Stone pine.The stone pine, botanical name Pinus pinea, also known as the Italian stone pine, umbrella pine and parasol pine, is a tree from the pine family. The tree is native to the Mediterranean region, occurring in Southern Europe, Israel, Lebanon and Syria. It is also naturalized in North Africa, the Canary Islands, South Africa and New South Wales. The species was introduced into North Africa millennia ago, such a long time that it is essentially indistinguishable from being native. (Courtesy Wikipedia) This tree produces the majority of the pine nuts produced in the world. These photos were taken on a recent trip to Rome.
Bay leaves come from the evergreen bay laurel tree (Laurus nobilis). This tree grows about 40 to 50 feet tall growing only in zone 7. The leaves are leathery and stiff. Leaves from this tree can be picked at any time, but the most potent are the larger, mature leaves. The leaves are either dried and crushed or sold whole.
Several articles suggested growing the tree as an ornamental or container project and keeping it pruned since it is a slower grower. Of course, the tree does blossom and in spring small yellow flowers bloom and then turn into purple berries. This knowledge prevented any idea of trying to grow this tree in a container since we have no greenhouse.
According to Wikipedia there are several different bay leaves:
Here is a pickle recipe similar to mine. I do not cook the spices with the brine. I add them to the bottom of the jar then put the pickles on top adding the hot brine last before sealing the jars.
Kosher Dill Pickles
1 clove garlic Brine:
1 bay leaf • 3 cups white vinegar
1 head of dill • 3 cups water
1 teaspoon mustard seed • 6 teaspoons salt
Pack pickles vertically in pint jars
Boil vinegar, water, salt and spices for 5 minutes. Pour over pickles ½ inch from top, place a bunch of dill on top and seal. Ready in 4 weeks. Try them. They are good!
by Barbara Dean
Thyme is a perennial shrub with thin woody base and square stems. Lilac or white color flowers appear in summer. I had this planted in the garden and never used it. You know why? I did not know what it was. When I planted it I used markers that eventually got lost. I learned to write on rocks (at a MGA meeting) and this method works. I keep a marker in my pocket and retrace the writing when I weed. I began picking the leaves and using them with just about any meat I roast. What a wonderful flavor from this herb. This herb has vitamins and antioxidants as well. You will enjoy the fragrance coming from the oven.
There are many varieties of thyme. Thymus serpyllum is a creeping plant. This creeper is smaller than the plant in my garden. Thyme is a native of Europe and naturalized in North America. However, thyme’s Greek name thymon is thought to be derived from a Greek word meaning “to fumigate” or meaning courage. In both ancient and medieval times, the plant was thought to inspire courage. In the Middle Ages, sleeping on a pillow stuffed with thyme leaves was recommended if afflicted with melancholy or epilepsy.
I like this herb so much I will try to grow some in a container and keep it in for the winter. Hopefully, the sparse Indiana sunlight will be enough for this wonderful plant to flourish and I will have fresh leaves at my fingertips all winter long. Now is the time to be looking for different types of Thyme to plant in a container. I noticed some nice plants at several stores when I browsed for garden veggies. Soon one of these will be on my deck growing in a container getting ready for a winter home on my back porch.