

Subject: Medieval Gardening

 

In my quest for info on medieval gardening, i thought it would be good to bring

together others with this interest.  To that end there is now a yahoo group

MedievalGardening.  Please come join if you are interested!

 

 

Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2004 23:16:27 -0800 (PST)

From: Samrah <auntie_samrah at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] I finally got some land to garden on..

To: Jenn Strobel <jenn.strobel at gmail.com>,        Cooks within the SCA

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

>>>

..but i've never gardened before.

Jenn

<<<

 

You might consider joining:

 

MedievalGardening at yahoogroups.com

 

This is a very low traffic list.  Sometimes a few days go by without

ever receiving a message, but there are good folks here, mostly SCA.  

You will need to write Lord Erec as this is a restricted list (keeps

spam down), but he will gladly put you on.  I think you can do that

from the yahoo group site.  (If you have trouble, e-mail me off cooks

list & I'll write him for you.)

 

Lord Erec is in New Jersey.  It may well not be the same USDA region

thingy, but I'll bet its closer to your weather than out here in sunny

southern California, which has been what we call cold lately, but

probably nothing compared to the rest of the country.

 

Best of luck,

Samrah who wishes she'd planted more blubs before it got quite this

cold...

 

 

Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 14:05:01 -0400

From: Barbara Benson <voxeight at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] RE: peppermint

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Elisabetta> So what do I do with the flowers? Can I cook with them or dry them, or

> just let them bloom and die?

 

With most herbs your desired portion of the plant is the leaf. Flowers

are usually undesirable. As a general rule, once the plant starts

producing flowers it spends considerably less time making leaves. And

this is not what you want.

 

When herbs start to form a flower head you want to "pinch" it back.

This involves taking your fingers and pinching the end of the stem and

breaking the tender flower head off. Some of your more woody herbs

will require small snippers.

 

This type of selective pruning will encourage your herbs to become

more bushy and produce more abundant leaves. If you allow it to go

completely to flower it will then put the majority of it's energy into

making seeds to procreate. If seeds are what you are looking for that

is good (like fennel seeds). But for most herbs it is bad.

 

I hope that this is of some assistance.

 

Glad Tidings,

--Serena da Riva

Barony of the South Downs, Meridies

 

 

Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 14:18:09 -0500

From: "Radei Drchevich" <radei at moscowmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] RE: peppermint

To: "Barbara Benson" <voxeight at gmail.com>,        "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

I disagree.  I use herb flowers a great deal.  some

decoratively <garnishes>, some for the flavours.

 

When I remove the flowers I use them fresh or dry them for use later.

Very few are not useable.  in fact some of my herb are grown just for the

flowers.  Nastersiums, for example. Have a very peppery flavour, and add

great colours to a salad.  Onion flowers also add great flovour to

salads.  Sage flowers are delicate flavoured but the colours are usually

very intense <depends on the cultivar>.

 

Try it, if you like it, do it.  if you don't like it, don't do it

again <g>.

 

radei

 

   ----- Original Message -----

   From: "Barbara Benson"

   To: "Cooks within the SCA"

   Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] RE: peppermint

   Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 14:05:01 -0400

 

>> Elisabetta> So what do I do with the flowers? Can I cook with them

>> or dry them, or just let them bloom and die?

>

> With most herbs your desired portion of the plant is the leaf. Flowers

> are usually undesirable. As a general rule, once the plant starts

> producing flowers it spends considerably less time making leaves. And

> this is not what you want.

>

> When herbs start to form a flower head you want to "pinch" it back.

> This involves taking your fingers and pinching the end of the stem and

> breaking the tender flower head off. Some of your more woody herbs

> will require small snippers.

>

> This type of selective pruning will encourage your herbs to become

> more bushy and produce more abundant leaves. If you allow it to go

> completely to flower it will then put the majority of it's energy into

> making seeds to procreate. If seeds are what you are looking for that

> is good (like fennel seeds). But for most herbs it is bad.

>

> Glad Tidings,

> --Serena da Riva

> Barony of the South Downs, Meridies

 

 

Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 16:16:29 -0400

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] RE: peppermint

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Elisabetta said:

> So what do I do with the flowers? Can I cook with them or dry them, or

> just let them bloom and die?

 

I'd suggest pinching them off and drying them, or making fritters of

them. Rosemary in particular is one of the herbs whose flowers were

considered very desirable in period, but I think peppermint flowers

would be nice frittered too.

--

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

<the end>



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