Our Visit to Maple Meadows Farm

This week we had the pleasure of visiting Maple Meadows Farm, an 1830’s family owned farm in Port Colborne just north of Lake Erie. With old charm and a gorgeous natural landscape Maple Meadows offers not only a beautiful escape but also pottery classes on the farm as well as a pick your own bouquet experience which is an interesting new concept here in Niagara. Throughout the months of May to October they invite individuals to stroll through the meadows and cut their own fresh bouquet of home grown flowers.
Excitingly, they have also recently begun a new venture offering space for events such as weddings. For more information check out their website www.maplemeadowsfarm.ca

Here are some of our photos during our evening trip there. 
IMG_0605

IMG_0604IMG_0597

IMG_0606

IMG_0594

tumblr_ntkejnPQ2Y1qib5g3o1_1280

tumblr_ntlhoxpKcT1qib5g3o1_1280

Air Drying Herbs in 6 Easy Steps

IMG_9375

If you are like us here at Culture & Greens you may have eagerly planted a garden in the spring with all of your favourite herbs and veggies, maybe you are experimenting with some new plants or using some of your favourite saved seeds. If this is the case you may also be in the middle of harvesting some of your herbs & veggies; and after you have exhausted your prime customers(family & friends) and had your fair share of fresh herbs in every recipe possible, air drying herbs is a great option to save money, avoid waste and ensure the quality of your herbs.

It’s an easy process, all you need is water to wash your herbs, towel to pat them dry, string or an elastic to hang them and glass jar to store them.

5 Simple Steps to Drying Your Homegrown Herbs

1. Cut 

Try to cut your herbs in the morning when they are without dew and make sure it’s close to the base so you have enough space to tie a string and hang them. It’s also best to remove any dead or damaged foliage (We always throw it in our compost)

2. Wash & Dry 

Rinse the herbs gently with cold water and pat dry with a clean towel without damaging any of the foliage.

3. Tie in a Bouquet 

Tie the ends of your herbs together, We usually use a hemp string, but you can also use a twist tie, twine or elastic. Make sure the herbs are secure at the end and be sure to leave a long string to hang them.

4. Air Dry

Hang the herbs in a shaded, warm and dry area that receives good ventilation but away from any dust. We don’t get much light in our kitchen and throughout the summer it’s been warm so for us it’s been an ideal spot. Throughout the colder months you can also utilize your fireplace if you have one by placing the herbs close by to increase the drying time. If you don’t have something to hang your herbs from you can always just tie a string from one object to another in a desired place and hang the herbs from the string.

5. Remove Stems & Store in Glass Jar

Remove the stems. You may choose to crumble your herbs or leave them full, for mint and flowers we tend to leave it full but basil, oregano and parsley we like to crumble. Remember to store in a dark cool dry environment to keep flavour longest. Light and heat tends to affect the colour of the herbs as well as the lifespan. For storing  your herbs mason jars work great, but really any clean jar with a good seal should work fine.

After you have stored them you can simply write on the jar with a permanent marker or chalk maker or take some inspiration from some of our favourite creative labels

Botanical Illustrated Labels by Kitchen Table Scraps

Vintage Printable Labels by Lia Griffith 

Water Colour Spice Labels by Spoon Fork Bacon