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Old 05-29-2010, 01:06 PM   #11
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Dried vs. Fresh

Like many things, it would depend on what I'm making. Fresh basil, mozzerella, and tomato salad, I want fresh. In a rub or marinade, I prefer dried.

For herb breads, I like dried. For salads, fresh is yummy!

I do love fresh cilantro in salsas, but there are soups I have where the dried just seems to turn out a better product.

Go figure.

~Kathleen
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 杰里米亚 View Post
@ Claire: Really? I grew some mint a while ago and it took over half my yard o_o. I live in Spring Hill, so it's a little cooler than the rest, but not much :)
It would take over my yard, too. I keep my mint in a strawberry jar on the patio, so it's contained.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:28 AM   #13
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I have 2 huge (24" diameter) pots of mint in my garden. As long as I keep it trimmed it cant escape. I use fresh herbs in the summer and into fall then switch to dried for the late winter and early spring, unless something specifically calls for fresh.
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:25 PM   #14
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I had a tough time growing mint in the area in FL where I lived. I could grow it under the faucet, in the shade. My sister loves mint and cannot get it to live. Different parts of Florida have hugely different soils and climates. Where I lived it was very sandy soil, so it dried out very quickly, and it burned easily. I don't think my sister ever succeeded in growing a crop of it (I lived just south of Daytona, Sis lives in Orlando). Here I can't keep it under control.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:42 AM   #15
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I much prefer fresh herbs for everything, but I do dry some of my crops each summer, especially of savory, tarragon and Greek oregano, because they don't do very well over the winter here. I use dried lavender flowers for my Lavender Caramel Ice Cream.

Parsley, I grow in the herb garden, but it's never enough. However, around here, flat leaf parsley is available in even the sparsest of produce sections, so I can always pick that up. Fresh basil, as well.

I'm not a cilantro-lover, so I don't even think about it.
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:24 PM   #16
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Hmmm ... didn't there used to be a line here about vegetable/herb gardening? Well, I couldn't find it.

I put in a couple of fennel plants. This is so silly. when I lived in Florida, I once picked up a couple of something near dead fennel plants at a nursery. I don't think I paid for them, they were that dead. I stuck them in a mostly shady area of my square-foot garden. One day a friend who is an excellent chef (never been pro, but did own a gourmet grocery store for a few years) called me and asked me if the Publix near me might have some fennel root, since I lived in a more 'upscale' neighborhood than he. I just started laughing (he was making dinner for us) and told him I had two beautiful ones in my garden ... and really didn't know how to cook it! I was afraid to experiment on my own family because too many don't like a licorice flavor. I got over my (and hubby's) Fear of Fennel, but now when I actually buy a plant (or seeds) it doesn't form a root. Anyone have any ideas about what I'm doing wrong? It is a very, very successful herb garden overall.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:33 PM   #17
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I think of fennel as as much a vegetable as an herb. I've never tried to grow it, because I think my planter boxes are not deep enough for the roots. It's so similar to celery.

imho, there's no particular rhyme nor reason to why some plants "take" and some don't, and some plants "take" some years and not others. Itt's the Garden Devil!
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:49 PM   #18
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Claire - first off, there are two different types of fennel - neither of which forms a "root".

The first "Fennel", which comes in both green & bronze colors, is grown for the stalks & seeds only. It's used as a flavoring herb.

The second, "Florence Fennel", is grown for the large bulbous stem that forms at the base of the plant just above the soil line. This is the variety that's grown & used as a vegetable, & the one you frequently see in the markets.

Unfortunately, most nurseries just mark plants as "fennel", without distinguishing type, & nine times out of ten, it is the herb fennel & not the vegetable or "Florence" fennel. Next time you decide to give it a try, buy from a reputable source & make sure you're getting "Florence" fennel.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:11 AM   #19
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Yeah, I do know it isn't a root. It is just the best way I know to describe the vegetable. I didn't, though, realize that there are two types of fennel. Now I do. Thank you. I won't bother to buy seed or seedlings now without finding out what I'm buying.

Yes, I do know that sometimes gardening is an "aw s**t" proposition. I've done some degree of gardening in Florida, Hawaii, and Illinois, and window/balcony gardening in Virginia, AND lived in a trailer on the road for 3 years, and had a big pot of herbs. Some things I thought would never survive thrived. Some things that should, didn't (I can't grow a squash to save my life, on the other hand, I've thrown cucumbers away by the dozens).
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:40 AM   #20
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I've never grown the bulbing Florence type because I only cook with it occasionally, so I just buy it at the market.

I have grown the herbal type, however, & it's very impressive as a background plant in an herb garden. Can reach a very regal 5' in height. The bronze-colored variation is particularly striking. While I've never harvested the seeds, the foliage makes a nice flavoring stuffing & the stalks make a nice grill "bed" for whole fish & poultry.

The plant is also a hose for Swallowtail butterflies & attracts other beneficial insects to the garden. :)
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