From the Author

For someone who hates to waste food, thinning garden crops is a difficult task. Mentally. But as it would turn out, the tiny seedlings that must be removed, to promote further growth of those that remain, are wholly edible. These carrot greens became pesto, and earned a spot on my list of eagerly anticipated spring produce.

Blueberries abound from our bush, which led to a uniquely delicious custard ice cream made with our honey cream ale homebrew. The wild blackberries are fewer this year, but continue to ripen intermittently. The chives, as always, are thriving, as is practically everything else in the garden. It’s rained a ton, so the excess water and lack of sun isn’t helping new plantings… time will tell.

Tiny carrots + bluebs + chives

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Strawberry Chia Seed Jam with Lemon Balm

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

From April through June I marvel at the quantity of strawberries that pass through our kitchen. Some don’t even make it that far — enjoyed in the warm sun straight from my raised bed or the perfect mounds at the berry farm.

May is apparently National Strawberry Month, and the celebration is clearly well underway here. As we polish off the last of this year’s harvest, eaten fresh or frozen to restock the freezer (see my tips on successfully freezing fruit), the less than perfect “jam berries” become many pints of preserves.

Frozen strawberries

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From the Author

We should probably give this more attention than we do, but don’t want to disturb the nesting grackles and their newborn chicks in the output valve of our second floor bathroom fan. Love their jubilant cheeps and chirps. Now if only there was a window into their world!

Thankfully we have alternative entertainment.

JC JC Playtime
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Herbes de Provence Salt

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Herbes de Provence is a blend of dried herbs from the Provençal countryside in southern France. Thyme, rosemary and oregano are musts. Savory and marjoram typically find their way in as well. Maybe basil, fennel, chervil, sage, bay or dill. These are the foundation of herbes de Provence, but what makes it truly unique is the mild floral sweetness of dried lavender buds.

Combining a handful of these signature flavors with your best salt adds up to a versatile seasoning that can transform dishes in the kitchen or at the table. And it’s brilliant with so many things.

In the kitchen use it on meats, poultry and seafood, mixed with pasta or grains, veg or eggs, or in place of salt in vinaigrettes or sauces. It can also be the final flourish to salads or soups, and goes superbly with other staples of these regions like roasted potatoes, eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes, grilled lamb and chicken, chickpeas, and soft fresh goat and sheep milk cheeses.

Herbes de Provence Salt ingredients

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From the Author

We finally made it out to the farm for picking strawberries. Twenty-two pounds. A good first haul. There will be more, and soon, blueberries, too. Heartbreaking to see so much soggy fruit after a few days of drenching last week, but conditions look good in the week ahead to turn the plants’ tiny green berries into beautifully ripe red ones… in time to replenish!

In our own backyard, the lilies (replanted from my grandparents’ home in Wisconsin) and the bearded irises are in full bloom, and the gladiolus bulbs are once again coming up (a miracle after laying dormant several years after planting — is that normal?). Beautiful sights, and just in time to virtually share with our mothers.

Irises and lilies

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