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From The Grange

farm fresh herbals & salts...handcrafted on our organic farmette in Maine. Please do not take pictures from my gallery without permission.

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Vera Greutink

Pass the peas! Pass the peas! I’m breaking out the ol’ garden journal today for a little taste test between three varieties of snap peas and two varieties of snow peas. I love referring back to my notes when I sit, in the middle of winter, curled up lost in seed catalog dreams. Going by catalog description alone, Sugar Snap peas sound like the absolute tastiest pea ever…but I prefer Sugar Ann…I just had to remember that. Mind you, this doesn’t stop me from growing Sugar Snaps, I just grow more of Sugar Anns now😉 But it’s fun to sit there for a bit, and rather than just mindlessly nosh away, and really think about the taste of this incredible freshness plucked mere minutes ago. Note the nuances between varieties. Ponder who lives up to the catalog hype, and who may be a bit more modest, but just as delightful. Why not take some time to stop and taste the peas. Who else is keeping a garden journal this summer?🙋‍♀️💚🌸 . . . . . #gardenlife #mainegarden #gardenharvest #gardentotable #fromthegrange #growyourown #organicgardening #vegetablegarden #backyardgarden #urbangardening #kitchengarden #mygardentoday #growwhatyoueat #garden_explorers #gardenfresh at Maine

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More than a pretty face🌸 These violas (also known as Johnny-Jump Ups or Heartsease) are not only yummy edible flowers, but they are also great for your skin. Viola’s are packed with good medicinal juju offering anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory antioxidant properties. These soothing healers are wonderful in infused oils and salves, helping aid dry skin, insect bites, cradle cap and eczema. For a quick skin lotion, steep 5-20 grams of violas in a cup of boiling water and allow to stand for 15 minutes and then strain, cool and use on irritated skin. Plus, the more you pick of these pretties, the more will bloom, so go get harvesting! Looking forward to crafting up some garden concoctions this weekend. What are you doing in the garden this weekend?💚 . . . . . #herbgarden #herbal #mainegarden #organicgarden #naturalskincare #organicbeauty #countrygarden #cottagegarden #gardeningtips #gardenlife #gardenlovers #gardentoskin #inmygarden #organicgardening #gyo #gardentherapy #urbangardening #gardeninspiration #herbgardening at Maine

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Roasted scapes. Char-grilled scapes. Scape pesto. Pickled scapes. Pasta with sautéed scapes. Scape risotto. Scape and goat cheese tart. Heck, even edible scape bracelets! There’s lots more of uses for these yummy garlic treasures, but they’re all currently e-scaping my mind. Bonus, scapes store like a dream in the refrigerator! Just keep in a plastic bag and they’ll stay fresh for 2-3 weeks. You can even keep them on your counter in a jar of water for a few days, just make sure to change the water daily. How do you nosh on your scapes?💚 . . . . . #garlic #garlicscapes #whatsfordinner #mainegarden #organicgardening #gardentherapy #kitchengarden #fromthegrange #gardeninspiration #homegarden #allotment #gardenlife #gardentotable #gardenfresh #backyardgarden #organicgarden #greenthumb #herbgarden at Maine

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Set adrift on garden bliss☺️ I’ve been waiting and hoping, and yesterday, it happened. The setting was perfection, gusty breezes that kept bugs at bay, and endless sunshine on a crisp, cool day. I was in the midst of plucking chamomile when I felt it…pure, utter bliss. In that moment, time and responsibilities melted away, and all that remained was a sensory explosion. All around flowers are open in a chorus of colors; herbs’ sweet scents waft with the simplest brush-by; birds sing away as bees buzz past; crisp, pea pods never tasted so sweet as those plucked straight from soil-covered hands to eagerly-awaiting tastebuds. That magic…that moment…that’s why I garden. Cheers to everyone enjoying some garden magic today✨💚 . . . . . #inmygarden #mygarden #mainegarden #gardentherapy #fromthegrange #organicgardening #countrygarden #cottagegarden #gardendesign #garden_explorers #garden_styles #gardeninspiration #permaculture #urbangardening #kitchengarden #mainelife #gardenlife at Maine

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Cheerio chives! My beloved chive blossoms are now doing more flopping than flashing, so it’s time for one last harvest. I’ve popped these pretties into pretty much any dish you can think of over the past few weeks…tuna fish sandwiches, pasta salads, risottos, vinegars, burger toppers... Normally, I don’t bother drying chive leaves, their taste and loveliness don’t translate dried, though they do store up well if chopped and kept in the freezer. But, I’m up for a little experimenting, so I’ll be drying some of these blossoms. They’ll lose their color, but their subtle flavor should take on a deeper, onion taste. Once dried, I’ll grind into a powder and add into grilling rubs and salad dressings. I’ve loved seeing everyone post their chive blossom vinegars! I bet there’ll be a whole lot more chives being planted into some folks’ gardens next year😉 I’ll be adding more of course too🙌💜 . . . . . #mainegarden #gardenharvest #gardentotable #growwhatyoueat #herbgardening #kitchengarden #fromthegrange #organicgardening #backyardgarden #cottagegarden #countrygarden #inmygarden #gardenlife #mygardentoday #gardenfresh #ilovegardening #gardentherapy #freshfromthegarden at Maine

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Harbingers of happiness…the peas are blooming! The peas are blooming! It just makes me so hap-pea😃 I was thinking about it this morning, aside from being adverse to heat and prone to chipmunk robbers, peas are a pretty low-maintenance veggie to have in your garden. Diseases and pests (aside from a aphid or two or 300), for the most part leave them alone, and after all the garden melodrama from last month, I am very, very thankful for this. Each summer, I dedicate more and more space to all things pea: snap, shell, snow and sweet! Some of my tried and true favorite varieties are: Sugar Ann and Cascade (snap); Iona Petit Pots, Progress, Lincoln and Green Arrow (shell); Carouby de Maussane, Oregon Sugar and Golden Sweet (snow). I’ve been moony over growing different pod colors like yellow, purple and mottled pink too! Excited about growing King Tut Purple and Spring Blush Tendril for the first time this summer…new finds courtesy of this wonderful IG community🙏 Which variety makes you most hap-pea? Looking to start next year’s seed wishlist😉💚 . . . . . #mainegarden #mygarden #organicgardening #garden_explorers #gardenlife #veggiepatch #countrygarden #gardentotable #backyardgarden #kitchengarden #peas #gyo #gardeningtips #gardeninspiration #growwhatyoueat #fromthegrange at Maine

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Chamomile tea tips for all you over-steepers☕️ As a professed over-steeper, more like tea-forgetter, I often brew a cup, only to remember it around 30 minutes later. But that would be a shame to do with chamomile, because if you leave it steep too long, it becomes bitter…like, really bitter. Plus you want to capture all the good juju of chamomile’s volatile oils. So, steep for just 3-5 minutes, making sure to keep a tight cover on your mug to trap those oils in. Then sit back, sip and relax away the day. Does anyone make their own tea blends with chamomile? Is there a herbal tea combination that you love? Looking to spice things up around here😉🙏💚 . . . . . #teatime #chamomile #herbgardening #herbaltea #herbal #gardenharvest #inmygarden #fromthegrange #mainegarden #cottagegarden #gardenfresh #gardentotable #herbgardening #urbangardening #gardenlife #backyardgarden at Maine

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Giddy over garlic scapes😋 Scapes are pretty much why I only grow hardneck garlic (softneck varieties do not produce them). They’re the garlic’s flower stalk that shoots up from the leaves and then curls over. Growing wise, you need to nip off these shoots to redirect the plant’s energy into forming a big, fat bulb. And guess what…bonus, those shoots are one of the tastiest garden delights ever! They taste like a garlicky green bean mixed with asparagus. I sauté them in a little olive oil with some garlic and sea salt and it is pure tastebud happiness. Scape pesto is also a big hit. And they are SO good grilled or roasted! Don’t let this garden delicacy e-scape your plate this summer🍽💚 . . . . . #garliclovers #gardentotable #mainegarden #inmygarden #kitchengarden #vegetablegarden #fromthegrange #organicgardening #herbgardening #backyardgarden #urbangardening #gyo #whatsfordinner #gardenlife #gardenchat #gardentips at Maine

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Herbs are where the heart is🌿 Every evening before I make dinner, I grab a bowl and bounce out to the garden to collect whatever herbs are needed for that night’s meal. It’s a ritual that never gets old. While I love having fresh veggies in the garden, it’s my herbs that get used the most for so many things, from in my body to on my body to pest-repellents to house cleaners. The list is pretty endless. Plus, herbs are so easy to have in your garden. Because of their powerful aromatics, they’re a natural deterrent to most garden pests, and compared to the dramarama of diseases that vegetables have to battle, herbs are fairly disease-free. And frankly, these are the qualities that I need in plants right now. Oh, and I’m happy to report that all those little rosemary stem cuttings that I did back in January are happily thriving in the garden! Show of hands for all the herb lovers out there🙋‍♀️💚 . . . . . #herbgardening #inmygarden #fromthegrange #mainegarden #cottagegarden #gardenfresh #gardentotable #herbgarden #urbangardening #gardenlife #backyardgarden #herbs #growsomething #growwhatyoueat #whatsfordinner #ediblelandscaping at Maine

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Garden bewilderment…who else finds themselves making a beeline for the garden, armed with a mental list of to-dos that you’re determined to accomplish, only to find yourself 45 minutes later still just slowly meandering around the beds and paths simply taking in it all in🙋‍♀️ What’s crazy is that, because of the challenges my garden has already faced so early in this season, I’m really not looking at where the garden is currently at, rather I’m thinking of next year…next year😱 I think many of us garden folk are like that. For seemingly endless winter months, we anticipate with unbated excitement about the prospects of the upcoming season. Then, a mere month into it, we’re already taking stock of what’s working, what’s not, what we miss having in the garden, what we’re growing too much of…all being jotted down with thoughts of next summer’s garden. The tricky part is to find moments to set your mind free of all of that, and just bask in the beauty that’s before you because that’s where the magic is. Cheers everyone to a beautiful day filled with a little magic✨💚 . . . . . #mainegarden #herbgardening #chives #gardenlife #fromthegrange #organicgardening #garden_styles #garden_explorers #gardendesign #gardeninspiration #countrygarden #backyardgarden #gardenlovers #cottagegarden #gardenersofinstagram at Maine

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Chive chat…making more batches of my favorite Chive Blossom vinegar today😋 I just posted the recipe in my Stories if anyone wants to brew up a batch with me. I’m trying to soak in the sights of these charming blooms, because in another week or two, they’ll begin to bid adieu. When they do, it’ll be time to give them a major haircut. I’ll trim my entire patch down to 1/3 its current height. It’s drastic and leaves a buzzcut in my gardenscape, but by doing so, I’ll not only be getting a fresh crop of chive leaves, I’ll also be preventing the invasion of a million chive seedlings next year. Wonder what herb will be next in my herbal vinegar crafting…perhaps tarragon or lemon thyme. Any suggestions? 💚 . . . . . #gardenfresh #gardentotable #vinegar #mainegarden #organicgardening #fromthegrange #herbgarden #countrygarden #selfsufficient #homegarden #growwhatyoueat #urbangardening #gardenlife #garden_explorers #gyo #gardentips at Maine

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Starting my morning by hanging out in this beautiful patch of self-sown chamomile, and I have to say, life smells quite sweet at this moment. This chamomile forest was all courtesy of Mother Nature, and is the direction this entire garden will take next year. For the past two summers, I’ve had a gut feeling that it’s time to pick up all my vegetables and move them to a whole new garden area. This early season loss of brassicas quickly confirmed that it isn’t a feeling anymore. So that’s the plan. Veggies will get new digs somewhere else on our property—not a clue as to where, given it’s woods and not a lot of light, but I’ll figure that out later. My current garden will morph into an herb and flower (and wildlife) sanctuary. With minimal interference from me, I’m going to let the herbs and flowers do their thing. Those who self-sow, can run amok (for the most part); those who show up mysteriously from flower fairies, can stay and grow; those perennials that want to take off an entire swatch, can. Mother Nature will be in the driver’s seat, and I’ll merely be assisting as needed. Over the past five years, I’ve been slowly giving over more and more of my garden to this philosophy, and it truly has created a vibrant abundance of pollinators, birds and various garden dwellers. In fact, right now, the woods all around me is alive with the singing, hopping and learning to fly, of dozens and dozens of baby birds🐦🎶 To be able to merely sit amongst it all and soak it in, well, that to me is priceless. What’s growing on with everyone else’s garden? Who’s still scrambling to get plants in the ground🙋‍♀️💚 . . . . . #mainegarden #permaculture #naturenerd #organicgardening #mygarden #inmygardentoday #fromthegrange #herbgarden #chamomile #homegarden #countrygarden #cottagegarden #urbangardening #gardenlife #backyardgarden #garden_styles #garden_explorers #gardendesign at Maine

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Slug slayers unite✊🐌 I just read the other day that the Royal Horticultural Society will be studying all of our garden tricks for slaying slugs, from crushed eggshells to beer traps and everything in between. They’re sowing loads of lettuce and will study the effectiveness of each technique on a different control group. They hope to garner what is the most effective solution with the least impact to the crop. I’m completely riveted and cannot wait to find out their results! Anything has to be an improvement of my current practice of hunting stealthily at dusk, armed with a salt shaker in one hand, and my eyes partially covered with the other…because it is a super gross, but effective, way to kill slugs. How do you slay these garden dragons🌱🐉💚 . . . . . #gardentips #organicgardening #fromthegrange #vegetablegarden #mainegarden #greenthumb #gardenharvest #backyardgarden #eatyourveggies #urbangardening #gardentotable #kitchengarden #allotment #inmygardentoday #mygarden #gardenlife #eatfresh #organicveggies #gardenchat #freshlypicked at Maine

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Feeling grateful☺️ You guys are a pretty incredible community of folks! You all truly turned my sadness about my garden losses into gratitude for being connected with such kind, sympathetic, helpful and hopeful people. I am so thankful🙏 And because of you all, I am ready to rally!! So, I will kick-off the celebration by making my inaugural batch of chive blossom vinegar!!! I know a lot of you already have batches brewing away…anyone taste theirs yet? What do you think? 😋 On a side note, I’m going to be compiling all my learnings, along with all your awesome suggestions, about dealing with root maggots into a new Stories tab all about garden disease and pests. Our collective knowledge hopefully will save us from these dirty, little maggots😉💪🐛 . . . . . #gardentips #gardenchat #mainegarden #homegarden #organicgardening #herbgarden #inmygardentoday #mygarden #inmygarden #veggiepatch #gardenlife #kitchengarden #vegetablegarden #fromthegrange #urbangardening #growwhatyoueat #homegarden #backyardgarden at Maine

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I just lost 1/4 of my garden overnight. Never in my 20 years of gardening have I ever experienced a loss this size, nor met a foe this cruel. We’ve had some warm days lately, and an extended lack of rain, so when my brassicas looked a bit wilting, I simply chalked it up to the heat of mid-day sun. Then Friday, I found two cabbage seedlings limp on the ground. Upon inspection, there were horrid maggots nestled around the root of the plants. These vile creatures are Cabbage Root Maggots and they have delivered one of the biggest garden gut punches I’ve ever taken…every single cole crop that I planted: broccoli, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, has been infected, with a total loss of almost 60 plants, not including all my radishes as well. Cabbage Root Flies, prefer cool, rich, Northern gardens and lay eggs around the base of cole crops in early spring (and again in late summer). Their larvae tunnel to the root system, destroying the plant. All of this goes undetected from above the ground. It is not until it’s too late, that you will notice something isn’t right. Heartbreakingly, there is no saving these plants. I’ve been successfully practicing organic gardening for two decades, mindfully rotating crops, balancing soils, creating an environment for beneficial insects, the list goes on and on, yet at the end of the day, it is all very much out of my control…as Mother Nature made quite evident today. The only real true prevention for this pest is to religiously use row covers from the moment of planting through harvest. I prefer not to use them, because I love to soak in the eye candy of the vegetables, but this has been a price I’m not willing to pay again. . . . . . #mainegarden #inmygardentoday #organicgardening #gardenchat #gardentips #mygarden #inmygarden #veggiepatch #gardenlife #kitchengarden #vegetablegarden #fromthegrange #urbangardening #growwhatyoueat #homegarden #backyardgarden at Maine

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Almost too pretty to eat🌸 Tis the season of edible flowers! When I began my entry to edible blooms, my biggest question was…what do they actually taste like? Truth be told, with the exception of strong floral herbs like lavender, the overall taste of edible flowers is fairly subtle. Here’s a quick list of a few common ones: • Anise—licorice-like • Borage—crisp cucumber • Calendula—similar to saffron when sautéed • Chamomile—sweet with apple aroma • Chives—mild onion overtones • Cornflower—slightly clove-like • Johnny-Jump-Ups—hint of mint • Nasturtiums—peppery, like watercress • Pansies—greens/grassy • Violets—subtle, sweet floral If you do let your herbs like oregano, sage, thyme, etc… go to flower, those blooms are edible as well and will have the overtones of the herb it’s harvested from. What’s your favorite edible flower?💚 . . . . . #edibleflowers #eatflowers #inmygardentoday #mainegarden #freshfromthegarden #eatseasonal #herbgarden #fromthegrange #gardentotable #countrygarden #flowergarden #growwhatyoueat #organicgardening #gardentips #gardenlovers at Maine

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Welcome June! With each new day, the garden is rising up more and more. Some crops are hitting their vigor, like lettuce, kale, mint and radishes; while others, like tomatoes and peppers, just moved into the garden this week. I’m both excited and nervous about my flower plantings. I’ve dedicated almost half the garden to flowers this year, all started by seed, so here’s hoping they grow and bloom as I planned and dreamed back in January. My beloved herbs are just gorgeous, reliable, bountiful and all-around pleasing. My patience is being tested battling new and old garden foes like chipmunks, root maggots and voles. Weeds are growing like…well, weeds! But, I have so many volunteer seedlings coming up everywhere, that I’m giving some a bit more time in order to play my favorite garden game “Herb, Flower or Weed”. Oh, and my pal Ethel the hummingbird is back! And, the woods are filled with baby birds of all shapes and sizes. Spring is definitely in full swing! How’s your garden growing?💚 . . . . . #gardenharvest #inmygarden #organicveggies #eatyourgreens #whatfordinnertonight #gardentotable #gardenchat #zone5 #mainegarden #organicgardening #gardeninspiration #garden_explorers #gardenlove #mygarden #gardenlife #kitchengarden #fromthegrange #urbangardening #allotment #growwhatyoueat #countrygarden #greenthumb #cottagegarden #homegarden #backyardgardening at Maine

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Time to get dressed🥗 Now that we’re back feasting on daily garden salads, I’m realizing the need to mix up my dressings to keep the troops from revolting come day 25 straight of salads. My favorite is always a quick Italian vinaigrette of some sort, but I really need to shake that up. So, what better gang of folks to reach out to for dressing ideas that you guys😀 Anyone care to share a favorite dressing recipe so my boys don’t go salad stir-crazy? Thank you SO much🙏💚 . . . . . #eatyourgreens #salad #gardenharvest #gardenfresh #harvest #gardentotable #mainegarden #organicgardening #gardenchat #eatfresh #mygarden #garden_styles #garden_explorers #gardenlove #inmygarden #veggiepatch #gardenlovers #gardenlife #kitchengarden #vegetablegarden #fromthegrange #urbangardening #growwhatyoueat #countrygarden #greenthumb at Maine

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