Passionate about inspiring women to bloom where they are planted, niche gardening expert Kimberly Snyder, shares how to create a dessert garden, tea garden, fragrance garden, and floral garden using only a handful of herbs you can grow anywhere!
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How To Create A Dessert Garden With Herbs

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Passionate about inspiring women to bloom where they are planted, niche gardening expert Kimberly Snyder, shares how to create a dessert garden, tea garden, fragrance garden, and floral garden using only a handful of herbs you can grow anywhere! Share this episode with your gardening friends and create an herbal garden with your kids or grandkids and teach them the value of blooming where they are planted too.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Kimberly’s whirlwind journey from florist to pizzeria owner to blogger
  • The best herbs to include in your tea garden and tips for planting them
  • Advice on how to make tea from the herbs in your tea garden
  • Common herbs you can find in a fragrance garden and when to plant them
  • Differences between your culinary and dessert garden
  • Delicious recipes to make the most out of herbs
  • Various ways to dry leaves from your herbal garden

RESOURCES/LINKS MENTIONED:

ABOUT: KIMBERLY SNYDER

Kim is a wife, daughter, bonus Mom, grandmother, gardener, and collector who turned her love for chocolate desserts and scented geraniums into a business. She started an herb shop on her parents’ rural property in Central Illinois in the mid-90s, then owned a pizza place called Makin’ Pizza in 2015. Kim later closed the pizzeria and “retired” to Florida in 2019. She started a blog to share her entrepreneurial knowledge and passion for creating beautiful environments.

CONNECT WITH: KIMBERLY

Website: From Farmhouse to Florida: https://fromfarmhousetoflorida.com/

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Transcript

?Hello and welcome back to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I’m your host, Ahna Fulmer. After 15 years as a professional florist and a second career later as a pizzeria owner, Kim Snyder combined her love of flowers and cooking to publish a cookbook that features recipes with. Dessert Herbs from her niche gardening technique.
Passionate about inspiring women to bloom where they are planted. Welcome gardening expert, Kim Snyder. Hey Kim, welcome to the podcast. Hi, Ahna. I’m so happy to be here. It’s so fun to have you. We were establishing, getting over our technical difficulties. I’ve had so many issues. I’ve had to switch computers.
It was so depressing. Technology in this space is a blessing, but also a burden. Mine just stopped working my laptop. I had to reschedule so many interviews. I love pressing the rewind button and talking about people’s backstories. And you have such a fun one. You went from, so you had this professional florist background, and then you were a pizzeria owner.
Are you still a pizzeria owner or you’re no longer No. Well, okay. No, I’m not still a pizzeria owner. We moved to Florida, so I left all that behind. Where were you? Where was your Illinois, um, central Illinois small farming community. In the middle of the state, about a half an hour from Champaign Urban, where the University of Illinois is.
So what was that transition like Illinois to Florida? Were you like, why didn’t we do this 20 years ago? Well, actually no. Oh. It was quite a transition. I didn’t think it’s hot and humid in Illinois in the summer. Mm-hmm. And I had worked next to a 500 degree pizza. Four. That’s true. Four-ish years. So I didn’t think anything about moving to Florida until we got here.
And it’s humid 363 and a half days a year, and it’s probably 80 degrees most of the time, if not hotter. Yeah. So I’ve had a hard time with that part, which most people would be like, get over it. But you just don’t realize that it’s not, it’s true though. It’s not. It’s. For some people do not. That sounds fabulous to me, but I can understand.
Yeah. And your husband is with you as well, is that right? Yes, yes. Yeah. Actually, he was ready to leave the snow and ice, and we had lived on the farm that I had grew up on for 17 years. So I decided, Fourish years ago that it was time to live somewhere where he wanted to live, and the timing was, you know, worked out.
And so here we are. Aw. In the humidity. That’s, I think my husband’s ready to leave now. So we’re in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We’re in our thirties, and he’s already. Ready to move to a warm weather state. So I don’t know where we’ll end up in 30 years, but, so tell me a little bit. You are a blogger and that is one of those things where there’s a little bit more knowledge about blogging.
Now it’s fun having some of my fellow d I y home decor. Bloggers on here and hearing their stories. Some were like, oh yeah, when I started no one even knew what a blog was and others, they didn’t have that experience, which is fun. But your combined interests or your combined history, I think is really fun.
When you read through your website, cuz you have entrepreneurship experience, you also have the creative side between, you know, your love for florals. And so tell me a little bit, just sort of about your. Business progress and how you ultimately went from being a florist to a pizzeria owner to now, you know, blogging for fun from Florida.
All right. Well, actually, when I first started in the business world, I was working in banking and accounting and I was in my mid thirties, and it wasn’t long before I figured out I was working really, really, really hard for somebody else’s dream, and it was time to work for mine. Mm-hmm. I started going to craft shows.
My biggest downfall is I always think, oh, how hard can that be? And then I just barrel into something and then I figure out, oh, it’s a little harder. Then maybe I, that was, so I started out doing crash roads and my parents had a farm, and so I moved my business out there and had a little, I was probably about 20 ish years ahead of time.
Now everybody wants to grow herbs and they wanna cook with herbs and they wanna go to the herb farm, but I was a little bit ahead of my time and I was out in the middle of nowhere. That’s true. Yeah, that’s true. Sort of this herb business was still working full-time. A few people, and we started a business, well, it was a antique shop slash flower shop in the small rural community where I had gone to high school and there was four of us, and there was already.
Gentleman doing the flowers and I was doing the antiques and herb type things. And so anyway, long story. What were you doing with the herbs? What were you doing with the herbs at that point? At that point, I wasn’t really growing them. I was just making tea blends and paries. Huh, okay. And at that point I had already written my cookbook, so I was teaching classes at the adult education in Urbana, Illinois.
Okay. And working full-time and then doing this other thing. It just all got to be too much. And eventually the other three people left the business and it was called Pedals and Porch Post. So the other three peo ple left. I was left standing by myself. I decided, okay, I’m just done with all this other people’s things.
Mm-hmm. And learned how to become a forest. Left my full-time job. Mm-hmm. And started being a florist. And I did that for 15 ish years, but I was always. This little pizzeria down the street and I was like, oh, I really want a restaurant. I want a restaurant. And my mom said, no, you can’t have a restaurant. So anyway, long story short, ended up deciding that I was done with the flower shop, bought the pizzeria, integrated a little bit of the gift side of the flower shop into the pizzeria.
Kinda like a Okay. Little mini Creighton or Parker Barrel and Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mm-hmm. And did that and. You know, developed recipes and wanted to write another cookbook, but never got that done. So how did you, did you incorporate your love and knowledge of herbs into those? I’m just thinking that would be, I mean, a pizzeria would definitely be a place to incorporate herbs.
Yes, we wanted to have an herb garden in the back and Okay. You know, grow our own oregano and our own funnel and our own rosemary and all that. But yeah, again, you couldn’t really grow enough. You just can’t do it all. I know Martha Stewart, yeah. Does it all, but you just, you know, say that again. You just can’t do it all.
Say it. For those of us in the back who still think we can do everything. Oh, so I did sell some culinary. Okay. Because the health department and all those different kinds of rules, you really couldn’t be, at least at that time, blending your own things and selling them. So I was buying interesting pre-made blends and you know, selling them as like the secret pizza ingredient or Right.
Something like that. It is interesting to think about how easy it is now to basically, Create whatever formula you want for anything, put a label on it and sell it, especially now with the internet and all the abilities to create your own marketplace and Salesforce. That is an interesting note. I always like to ask this question because of business owners.
It is just a unique, the entrepreneur world is, it’s its own cup of tea, if you will, and there’s a lot of challenges and I think especially as women, we do face our own unique. Stressors, if you will, or barriers. Did you experience that at all in your, going from, you know, one job to, you mentioned your mom was like, no, you can’t have a restaurant.
Yeah, I was. I was, we love you, mom, but yes, she can. And she did. Well, her parents had had a restaurant and of course in, um, Fifties in the sixties, it was different, but it is hard work. But yeah, you know, she seemed to think owning a restaurant was the hardest work in the world, and I was like, no. Hmm. Owning a flower shop in a rural community is the hardest work in the world because, interesting.
Yeah. It’s kind of hard to explain, explain, but the bulk of my business came from funerals and, oh, you know, possibly weddings and you can’t control when someone’s gonna die. So, yeah. I can’t tell you the number of times we did all night. Because someone had passed away, but we had a wedding the next day.
Mm. So I was convinced when I bought the pizzeria that, you know, there were going to be no all-nighters because no one is gonna eat pizza for breakfast. But we did have a couple of catering jobs, so I did have to go in early, but it was, it was not nearly, and of course I had a lot more employees in these world.
But yeah, uh, yes, I did experience a lot of blow back when I wanted to close the flower shop because, People just couldn’t understand why do you wanna close the flower shop? Because they don’t see the hard work behind you. Sure. They only see the pretty, they see the pretty, the fun, you know? Yeah. They think it’s all fun and games to play with flowers all day.
And so I had a number of, and they weren’t even friends. I mean, they were just people that would come up to me and say, well, why do you wanna do that? And just, mm-hmm. I would never do that. Well, and these are people who would never had. Been an entrepreneur. They had never owned a business. They had no idea what they were talking about.
So yeah. Anyway, it was just surprising. Yeah. Well, it’s challenging too, I think when you’re wanting to set out on something and there’s a difference when somebody asks you the question to like, oh, tell me what are you thinking here? Or like, what? What are your dreams? What are your goals? They might feel that it’s not a good idea, but when you ask question, As opposed to making statements, it leaves a much more open-ended discussion without the other person feeling shut down or discouraged.
And I think what you’re speaking to is that idea of, yeah, if there’s something you don’t understand, instead of making statements, maybe ask questions to try to gain understanding. First. Mm-hmm. Was it difficult for you? Like when you, uh, so go, go ahead. Did you thought you I was gonna say, it wasn’t like I woke up one day and decided, oh, I’m gonna close the flower shop mm-hmm.
And open this pizzeria. I mean, I’d put right time and energy I’d watched. Yeah. You know, I’d thought about it for years. So it wasn’t like it was something, I just woke up one day and said, oh, I’m gonna do this. So, yeah. I totally understand that mean, that was from when I worked in the er. I was blogging for.
Mm, several years before I stepped away from bedside medicine. I mean, I was actually, you know, on my phone, like in between patients and I was all caught up in charting. You know, I was updating my whatever here and my whatever there till I had to see the next patient or whatever. So it’s, to your point, when I left medicine, it’s not like it was just a sudden decision, you know?
And I had. An interest. I had built research. I, so to your point, I think it is one of those things where anytime you make a serious pivot in life, it can be easy for people looking in to not see all of the puzzle pieces that have been put into place in the process. Did you feel discouraged at all when you made these changes?
I did, but I still, I went ahead and plowed through. Ended up people just couldn’t understand how I was gonna incorporate, still incorporate some of petals and porch posts into what we called, yeah. Macon Pizza. That was the name of it. When the restaurant was under a different ownership, it was very tiny, but people didn’t realize there was a whole nother part to the restaurant that they couldn’t see.
Because it was behind a wall. So now you open up that wall. Okay, then here’s this room. And they don’t see the workroom in the back. They couldn’t see. So what changes did you make to the, so you changed that in the pizzeria? Yes. We opened up the dining room. Basically there was a room behind the dining room that the previous owner was gonna turn into a bar, but that never happened.
So once we opened up those, there were actually, it wasn’t a wall, it was like French doors. Once we opened those French doors and finished off that room, people were like, oh, I never knew that was behind there. And I said, well, wait, there’s more, because if you go, but I didn’t want them to go where I’m gonna say they were.
But behind all that was like a Quonset hut building where we had the flower shop workroom. So we still did an occasion. Funeral for like a special family friend. Mm-hmm. Or we still did the occasional wedding, or I was still making, or my helper was still making silk arrangements that we were selling in the dining room, so mm-hmm.
Because people didn’t know that was back there. They just, they just couldn’t fathom how that was gonna work instead of just trusting me that I knew that there was Yeah. You had a vision, right? Yeah. For something. How so then did you, you sold that a couple years later then before you moved to Florida, was that the progress?
Yes, I sold it to my manager. Okay. She had worked for the previous owner and she had quite a bit of experience and she, you know, she was ready to branch, she wanted to buy it and so I sold it to her and then she rebranded it and renamed it. And I was kind of sad about that cuz I really like the name.
Yeah. But it was hersal, so I had to, I had to let it go. Yeah. And then that funded your move to Florida. Exactly. So I need to buy a pizzeria and sell it, and then we can buy our Florida. We, I’m really excited to dive into your herb gardening specialties. This is something that I, uh, gardening is most definitely not my forte, but I want it to be, do you know what I mean?
It’s like, I’m, I look at all these gorgeous gardens and I just, there’s, there has to be so much satisfaction in growing your own food and knowing that. Been part of the process and herbs included. So anyways, I’m very excited to learn from you. We’re gonna take a quick break, but when we come back, stay tuned for a speed round of this or that with Kim and we are gonna hear more of her expert advice on niche herb gardening right when we come back.
We are back here with Kim. All right, we’re gonna play this or that. Two options, no stress at all, which everyone comes to mind first. Would you rather pizza or STR pizza. What’s your favorite pizza? Sausage and mushroom with a henna. Garlic sausage. Oh my goodness. I’ve never heard of this combination, but it sounds amazing.
Sausage and mushroom with what? It’s a garlic crushed garlic. That sounds amazing actually. Do you saute the mushrooms before you put them on? No. So you just slice fresh mushrooms and then layer them on the pizza. Do you put olive oil or anything over it? No. Well, there is a little bit of oil in the garlic, but no.
Okay. There’s a, traditionally we use a red, we, I don’t even know anymore, but we use a red sauce. That’s okay. A um, okay. Traditional, it’s kind of a, I’m trying to say anyway, it’s a thin crust. The pizzeria that I had sold three different kinds of crust, but my favorite is the thin. Yeah, same with the traditional red sauce, then the sausage, the mushrooms, and then the garlic across the top.
That sounds sausage and mushroom sounds delicious. Cheese, I love mushrooms. What’s that with cheese? Of course. Of with cheese. Who eats pizza without cheese? Does anyone eat pizza without cheese? I don’t know if we can be friends. We can be friends. It’s just my respect. Level is declined. Oh, cheese is delicious.
Okay. All right. Would you rather Candy or baked goods? Candy. What’s your favorite candy? Anything? Chocolate. In fact, today is National Dark Chocolate Day. Did you know that? Is it really? That’s hilarious. Well, there you go. Ladies, this won’t air on the day that we’ve recorded it, but just take this as your excuse to enjoy some dark chocolate.
On behalf of Kim’s celebration of Dark Chocolate Day, I had no idea there’s a day for everything there. Everything. Okay. Would you rather herbs or flowers In terms of gardening, would you rather garden herbs or flowers? Oh, that’s a good question. Can I say both? You can. Yeah. Does one get you more excited than the other?
Not now that I, but originally. Herbs, well, technically, originally when I got started, it was sent to Geraniums, which ooh, I think are technically an herb. Oh, I didn’t know that. Can you cook with scented geraniums? We can. And you cook with the weeds, not the flowers. Fascinating. I did not know that. Showing my ignorance right now, I would actually have to google a geranium.
I’m trying to picture what a geranium looks like. Is it the ball? Does it have like a little ball on top? Well that’s, yeah, that’s a regular Zal. Geranium. Oh, but ascent geranium. Have you heard of those mosquito plants? That have like a flat leaf, you’d think I’d have one in my office. In your Florida.
Florida home? Yes. Don’t know. I can Google all these things. Interesting. Yes, craniums are known for their obviously scents and their leaves. They just have little itty 50 tiny flowers. So, but most people, when they hear geranium, they think of the red, traditional geraniums like you see in the summer. Okay.
You don’t cook. Okay, so Craniums are different. Well, since we’re already talking about gardening, let’s dive into this. There are several different types of niche herbal gardening techniques that you have mentioned on your website, which I find so fascinating. So let’s talk about some of these ideas. So if any of you wanna start your own little herb garden.
Here are a couple, like little, it’s almost like kits that you’re creating in a sense. It’s like sort of sectioning your garden for different purposes, which I think is fun. So let’s start with a tea garden. If you wanted a tea garden, you said you create tea blends. What would somebody consider putting in a tea garden?
Well, definitely, uh, one or more of the mint. But you have to be careful how you plant your mints because they can take over your yard, so you’d want mints. What’s a tip for planting mint? Just as a, I would recommend plant. Well either plant it in a container that’s not gonna go in the ground. That’s probably the best idea.
Okay. Then it is gonna be the, it will definitely be contained if you want to. I feel like I’m yelling, if you wanna put it nos in your garden. She’s real excited about mint gardening if you wanna put it in your garden. Then you plant it in a pot and then plant the pot in the ground, and that will help contain the roots interest.
That’s such a great tip that I’ve never done. Okay, so you could almost just plant them in what They come in, right? Or do you need a bigger pot? Go a little. You’d wanna go a little bigger because they come in the little four inch pot, so you’d probably wanna go to a six, you know, or an eight inch pot, depending on how much space you.
And then you just bury it. Well, there you go. That’s an amazing tip right there. And then is there a mint? Because I went to plant mint a couple years ago and there was so many varieties. I had no idea. And then I was unsure. I was nervous to plant them. Cuz I’m like, I don’t know if this is the mint I actually like.
So what would you plant? I like peppermint. So I love peppermint tea. Yes. I would just start with a peppermint. Okay. Long time ago they. I’m not, I’m not real good about the Latin terminology, so I don’t know if it was a cult bar or what many, it was called candy cane mint. Okay. That was my signature mint way back in the day, and I had this candy cane mint frosting.
Ooh. It was delicious. Amazing. So wait, frosting, hold on. Now I’m like super distracted by this concept. So you made a frosting from mint herbs? Yes. You make an infusion of the herb leaves, an infusion is a liquid or a strong tea, and then you use that infusion as your liquid in your frosting or icing or whatever you wanna.
That stuff you put on top of your cake. Wow. That sounds okay. I call it frosting normally, but yeah, frosting. Icing, whatever. I’m, my mouth is watering now. Okay, so let’s press pause on that because I definitely wanna hear more about how to create infusions out of, and mint is like one of my favorites, so, okay, let’s talk about that with the dessert garden, cuz that I’ve had no idea such a thing was even possible.
So we put. In our tea garden. What else would you put in your tea garden? Chamomile. Okay. Some people are allergic to that, but chamomile would be in your tea garden. Lavender. Mm, true. Mm-hmm. Cranium. Did I mention though? Okay, so craniums, mint, lavender, chamomile. So right there, you guys, you have four, at least four pineapples.
Which of those do you mix? Sage. Pineapple Sage. Not regular. Not regular. Like sage. You put in your Turkey, but it’s called pineapple sage. It’s a sweeter sage. Pineapple sage. Pineapple, sage. Hey, there’s five so far, guys. Write these down. So how do you then make the tea out of these herbs, like loose leaf teas that Yes, that is, you harvest the leaves.
So you can either use them fresh or you can dry them. If you’re gonna use fresh herbs, you’re gonna use much, much more. After you harvest them and you wash them, and you pat them dry, then you want to either snip them, cut them, somehow you have to bruise them. And that’s what releases the oil. And the oil is what is where the flavor is, the flavors in the oil inside the leaves.
That is so fascinating. And do you have a blog post that is spelling that out on how to actually. I believe I do. I think there’s one called Timely Tips, and then there’s a Midwestern tea blend that’s talking about making them. Okay, so timely tips. Yes, timely tips for T. Okay. I mean, my editor. I’ll find that for you all guys, for those of you listening and watching, and we’ll make sure that’s included in the show notes so you have this great list of herbs to put in your tea garden, and then we’ll make sure there’s that link so that you can actually figure out how to make your tea then with these amazing herbs.
So let’s talk about a fragrance garden, but oddly enough, put in a fragrance garden enough and I may get ahead of things. Tea garden and your fragrance. Fragrance garden are close to being the same herbs. It’s just depending on how you’re going to want to use them. Okay. Also, in your fragrance garden, you might wanna add rosemary.
Oh, rosemary. Yeah. It’s very fragrant. Most people don’t wanna make tea with it, cuz it can be kind of bitter, but it does. Um, it makes amazing fragrance. Are there certain, like if somebody, cuz I’m just envisioning, I mean, an herb garden could also be designed so many different ways. Like all of these can be vertically grown, right?
Like if someone doesn’t have a big plot, is that what’s. Definitely, they definitely could be grown in. They don’t all have to be in the ground and some actually do better in a pot, as opposed, oh, I forgot one of them. Lemon Verna is another great tea girl. Ooh, that would be a good one. That would be fragrant too, wouldn’t it?
Yes. Okay, so this tea garden and fragrance garden are really, which I love this, cuz basically they smell delicious and then you can use them for tea as. That’s lovely. Yes. And you can also use them as cut flowers, arrangements. I’m trying to picture what all of those, I’d be so curious to see what those all look like.
This you guys, I’m so ignorant. Don’t think you’re ignorant. You just haven’t thought about it. I don’t even know if I can picture what they all look like. So that’s so interesting. So they would also work as hut flowers? Yes. And then it would smell really good. Do they all smell okay together or are there certain ones that would like, I’m just imagining you bring all of these in an arrangement into your home.
Do they smell weird if they’re all together or do certain ones pair better? Certain ones do pair better, so you might wanna, of course, some people like different smells, but So you just, yeah. Or scents. So you just kind of wanna play around with. I love that mint and lavender is a really good combination.
I do know that. I love that combo. Yes. That would be delicious. Yeah, it’s very fresh. It’s very fresh smelling. Okay. I’m very excited about this. Now I might get some pots. What happens? Can these all be grown? So like we’re in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, obviously a very different zone than Florida. Can these be grown in pots?
Just about anywhere. What happens in the winter? Okay. Well that would be depending on your. Okay, what am I saying? Most zones you would need to bring them inside, either treat them as annuals and start over, or bring them inside and put them in your okay. Most sunny location and then where all, like what time of the year am I planting them in the pots for outside for your frost free date.
So cross free, which in this area is more like Mother’s Day. Exactly. I was gonna say, we were in Illinois, we were in either six A or six B, I’m not sure of. Anyway, we were in six, so we would always say after Mother’s Day. Now if they’re in small enough pots, put them out sooner. You can bring them into your garage or whatever.
But to be on the safe side, I always waited till after mother’s. To plant those things outside in the garden. So we’re in a rental house right now waiting to buy property. But for years, the tradition in our house was Mother’s Day, my kids and my husband. That Saturday is when we would plant everything. So like we plant our garden, we would plant flowers, and one year I built these raised flower beds.
This was at our second fixer upper house. These really, and I was so impatient. I was like, it’s warm. It was I think just maybe even two weeks before Mother’s Day we planted all kinds of stuff and then we got that freak frost over it killed everything. I remember being like, I hate Pennsylvania. So anyways, all that to say, make sure you know your zone.
I will not make that mistake again. I was so devastated. It like killed so many different, I was like babying them. I felt like my children had. Gotten sick and died. It was very sad. Anyway, yes, so wait till Mother’s Day if you’re in zone. Probably five and six, I would guess. Yes. The U S D A has a wonderful zone map and there are some links on in different blog posts to the U S D A zone map.
So I will say the, one of the very, very best things about living in Florida is I can have blooming plants outside all your rest. Yes. I will say I do love that. That really is amazing. I would love that too. It’s just so nice when Yeah, it feels fresh. I like that idea. Okay, so let’s see if I can remember them.
So you guys, this is a tea garden that also works as a fragrance garden. This is like so much bang for your buck here. See if I can remember them. So we’ve got Rosemary, lemon, Verna Peppermint, the SC Craniums, lavender. Rosemary, did I get ’em? Six? I think you got ’em. Look at that. And I only add one cup of coffee so far, guys, that was impressive.
I’m easily impressed with myself. So that was six. And I love this idea. It’s a tea garden. It’s a fragrance garden. We shared the link. We’re gonna make sure that you have that link to be able to make your pee and have that too. So let’s touch on. So we have a culinary garden and then a dessert garden. So I’m sure there’s a little bit of crossover.
Possibly for both. Maybe not. I say that like I know what I’m talking about. I do not. So tell me a little bit about Culinary Garden and Dessert Garden and then, so I don’t forget to ask, do you have any information on how to create that infusion on your website? Yes. It’s in several different blog posts, but it’s definitely in the timely tip for tea.
Okay. So the infusion as well as like the loose leaf tea concept. Okay, so timely tips for tea will teach you how to do the infusion as well as make tea. We’ll make sure that my editors link that. Okay, so tell me about a culinary herb garden and then a dessert herb garden. Your culinary is broader than your dessert garden, but your culinary garden’s gonna have your oregano, your chives, in addition to all the other ones that we’ve already talked about.
But the culinary one would be DI’s a wonder. Wonderful herb cuz that can go in a lot of different things. And dill and chives are very easy to grow. Fennel kind of tastes like licorice. It might be the secret ingredient in our pizza spice, but, Ooh, interesting. Now I’m really curious to taste that cuz I don’t like licorice, but I’m wondering if I would like it if it’s in combination with other like black licor.
You’ve probably had sausage before that had fennel in it and just really didn’t realize it. But yeah, it’s like a light licoricey taste. Man, I love sausage. I’m very hungry. This whole conversation’s making me very hungry between mint frosting and sausage pizza. All right, Kim and I will see you later.
We’re gonna go get lunch. Okay, so tribes are also the ones that have the pretty flowers on top, right? Yes. The little purpley. Yes. And you can eat those. You can eat chai blossoms. You can? Yes. Ooh, how do you get those down? Do you cook them? Um, no. You just kind of sprinkle ’em over like a salad or something.
Interesting. I have never done that. Maybe I have. Eaten it and I just didn’t know it, which was probably a good thing. I love chives though. The chives are delicious and I’ve also learned that they are, A lot of herbs in my opinion, are not necessarily better fresh than not, but I feel like chives definitely pack more of a punch when they’re fresh.
Hazel would also, and cilantro, I feel like are the other two that I really like. Oh yes. Now I will be perfectly honest. There are a few. That I don’t really, didn’t really use and don’t really know about because I didn’t really appreciate them at the time, and that would be cilantro. It’s a hit or miss.
People love it or they don’t. I do have a wonderful recipe on the blog, my pineapple salsa. It’s probably the prettiest dish that I have ever made in my entire life. This pineapple salsa, and it does have the cilantro in it, and it is be. And delicious. That sounds amazing. I love sweet and salty salsas like mango salsa, which is probably really similar to pineapple salsa, and I love cilantro.
Okay, we’ll make sure that recipe also gets onto the show notes. Pineapple Salsa. With cilantro. That sounds amazing. Okay, so tell me about a dessert garden. I feel like a culinary garden. A lot of, you know, kind of what you like in terms of the fresh culinary, but this concept of a dessert garden is really, really fascinating.
So tell me about a dessert garden and then give me some recipes that we can make from these dessert garden. All right. Well, your dessert, your dessert garden is basically the same as your tea garden. It’s just a different way to look at your herbs. Okay. And I like to say that I coined the phrase a dessert garden.
I don’t know that I did, but until someone tells me that they made it up first until someone tells you otherwise, you coined it. So with your dessert, herbs, your mints, rosemary, lavender, your craniums, your lumen, Verna. Basically, you’re going to incorporate those into your dessert recipes like pineapple sage is wonderful over just a bowl of fresh fruit, or we talked about the candy cane mint chocolate frosting, which that whole, my whole love of chocolate and craniums is how this journey even got started.
So it’s all because I wanted to own a tea garden or a tea restaurant. What do they call a tea shop? And, mm. Mm-hmm. It was gonna be called just desserts because all I was gonna serve was Flourless chocolate cake with a cranium in the middle of the table, and we were gonna have iced tea. That was my whole menu.
How successful do you think that would’ve been? So yeah, yeah. The concept sounds yummy. So what do you, give me some examples of recipes that you have that would incorporate these for sure. Do you have the peppermint chocolate? The mint chocolate frosting recipe? I do not have it on the website yet. It was always one of those things that I held close to my vest.
Yeah, I mean, I can understand. It sounds amazing. So I could work, I should probably work on putting that out there. But so the concept is basically really what we need to know, I guess, is how to make the mint infusion. Yeah. Yes. Your, I call them herbal condiments. That’s another thing that I liked, like to say that I came up with.
Not sure I did that either. But your herbal condiments are your honeys sugars vinegars. You put the herbs in those things, and then you use, like, you use the herbal vinegar in a wacky cake in place of regular vinegar. Interesting. You use your minted sugar, you. You put that in like a shaker, like a sugar shaker.
Mm-hmm. And shake the bottom of your brownie pan before you put your brownies in there, and then after you bake them, whoa, wait, hold on. Okay. This also sounds delicious. So the mint sugar, this isn’t a liquid now. Like these are just the herbs, right? It’s the white table sugar and the herbs, the dried herbs.
So you’ve up your peppermint really, really well. And because you’re using. Sugar shaker. What comes out is the sugar, not the mint, but it’s been sitting in the mint, has been sitting in the sugar long enough that the sugar has now tastes like mint, and so then it’s gonna be flavoring your chocolate brownies.
Oh, that also sounds fabulous. How long does the sugar and mint need to sit together and then how much mint per cup of. I usually let it sit for a couple of weeks to make sure it’s all Oh, okay. Blended together. So you gotta think ahead. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So you’re actually like creating, so like if I got one of those like, oh, xo, the Oxo containers and I have X amount of sugar in it, and then I sprinkle in the peppermint.
So how much do I need to put together? Oh, I’m gonna say roughly like just a, you’re using the dried herbs. And I’ll have to double check this, but like a tablespoon of dried peppermint to a cup of sugar. Okay. And you put it in your container and let it, you know, let it sit, and then a couple weeks later, it’s ready to go.
And these are just dried leaves? Yes. Okay. How long do you dry your leaves for? Like, how do you dry your leaves? You just said, I know nothing. You just like set leaves out and let ’em dry. You could use a dehydrator or you could just set ’em out and let ’em. Or you can cut ’em and hang ’em and dry them in a like your dry roses or something?
Yes. Yeah, exactly. Okay. Exactly. How long do you let them dry for like flip upside down and dry depending on your humidity level until when they’re dry. Because you’re gonna touch the leaf and it’s just gonna fall apart and it falls apart. Now if you don’t wanna wait, you can always buy, even on Amazon, cuz I’ve done it since we’ve been down here is a, a bag of dried pepper.
Right. Okay. It could just. By your, yeah. I love this whole concept though, because the French country, like decor is just my favorite. And all of the French homes, you always see these, like these flower bouquets or herbs hanging upside down and drying, and I’ve never even thought about the fact that you could then, like maybe there’s a purpose to them.
They’re actually creating their own herbs. So this makes me very excited. Okay, so then basically we need to put one tablespoon of the dried peppermint leaves into one cup of sugar. So if you guys just wanna like try this once without using up an entire bag of sugar, realistically, like we could just do that with two cups of sugar.
And then when you make your brownies or cake, I mean this could go in anything that would taste good with mint. Yeah, it could go, you know, it could even use it in your, your coffee, your tea, whatever kind of beverage. But yes, it’s wherever you would use sugar. And you wanted a hint of mint. You would use that.
That’s where you would, that sounds so amazing. Okay, so there’s one concept, you guys, lots of ways to use the mint. Is there another one that comes to mind that you would frequently use from your dessert garden? Uh, let’s see. Oh, herbal honey. I like to put lavender in honey. Ooh. And then you put that over just vanilla ice cream.
I mean, some things are just so simple that you just can’t believe how simple they are when you start thinking about it. How do you strain? How do you create the honey? Gently heat the honey. So it’s more liquified. Mm-hmm. Then you put that in a sterilized jar. Okay. And then you sprinkle some herbs in there.
And again, let it sit in an age for several weeks before you use it. Okay. So that one does have some of the herbs in it. That one’s not like straining, which would make sense. Yeah, that would taste really good. You’ve never thought about lavender and honey. Okay. Lavender and honey. Or the mint and honey. Mm.
Let me think. What else are the easy, the easy peasy ones. Of course, when I’m thinking about it, I just went blank, so Yeah, no worries. What about the the lemon? Is there a good way to use? I love lemon desserts. The lemon Verna, of course, would make a wonderful either cold or hot tea. And I just remembered one of my other star dessert herbs is Ahna.
Mm. It’s also delicious over fruit and does have really pretty blossoms that you can use. I have no sense of what that looks like or tastes like or smells like. Anis hiss up. It smells kind of like licorice and Okay. It has a blossom, kinda like a, it’s in the Salvia family, I believe. There’s pictures on the website, so y’all need to go visit Kim’s website cuz there’s all kinds of amazing ideas.
We’ll try to link as many of them as we can so you can get right to right to where you wanna go. I’m very excited to try a bunch of these. I love the fact that there’s so much crossover. For somebody who’s very clueless when it comes to gardening. So you can basically, with these six, seven herbs, create a tea garden, a fragrance garden, and a dessert garden, and you can do it anywhere.
Put them in your pots and like your pots on your back porch or do, uh, just Google vertical hanging gardens. There’s so many ideas. One of my last questions is, are any of these specifically. Need to be like fenced. I’m trying to like deer or rabbits or squirrels or are they not as appealing if someone place them like in their backyard?
Yeah, I probably don’t know as much about that as I probably should. I would say that you probably need to protect them because the rabbits probably would eat them. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I feel like just in general, there’s so many vertical garden ideas and the nice thing about them is it also saves space.
So I feel like an herb garden in my head just would work better with a vertical design. I’m excited to try this this summer. The girls and I are gonna, this is on my to-do list now this summer. This is fun. I’ll make sure I tag you. I can’t wait to see what you do. I can’t wait to try it. This is my excuse now to eat all the desserts cuz I have to taste.
Test this dessert garden concept. Kim I, where can people find more of you and follow you and check out all of your amazing idea. Well, all of my social media accounts are under from Farmhouse to Florida. The website, of course, is. Www dot from farmhouse. I can’t talk from farmhouse to florida.com. Well, it was such an honor having you on here.
I was so sweet. Kim was like, I’m really nervous. I was like, don’t worry, don’t worry. You’re gonna do amazing. And I am really excited. I love your expertise and your story. It’s truly an honor having you on here, and I just pray God’s blessing over your heart, your home, your sweet garden there in Florida, and all of the lives that you’re touching. Thank you so much.

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  1. Thank you so much for interviewing me for your podcast! It was so much fun! I was really nervous about it but you made the whole process very enjoyable!

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