April 2011


News from  
The Thyme Garden
April 2011
   After being in business for 22 years now and wanting to keep in touch with our customers with a monthly newsletter we're giving it a try. We apologize if you received this email and don't want to be bothered. You can easily unsubscribe below. We think this will be a great way to share our 30 years of experience at growing herbs as well as using them in recipes in the kitchen. 
Take a Country Ride
~ The Thyme Garden Nursery Opens its 22nd Season
Get into the Fun!
~ Growing and Eating Your Own Mushrooms 
Picking Sunbeams
~ Information on Growing Sunbeam Golden Hops and Hop Grower Feedback.
Ole Molé!
~ Useful Info on Growing Peppers and a Link to a Great Recipe
Love Your Mother!
~ Our Mother's Day Event and Great Gift Ideas for Gardening Moms. Women's Festival and Luncheon Updates.
The Buzz on Bees
~ Thoughts of an Apiarist and the Sweetness of Herbal Honey
Wings in the Garden
~ Choosing Herbs for You and Your Winged Friends to Enjoy

Take a Country Ride
    Take a springtime ride in the country and visit The Thyme Garden. We open April 15th for our 22nd season. Our nursery is open seven days a week 10am. - 5pm. until June when we switch to being open just Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. June is also when we start our herbal tours and luncheons and we are taking reservations now.
   Our greenhouses are full of healthy new plants started from all those little plugs you saw in last month’s issue. It’s been a wet tail end to winter this year so we’ll be busy cleaning up for opening since today was the first time we’ve seen the sun in thirty days! What a welcome sight!
       We have some great events coming up at The Thyme Garden. Our first is celebrating Earth Day April 23rd. Besides our annual Eco Fact Scavengers Hunt for a free plant, potluck and live music we are having an awesome class about growing your own mushrooms from plugs. It is being taught by Jen, a professional mushroom grower that supplies us with the organic mushroom plugs we sell on our website. The class starts at 2:30 and only costs $15. Reservations in advance please - (541) 487-8671. Everyone will take home an inoculated log to start your own mushrooms. There will also be someone here talking about home installation of solar panels.
     Also mark your calendar for our “Mother’s Day Art in the Garden”, May 7th and 8th. This event is a beautiful outdoor festival on our 80 acres with outstanding artists and craftsman, live music, herbal food, beer and wine plus free herbal appetizers, plant your own baskets for mom and wine tasting. To find out  more information about both events see our EVENTS PAGE. 
Getting into the Fun of Mushrooms
    Can't make it to the workshop but interested in growing your own mushrooms for culinary delights? You don't have to miss out! We sell nine varieties of Organically Grown Mushroom Plugs.  When we started offering Mushroom Plugs two years ago we inoculated logs here on the farm so that we could be familiar with the process (and to reap the harvest!) The first year we had a few Oyster mushrooms and not much else. It was a little disappointing, but fun to get what we did.  
This past autumn, however, we got enough Oyster mushrooms to share the bounty and right now we have a beautiful bloom of shiitakes.They are incredibly tasty, probably the best mushroom texture, and one full grown mushroom goes a long way! One of ours was the size of a dinner  plate - awesome!
Pick Yourself a Sunbeam   
       (Rainbows Sold Separately)
   It’s been a great hop season this year. After a late start because of frozen or too soggy fields to dig hop rhizomes in we got started shipping hops the second week in March. We are caught up on hop orders so we will now be shipping Mondays and Thursdays. We still have plenty of most varieties left somewhat due to our awesome walk-in cooler we built!  
   This year we have a good supply of rhizomes for the not so common Sunbeam Golden Hop. Sunbeams produce beautiful golden leaves, prefer partial shade and are very ornamental. They make a beautifully bright summer privacy screen. They can be used for brewing as well, being a Saazer offspring with a 4-5% alpha.   
    We are really excited about our new addition to our website called “Experiences Growing Hops around the Country” on our Information About Growing Hops Page.  We included a request with all our hop orders this year asking them to email us their experience growing hops in their state. By posting their information we hope to help our customers decide which varieties of hops will grow best in their area. I have some of them on there already. Check them out!
¡Ole Molé! Time to Start Your Peppers!
    Our peppers are growing along in the green house and already have my salivary glands going...I just can't get enough of the spicy stuff! 
   It's very simple to grow peppers, and using and storing them can also be done easily. We suggest starting them in potting soil mix under grow lights. The seed should be just barely covered. Most peppers germinate in 7-10 days, but some, like Habaneros, take up to two weeks. Now's the time to get them going so you can be sure they have a long enough growing season to really fatten up and get spicy!
   Once you have the plants germinated and ready to go out, there are a few things to consider. First off, be sure to give them adequate space to grow. Pepper plants will reach a full size at maturity of up to three feet. Also, giving them space allows adequate amounts of sunlight to reach and warm their fruits.  If you like your peppers with nice thick walls, consider planting them with about a half cup of Epsom Salts per plant mixed in with the soil at their roots. Epsom Salts contains lots of good stuff for the plant to use, and it is pretty inexpensive and readily available.
   I like to grow several varieties and what I can't use fresh I freeze. It's easy to do. I just keep a Ziploc bag in the freezer and whenever there are excess peppers I can't use I simply rinse them and put them in the bag. I then use them all winter to heat things up...I even put some freezer-fresh cayenne in my lasagna last week! Fun!
   So what is this Molé, you are wondering? Molé is a traditional sauce in Mexico. We first experienced it in the Oaxaca area. It is rich in spices with hints of chocolate, garlic, and most importantly chili peppers. It has other "secret" ingredients that may surprise you. Rolfe makes a delicious black molé (they come in red, yellow, green and many others!) that he likes to serve with chicken and lucky for you he has decided to share it!
   The recipe for Chicken Molé and other great herbal recipe ideas can be found on our food and garden blog at: 

Thanks for Reading and Happy Spring!

     ~ The Thyme Garden Staff and Happy Hoppers
The Thyme Garden
~20546 Alsea Hwy. ~Alsea, OR 97324 ~ 541-487-8671~
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