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Mustard - brasica nigra, brasica hirta

Filed Under (Growing Herbs) by herb-garden on 14-05-2008

Native to Eurasia both the black and white mustard are annual herbs from the brassicacae family, found on waste land and gardens. Mustard is also cultivated as a pasture herb. Black mustard varies in height from 90 to 180 cm while white mustard grows from 30 to 90 cm. Leaves are cross-form, hot, biting. Both types of herb have typical yellow crucifer flowers. Seeds are long, narrow and very hot. Good mustard is a mixture of the powdered white and black seeds.

Both mustards prefer a sunny position and they do well on average soil, however, while black mustard likes plenty of moist, white mustard should not be to damp little lime is advisable on acid soils. Mustards are grown from seed usually at spring time with black mustard sown one or two weeks earlier than white mustard. You must water only to keep the soil lightly damp but not wet.

The tender young leaves are cut to be used in sandwich and salads. The whole seeds are added to curries, soups, stews, pickles and sauces Mustards are also used a) in herbal medicine as a remedy for colds, congested lungs, pneumonia, pains and stiffness. b) as a green manure crop, dug in the soil just at flowering time, returns nitrogen to the soil stored in mustard biomass and c) as an effective weed suppressor due to mustard’s ability to grow fast and its allelopathic inhibition. This is, chemicals found in most species of the genus brassica inhibit weed seed germination.

Filed Under (Growing Herbs) by herb-garden on 14-05-2008

This is an ornamental perennial hardy herb to 150cm high resembling a large specimen of celery with a 15 cm carrot like root and highly aromatic leaves. Yellow flowers bloom in midsummer in clusters. Seeds are yellowish-brown with ribs. Lovege is used in soups, stews, meat and fish dishes, salads and white sauces. As lovage has a powerful aroma only small amounts are used.

The herb is usually grown from seed sown as soon as it is ripe, late summer, directly into the garden, 1cm deep and with a space between plants of 80cm. To plant lovages prepare a well drained, rich, moist, slightly alkaline soil. Lovage can be grown in full sun or partial shade but it does not do well in hot areas. Keep the soil weed free and regular watering is essential especially in summer dry areas. Propagation by division can also be used as long as the division has a growing eye.

Leaves and stalks can be picked regularly but do not remove the central stem. Leaves can be dried and stored in glass jars. Roots are lifted in the third year and can be used fresh or dried. The herb is a good companion plant for parsley and cucumber. Do not use during pregnancy.

Tags: GROWING HERBS, Herbs in the HomeShare This

Filed Under (Herbs in the Kitchen) by herb-garden on 07-05-2008

This is my favorite pesto recipe.

Place In a food processor pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. Add fresh herbs and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add pesto and stir into freshly cooked pasta with a little melted butter if desired.


Filed Under (Herbs in the Kitchen) by herb-garden on 07-05-2008

Place mustard seeds in a glass bowl and add water, cider vinegar, salt and turmeric. Mix well. Place the bowl over a saucepan of water but without the bowl touching the water. Heat the water on a low heat and gently cook the mixture for 3 1/2 hours but do not allow it to boil or the mustard will become bitter. Once cooked, let it cool and add in the chopped dill. Cover and keep in the refrigerator. This is delicious herb mustard that goes well with smoked salmon.


Filed Under (Herbs in the Kitchen) by herb-garden on 05-05-2008

Soften butter in a saucepan and add garlic, parsley, marjoram, rosemary, turmeric and stir to mix well. Spread some over both sides of each chicken leg. Put into a baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the rosemary springs and bake for 50 minutes or until tender, basting occasionally with the juices in the pan. Serve hot with vegetables


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