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Growing and Making Your Own Spices

By SongofJoy
March 31, 2012

In the duo of "herbs and spices", herbs tend to get most of the attention when it comes to growing them and making seasonings and flavorings at home. However, a number of spices are equally as easy to grow and preserve yourself. There's also the added reassurance of knowing exactly how they were grown.

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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Mar 30, 2012 8:06 PM CST
such great info.. I learned so much.. thanks!!!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Mar 30, 2012 11:37 PM CST
Tee, I had such a great time reading this article. It sure brought back many memories. We actually got to experience living off the land in the 60's and 70's on our little homestead farm.
Our favorite guides books were the set of Firefox books given to us by my sister-in-law, and I couldn't imagine being without the writtings of Euell Gibbons.

Yes, growing, harvesting and processing your own spices, herbs and vegetables is the best. Thumbs up
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
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SongofJoy
Mar 31, 2012 2:34 AM CST
Thanks, Allison and Lynn. This brought back a lot of fond memories.

Nice to live off the land, Lynn. CA in the 60's and 70's ... a wild and wooly place for sure ... some good, some not so good. But it was like a huge experimental learning environment. Some things you just never forget. Green Grin!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Mar 31, 2012 3:34 AM CST
Oh, what a wonderful article Tee and I'm definitely going to try some of these spices.

Same here on the saffron, I've never bought any but I'm sure going to try and harvest my own.

I can't thank you enough for all this information! Hurray! Thumbs up
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Mar 31, 2012 4:35 AM CST
You're welcome, Vic. Where will you get your bulbs? I'm going to plant some out and also plant a very large pot of them as well, I think.
Groovy! Green Grin!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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vic
Mar 31, 2012 4:43 AM CST
Groovy indeed! Thumbs up Where's that peace sign??? Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

Not sure where I'll get the bulbs, we have the spring crocus here but not the autumn blooming Thumbs down I first learned about them on Food Network - who of course has a huge budget for their dishes Whistling
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Mar 31, 2012 4:58 AM CST
I planted them 3 or 4 times already.. only to die or be eaten Thumbs down try and try again though.. love saffron rice
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Mar 31, 2012 5:35 AM CST
Rabbits? Glare

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Mar 31, 2012 5:36 AM CST
Lily my yorkie got a vole last year... guess I have those.. and we are over run with chipmunks .. might have to do the cage thing .. did that years ago with my tulips
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Mar 31, 2012 5:41 AM CST
Voles. Grumbling They can be such a pain. I was just looking at the planting baskets at WM yesterday. Not too expensive.

Vic ... Hilarious! Whistling
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Mar 31, 2012 5:51 AM CST
the one for my tulips was real nice.. of course we didn't plant good tulips that come back every year.. didn't know when I did that *Blush* but the cage looks like a small chicken wire.. and the sides stuck out.. so if a critter came near it would get poked .. covered on all sides ... they just grow right through them

I had no idea we had voles here until Lily got that one... she plucks off chipmunks now and then.. not that I am happy about it.. but she is a yorkie that thinks she is a cat.. will sit perfectly still until the dope gets close enough.. sometimes for hours.. ears vibrating and all .. she smells there tunnels behind our retaining wall and will follow them behind it.. every now and then I hear a "pphhh pppphhh ppphh" while weeding above... she presses her nose in the cracks and tries to smell if there are any there
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Mar 31, 2012 6:08 AM CST
The WM cages weren't that nice ... plastic. I can't imagine those lasting more than one season. Thumbs down Best to invest in the kind you describe or make some durable ones. Green Grin!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Mar 31, 2012 8:07 AM CST
My daughter used old milk crates. Those never die and nothing touched her lilies.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Mar 31, 2012 9:39 AM CST
thaks so much for the article. I never thought about trying to grow some of those spices. Not sure I can up here but will sure try.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Mar 31, 2012 10:11 AM CST
A great read, Tee. Very informative and holds a persons attention.

I bet we all dust off our dehydrators now and prepare for the makings as the crops come in this year!

By the way, I hear "Turface" is a great deterrent to voles. It's basically hardpressed/dried clay-type crumbles used to break up soil to give it better tilth. However, when used in the planting hole with bulbs it's believe it is too hard on the tiny little noses of those voles and they won't dig thru it to get to the bulbs. Never tried it myself but perhaps someone who has will come forth with their experience.

Again, thanks for the article/tips.
Shoe
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Mar 31, 2012 11:17 AM CST
Thanks, Mary Stella. If you give any of them a try, let is know what happens. Green Grin!

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Mar 31, 2012 11:25 AM CST
Thanks as well, Shoe. Now that I'm over 40 (Ahem ... Whistling ) it's interesting to look back at some things and see just how the perspective may have changed over the course of time.

I lost my dehydrator somewhere in a move but have one of those small convection ovens that works well to dry things fairly quickly. In my fanatical "purist" days I always spread everything out in the sun to dry. Now in breezy/windy TN I do believe it would all blow away about half the time ... and the other half there would be three cats walking in it.

The times, they are a changin'. Shrug!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Mar 31, 2012 12:43 PM CST
Hmmm, Turface. I'll have to try that Shoe. Thank you. Thumbs up
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
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bitbit
Mar 31, 2012 5:28 PM CST
Great article!

I've been growing saffron for a couple years now. I can try to dig up the website where I got my corms, but I just used Google to find a place with decent prices.

I have some plants in the ground and others in a container (about five gallons, and I think I started with 12 plants in it). The ones in the container have actually grown and divided much better than the ones in the ground for me, but neither produces as much saffron as I thought they would - I get about a teaspoon a year now total. I may have not found the perfect growing conditions for them yet, so I'm hopeful about improving yields.

I don't deal with voles, but squirrels love to dig up tasty morsels in my yard. When I planted the saffron, I put a piece of hardware cloth (1/2"x1/2" mesh) over the area with a couple bricks to keep it in place, then mulched over it all. The saffron leaves are narrow enough to pass right through the holes, but it keeps anything from digging in.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Apr 1, 2012 3:16 AM CST
Good to hear about your experience with saffron. I'm certainly looking forward to trying it. Also good to hear how you dealt with your voles. Thanks for commenting, bit.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

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