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catnip


Just before the rain started today I trotted down to the garden and picked a 
big bag
of catnip, and another of parsley.  Catnip has really run wild in my garden 
this year
since I let it go to seed last summer and haven't kept at it very well this 
year.  I'm 
not a very neat gardener, anyway, and if I don't need the space for 
something, I
let whatever reseeds grow where it wants to> OK, I know that's messy, but 
that's
the way I garden.

Usually I hang bunches of catnip to dry, and eventually someone manages to get
hold of the bunches and make a big mess.  I have a friend who always has a 
better way for anything I am doing, who has been telling me to microwave herbs
for drying for several years now.  I have resisted on principle because I'm 
just
cranky enough not like to be told how to do everything, but decided to give 
it a
try this year.  It has turned out beautifully.  I  have nearly a quart of 
pungent dried
catnip.  The cats all had a ball helping me.  The leaves kept a nice green 
color and
are quite crisp.  I'm thinking a small bag of organically grown catnip would 
make a
nice stocking-stuffer gift for the cat-lovers among my friends.

Now I've gone back and picked a large bunch of parsley - that has been 
especially
nice this year.  We'll see if home-dried parsley beats the bought kind - not 
that I
often use dried parsley anyway - usually get a bunch of fresh if I can't get 
to the 
garden because of weather.
Auralie

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