Two Ways to Use Produce from the Garden


If you're like me then your garden is starting to produce more than you can consume on a daily basis and the need to get creative in preserving that fresh goodness has kicked in.

Today I wanted to share two ways that I preserve and use fresh what's growing in the garden.  

I have given over a portion of my potager garden to growing just medicinal herbs.  I still grow all the edible herbs through out the garden but I wanted to be more intentional in planting those herbs that do double duty both in my cooking and in my natural wellness medicine cabinet.

One of my favorite ways to preserve herbs is by drying them.  

Not only is it a convenient and effective way to make sure I have access to them year round but it is so dang simple to do.  I have a dehydrator that I use for drying fruits and vegetables but I find that for most herbs slow and steady air drying out of direct sunlight is the way to go. (If you do choose to speed up the process in a dehydrator be sure you keep it set no higher the 90 F or you will start to lose their medicinal and aromatic properties.) It normally just takes a couple of days in our arid climate to achieve a nice crunchy texture but it may take longer where you live so check them daily.

Once you have a nice selection of dried herbs the sky is really the limit with what you can do with them.  I favor herbal teas and medicinal tinctures with mine.  Today I thought we'd start with a nice and soothing herbal tea of lemon balm and chamomile.  I think it's safe to say that we have all heard of the calming affects of chamomile even my eight year old grandson chimed in when I was harvesting some chamomile flowers and said, "That's what I drink when I don't feel good!" Lemon Balm has similar relaxing properties so I make my tea equal parts of both.  Just a tablespoon or two left to steep in hot (not boiling) water for 10 - 15 minutes will provide you with the yummiest way to unwind at the end of the day.

The second way I use herbs is in my cooking.  For this I prefer fresh if available but dried will work just fine.  Just remember that dried herbs are stronger than fresh so adjust your portions accordingly.

I love using thyme and sage when I'm making an easy baked chicken and root vegetable meal for dinner.  This is one of those meals that tastes so good and nourishing and takes no time at all to prepare and the time in the oven does that rest.  Here's my simply delicious recipe that can be modified with whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand.  Also, I cook for two.  You probably cook for a few more so adjust amounts for your family size.

Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

Yield: 2-4
Author: Patty Marker
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 55 Min
Easy weeknight recipe. Just 10 minute prep and into the oven!


Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables
  • This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed your family. 
  • 1 -bone in chicken breast per two people
  • 1 - large carrot per two people
  • 2-4 baby red potatoes per two people
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme and fresh sage ( 1 tsp each if using dried herbs)
  • 1/2 an onion thinly slicedsalt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp Italian blend seasoning 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Salt and pepper chicken and place in large skillet or roasting pan. Sprinkle 1 tsp. Italian dressing on top of chicken breast and drizzle with half the olive oil.
  2. Cut vegetables in evenly sized chunks and place in a bowl. Sprinkle 1 tsp of Italian seasoning over vegetables and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Toss to combine.
  3. Thinly slice onion and spread it evenly over chicken. Arrange vegetables and herbs around the perimeter of the chicken.
  4. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until the internal temp of the chicken is 165F and the veg is fork tender. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Feel free to add other vegetables to pan to use whats in your fridge or suit your taste. Enjoy.

If you're a visual learner, you might enjoy this YouTube video where I walk you through the recipe step by step.  Here's the link to the Roasted Chicken and Vegetable video.

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