What did you try for the first time in your garden this year?

Doesn’t have to be a plant, could be a technique or a tool.

I tried a new tomato variety because it was being touted as heat-resistant. I’m in the High Sierras Desert region so I thought I’d give it a try. It was called “Phoenix”.

Utter failure. It is only just now starting to set fruit. San Marzano beat it out all hollow on all fronts - vegetative growth, set fruit much earlier, and much more fruit. Phoenix went up in flames and left behind only ashes!

Thai basil and wormwood and purple sage. They all did well, but I was never able to construct a really functional support trellis for the wormwood. It does indeed grow like a weed, even in a pot, but is so tall and so straggly, and every time we had some kind of windstorm my trellises would shift or come down. Just kind of hard to do on the porch I guess - although having grown it now I think wormwood would be a mess to grow in the ground. Maybe in a bigger container.

I’m still curious what you did with your wormwood infusion. I googled, but found many possibilities–from something to calm stomach issues to absinthe.

For me, bay leaves. First batch is already dry–more to pick now that I think of it. :smile: Easy to grow with minimal effort among all the other pots on my deck.

The wormwood infusion was Mr Rat’s project, and yes he intends to do absinthe with it. It’s still infusing in its jar - I know he put it in Everclear with hyssop and fennel seeds and I forget what all. I’ll let you all know how it turns out.

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First time for bay leaves for me as well. So far I love them. They are wayyy better then the dried ones and I have found myself sticking them in everything. I’m a little obsessed with my bay leaves this year.

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You guys are obviously in a much nicer climate than I, LOL!

Connecticut. We did pretty well considering.

Boring, but I tried celery for the first (and likely last) time. I did not know how large the plants would get and they ended up crowding out a much more valuable sweet pepper plant.

Pineapple sage. What can I do with it? I have too much. I bought it because it might smell nice and it makes pretty red flowers.

You can make tea (OK, a tisane) with it, I think. Nice garnish for iced tea, too.

Considering the husband is not allowed (medically) to have tea, I have to think of something else. I believe I read you can put it in smoothies. Thank you kattyeyes. I love your name.

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Hello again. I wasn’t sure if you thought I meant you could use the pineapple sage leaves in addition to regular black tea or green tea. Actually, what I meant is that you can use the pineapple sage leaves alone to infuse them and make a drink. If that’s not OK for your husband, no wasted time here. But if it is something you can both try and enjoy, here’s a link I found. :smile:
http://www.food.com/recipe/pineapple-sage-tea-hot-or-iced-386388

As to the name, thanks. Just a green-eyed lady with a beautiful green-eyed feline here.

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I did celery a few years ago and a had the totally opposite experience. I loved it! It was easy to grow and sooo different then what you can get in the store. It was more bushy with tons of leave and the leaves are my favorite part of celery.

I’m on Long Island but my local gardening place was selling artichokes. I couldn’t resist! Not that I got any because something kept eating it down to the ground; but to my amazement, it grew back every single time. If only winter wasn’t right around the corner!

Wow! Gorgeous. Never saw such green bay leaves.

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Yes, it’s easy to grow as long as it is kept watered. It should be banded/blanched prior to harvest which I didn’t do. It just takes up a lot of room which is better suited (to us) to sweet peppers that we can not buy in the store. In any event, I have enough dried leaves to last quite a while and two pounds of chopped stalks in the freezer for future soups.

And here are those pretty end-of season flowers.

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Thai Dragon Chiles…Handsome but these can’t be meant to eat! Hot little critters:

Kidney stones. Bad bad bad for years. Doc says no tea, chocolate, etc. Thank you for the ideas though. I might try something infused but not tea.

OK, I know this is a year old, but one of my pet peeves is people who don’t fact check, and doctors who spout information with no sustaining source of valid research. You and your husband may want to actually do some research on that tea thing.

First, it is supposedly only about “tea” Camellia sinensis, which has somewhat high levels of oxalates/oxalic acid. The huge majority of herbal teas (Tisanes) do not contain oxalates, and many have been used for thousands of years to PREVENT kidney stones.

The different varieties and harvest methods/preparation of Camellia sinensis, (cured/black, green, white, etc.) have different levels of oxalates, with uncured green and white tea having very low levels. Even the tea with the highest levels has around 1/1000 of the amount that spinach does. (So I don’t think drinking a spinach tisane would be so great, but eating raw spinach isn’t the safest thing anyway, because of the oxalic acid in the raw form.) There seems to be some thought that green tea binds to calcium oxalate, and prevents kidney stones. The Mayo Clinic found a 11% decrease in stones for those who drunk tea…

Second, I say supposedly, because there seems to be no actual research or factual published findings about this. Loyola University has put out a press release every summer for awhile saying that iced tea MAY cause kidney stones. But writers doing fact checking contacted them and Loyola says that there has never been a study referred to and that it is just an annual summer press release.

Third, there may be precursors to calcium oxalate (kidney stones) in the diet, but the great majority of it that makes it through the kidneys and into urine is actually made in the liver. Ozalates consumed are not thought to be highly “available” and may not contribute at all to kidney stones.

Fourth, it seems that sugar is one of the worst things to consume if you are liable to forming kidney stones, so “Sweet Tea” would be as bad as water sweetened to the same level. Also salt can cause stones…

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold