The Herbalist


Yesterday morning, I harvested our entire herb garden at once. I’m not sure I recommend that. It was dark before I finished clipping and cleaning all the herbs and preparing them for the dehydrator, where most of them will go. The dehydrator was already full when this picture was taken–these are the herbs waiting in line to get in.

I had a 5-gallon bucket of sweet basil, and bags and bags of purple basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, chives, sage, and rosemary.

I pruned the herbs back pretty good, but I left enough so that they can grow and produce again during the fall.

It’s a satisfying feeling to know I have months’ worth of herbs–and they grew in my own garden.

The entire day made me feel very medieval. I love the Middle Ages and studying that time period has been a hobby since I was a kid. I wrote three medieval romance novels. (Did you know that?) They were published about 10 years ago, but you can sometimes find them used on Amazon or eBay. Anyway, medieval people were really into herbs. They even strew their floors with them. LOVE that word. STREW. Herb-strewn floors. So romantic. I’m sure I said “herb-strewn” ten or twenty times in my books. Their floors were always herb-strewn. Sigh! The romance! (They often had straw on their floors, and the herbs were strewn in with the straw for fragrance and to cut down on odors.) I’d strew some herbs on the floor around here just for the romance, but in reality that sounds a little messy. I’ll settle for herb-strewn food.

Dinner: Pizza (with 10-grain flour) and ground lamb (not one of ours!), fresh basil and tomatoes from the garden, and cheese from Beulah Petunia.

Yesterday also brought two truckloads of hay for winter.

I don’t know why the dogs look so tired.

They didn’t do anything!


  1. Sheila says:

    They watched you work, it made them tired.

    I’m still up canning Green Tomato Mincemeat. It got my teenagers seal of approval, so it must be good.

    My feet are dog tired.

  2. Nancy in Iowa says:

    I’ll join the dogs on the porch. Just reading this blog makes me tired! Time for bed, anyway.

  3. Woodwife says:

    A lush bounty of herbs!

    I’d dry some in the microwave on a couple layers of paper towels. 1-2 two minutes on high then 30 second intervals, stirring the herbs up between bursts.

    You have to keep an eye on it but it’s very fast.

  4. Kathy in KY says:

    What a bountiful herb garden – I would love to get one going, and you’ve inspired me, Suzanne. And I got a kick out of the dogs being so tired after YOU did all the work yesterday. LOL – silly animals! Take care, from KY – what a great post today. Thanks! :wave:

  5. Cindy says:

    Aaaw…the dogs look so sweet! Nice glimpse into country life.:) I enjoyed it.

  6. Carol says:

    Sorry to be so “uninformed”, but what is 10 grain flour? I love all of your recipes, Suzanne.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Carol, it’s a whole-grain flour mixture of wheat, rye, oat, soy, brown rice, flaxseed, etc, different flours. I used to get it a an organic market in Charleston and this is my last bag. I’m going to start mixing up my own grain mixes now because that will be cheaper. It makes really great-tasting bread with the mixture of grains. (I like to use it half and half with all-purpose flour most of the time.)

  7. Gwendolyn says:

    i had the most wonderfull herbal garden, a part of my garden that is, for my garden is not to big
    but due to circumstances i haven’t had much time to tend to them, so right now my garden is a mess
    guess what i will be doing next spring ๐Ÿ˜‰
    and as for the dogs, they were with you is spirit…….. looking at them almost makes you sleepy ๐Ÿ˜†

  8. BethAnn says:

    So, which dog is the pack leader of that tired group of puppies?
    Just wondering!

  9. Patrice says:

    Yes, I also love the word strewn. It evokes different thoughts than to just say “thrown”, “covered”, or “scattered”. Perhaps it will improve my view of farm life if I used the word more often. My daughter strewn the entryway floor with grass from her farm boots. How about this one- My farmer hubby strewn the kitchen floor with boot remnants from his visit to the pig pen. I feel better already! Thanks! Now I’ll get the
    broom and mop… ๐Ÿ˜†

  10. CindyP says:

    Woman, that is A LOT of herbs…. I wouldn’t strew my herbs either, that’s only more housework!!! LOL!

    Have you checked for a hole to the garden for Nutmeg?! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Those puppies could have made a HUGE hole even for Rotunda!

  11. Carol says:

    Suzanne: can’t wait for your flour mix recipe.

  12. CarolJ says:

    :woof: Where do you get all that energy??? Every day, all the physical work, plus posting. What is your secret?? :snoopy: Are you hyperactive? When do you rest? I bet you never sleep! I am constantly amazed at all that you do. Not exactly living the SIMPLE LIFE. Take a day off now and then or you will wear yourself out. :wave:

  13. Renee says:

    WOW!! I’m jealous, my poor little sweet basil didn’t come close to a 5 gallon bucket!! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ but it’s young so I guess there’s hope for it.
    When you prune your herbs for winter do you take them down to the ground or leave a lot on top. I’ve got sweet basil, rosemary, and chives (just getting my herb garden started). I want to dehydrate mine for the winter too, I love fresh herbs! :happybutterfly:

  14. jan~n~tn says:

    Hey now that your herb garden is under control, you can have 52 put you some T-posts in the ground and surround the thing in wire.
    6′ post will give you a 5′ standing space and keep the chics out. You wouldn’t need a fancy gate, just wire to open and tie shut.
    Or maybe an A-frame type to keep the chic and herbs apart. just sayin’…Oooo-Ooooo how ’bout pallets?

  15. Minna says:

    Ooh, and I have basil only in a small flower pot! :happyflower:

    By the way, your books are sometimes available also on BookMooch.

  16. Vicki in So. CA says:

    Yes, how DO you keep up the pace, Suzanne? Do you ever sleep? You are an animal feeding, egg collecting, milking, herding, fence-building, gardening, harvesting, baking, cooking, cheesemaking, hot dog selling, blogging wonder! I’m tired just thinking about it. (Love the dog photo!)

  17. B. Ruth says:

    Ahh-Ha the chickens helped….I knew it…

    They would also strew fragrant herbs to keep down pesky insects…

    That reminds me I need to put another “cotton boll” on the screen door…LOL

  18. Deb says:

    I will have to look for your medieval romance novels…. I love the middle ages too! Currently I’m working on a medieval herb garden. I got two raised boxes done this year and will add two more next year. I love the idea of putting basil in vases indoors; I never thought of that!

    I also enjoy learning about the middle ages so much that I’m in a re-enactment group and spend most weekends “living” in the middle ages. And I do “strew” my tent floor with herbs….smells yummy!

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