October

October

 
News from  
The Thyme Garden
 
October 2011
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www.thymegarden.com
 
ABOUT THE THYME GARDEN NEWSLETTER 
 
  Our newsletter is a way to keep in touch with our customers and share the excitement of the season as well as the knowledge we've gained in our 22 years in business as an organic herb nursery. You've received this newsletter because you are one of those customers we'd like to stay in contact with! We apologize if you received this email and don't want to be bothered. You can easily unsubscribe below.
 
IN THIS ISSUE:
Putting the Garden to Bed
~ Thoughts on taking down your garden
 
Harvesting Honey
~ Encouraging the bees to give it up!

Featured Herb: Sages
~ From the culinary to the decorative

Thyme in the Garden
~ The debut of our awesome new video.
 
WHAT'S COMING:  
Look What's New
~ New seed selections for the 2012 year

Update on the Salmon Recovery Project
~  A look at how far the streams have come since the project began in 2002

Getting Crafty
~ Featuring Everlasting flowers and crazy cool seed pods
 
♦ If you would like to read past issues of The Thyme Garden Newsletter, go to our archive.
    read past issues of The Thyme Garden Newsletter, go to our


 
Putting the Garden to Bed   
     ~ by Janet
   As soon as we close our display gardens for the season, in my mind, I say “Wow, now we can relax, we’ve done our work!” Wrong, is what I soon find out!! We had tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, beans, blackberries, blueberries, and basil (to name a few) to harvest and process. My birthday comes in fall and this year, my daughters decided to do a canning day with me. So, all day we picked, and packed (into jars) and processed, right up until time to go out to dinner (thank goodness we weren’t cooking, because by that time we needed some pampering!) We did find a really good way to use a ton of late season tomatoes - check it out on our blog: Oven Roasted Tomatoes, where you can also find recipes for Zucchini Relish and Dill Pickles.
   So after putting the food garden to rest, there was seed harvest to see to. It remained lovely weather, so I doggedly looked over my seeds, brown grocery sacks in hand for gathering. But as nice as it was, due to an extra-long rainy spring that went on practically foreeeeeever, the seeds were not yet ready for me. So, I began to relax on that, but then, it started to rain, and as any farmer/seed gatherer knows, that does not bode well for the seed crop, so I was back to dogging the seeds. As we fill the bags with the readied seeds, we bring them into our dining room for after ripening so the house begins to be literally the “house of a bag lady”. Happily, Bethany cleans them, and I have an area for the seeds that have been completed, so she can keep the craziness to a minimum by cleaning a few of those seeds daily.
   Really, you can’t put the garden “to bed” in our business until you have the seeds off. Before much completion took place, we headed off to Ohio, land of our birth, to celebrate Mom’s 85th birthday (belated) and Rolfe’s nieces wedding. We arrived in rain (enjoyed teasing THEM about their rain for a change) and then it turned Indian Summer perfect for the remainder of the trip. We arrived home to drizzly gray and even though it wasn’t soppy wet, one can’t get seeds in unless they are some state of dry or with promise of being able to dry.  Happily, the sun has returned and we are now in the midst of our Indian Summer.
I have stayed at my harvesting knowing rain looms and trying not to get fooled into thinking this perfect weather will last forever. And, as certain varieties are harvested to completion, they can be cut off to ground level. Having watched the garden grow to grand and glorious heights, nothing gives me more pleasure than cutting things back – watching the garden become more restful and low is somehow perfect for the season. In many instances this produces a whole second season of beauty, like the pictures here show.
  Getting the garden into resting stages properly at this time of year makes me feel confident that next year’s start-up will be much easier than if I just said "thank you" without the cleanup and going indoors. There are always a few stragglers that can’t go down, but there are always nice weather sessions which give me opportunity to sneak back out and play some more in the garden.
 
    Thanks, and  good night!

  You may notice quite a few of these little fuzzy buggers out in your garden right now. The seasonal attire of the Banded Woolly Bear (Pyrrharctia isabella) is said to be a harbinger of what's in store for the winters weather. A thick  middle stripe is said to mean a mild winter and a narrow stripe means  the winter will be severe.
     If the woolly bear's coat is correct, this will be a mild winter, but it's all just superstition, right? Woolly Bears morph into Isabella Tiger Moths  in the spring, which are a furry bodied moth with lightly spotted golden colored wings.    
   
Harvesting Honey
~ by Rolfe
    The sweet taste of the harvest. When fall begins we start gathering and putting away everything for winter, seeds, food from the garden, firewood and, best of all, honey. All summer the bees have been gathering nectar to produce their sweet tasting gold. While they are busy with that, my friend Charles and I (Charles also raises bees so we often team up) have been making sure our hives have plenty of room for workers, brood and honey. When September comes and the bees have capped each little cell full of concentrated nectar with wax it’s time to carefully take the extra and leave behind enough for them to live on through the winter. Extracting the honey is hard work but very rewarding.
   I think the Thyme Garden honey has a special flavor from the bees having gathered nectar from all our organic herb flowers throughout our gardens and adding it to our local blackberry nectar.
   After we have taken the frames from the hives it’s time to extract the honey from them. First the wax capping is cut from the comb with a hot knife. Charles usually gets this job. Yeah.
   My job is to then arrange them in a big drum that spins, throwing the honey out of the cells and against the outside wall of the drum. The honey then runs down the sides and out the spigot.
   This is where my challenge comes in. Do not walk away from the spigot when the honey is running and forget it is on. I won’t go into the consequences of doing that. The honey is filtered through several layers of cheesecloth into five gallon containers where it is stored until we put it in jars to send to you. Order some while it lasts!
 
Featured Herbs: The Sages
 ~ by Bethany
     Autumn is the time for blossoming - at least if you're a sage. Always one of the last flowers in the garden, the sages or salvia family are a late treat to the senses, offering all the colors of the rainbow in terms of flower and foliage. Most gardeners are probably familiar with sage as an herb for cooking, but we offer a wide variety of salvias, some of which are just for our viewing pleasure (and the pleasure of the hummingbirds who make them a late season feast.)
     I walked through the garden this week snapping photos of the sages flowering (or having great foliage) now to give you an idea of some bright fall color spots to keep in mind to have blooming next to the mums and late dahlias next year.
    Many of the 40+ species of sage we offer are cultivated by cuttings and are only available at our nursery, but we offer several varieties by seed. For a full listing of our sages click here.
Red Flowering
Decorative Sages

A very attractive native to Texas and Mexico with beautiful spikes of scarlet red flowers. Compact growth for border plantings. making them great in  borders. Flowers late and long. Hummingbird favorite!)

Pineapple Sage - Salvia elegans
Produces bright red flowers attractive to hummingbirds. The leaves have a distinct wonderful pineapple fragrance. Use to leaves to flavor cakes! Available only as a plant from our nursery.
Pink & Purple
Flowering
Decorative Sages

Salvia nemorosa 'Rosenwein'
This is a new variety to us. We enjoy the true pink blossoms atop compact silver foliage. Makes a nice border plant and cut flower. Deadhead for blooms well into fall.

This native to Bulgaria forms a ground cover of rosettes of very large rounded hairy leaves, and produces a profusion of 2' long spikes of large violet-blue flowers with white streaks.
Painted Sage - Salvia viridis
The gray-green foliage of this sage changes to large leaf-like flower bracts of purple, white, or pink on the last 4"-5" of each stem giving it the appearance of having been dipped in paint.
Brown & Black
Flowering Decorative
Sages

Salvia discolor
Dark green leaves with pure white undersides make this  a fun specimen in themselves - added to that  are the long stems of nearly black flowers. Available only by plant from our nursery.

Salvia aurea
Petite silvery leaves on a tall (2') plant smell just like osage orange. Unique velvet brown flowers with large pinkish green calyxes. One of a kind! Available only by plant from our nursery.
Silver Foliage
Sages

Cleveland Sage - Salvia clevelandii
A beautiful, long living sage that can be shaped into an ornamental bonsai. Strong sage scent. Purple flower. Available only by plant from our nursery.

Frosted silver leaves make this a striking accent plant. The aromatic foliage is used to make smudge sticks for purification ceremonies. A tea from the leaves is used to treat colds.
Blue Flowering
Decorative Sages

Indigo Spires Sage
(TP/5') Can grow into quite a large bush with impressive spires of fragrant dark purple flowers. A favorite of our hummingbirds. Available only by plant from our nursery.
Gentian Sage - Salvia patens
This is a rare true blue flower! The trumpet shaped blossoms of S. patens are up to 2" long, making it a favorite of our customers. Available only by plant from our nursery.
Thyme in the Garden 
 - Our Movie Debut
  The trailer of our movie is available for your viewing pleasure on our website or you can click at right. We are pretty excited about how it turned out. The full version (22 minutes) is available for purchase for $12 (plus S&H) to anyone who wants a deeper look into The Thyme Garden. See our gardens, clips from our events, our pond and stream projects and much more!

 
Product Updates
~ Now is a Great Time to Start Mushroom Plugs!
    The cooler and wetter conditions of fall make it a perfect time to start Mushroom Plugs.  Starting now will give you a head start for future harvest.
~ The Thyme Garden Cookbook
   So, it's looking like in the absence of a miracle, the 3rd Edition Good Thymes in the Kitchen Cookbook will not be out for Christmas. We will keep you posted on that. We do offer many nice items that make good holiday gifts such as honey, teas and seasonings, and gift certificates.
~ Taking Pre-Orders for Hops!
  Order now to be sure that you have the best selection. Orders are shipped in the order received in spring when rhizomes are harvested.
~ A Few Spots Left in the Fall Salmon Celebration!
   Don't miss your chance to see Coho and Chinook salmon spawning and enjoy a wonderful herbal feast. November 12th and 13th. Call now for reservations 541-487-8671

Thanks for Reading and Happy Autumn!

      ~ The Thyme Garden Crew

The Thyme Garden
~20546 Alsea Hwy. ~Alsea, OR 97324 ~ 541-487-8671~
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