Spring ritual . . .

A reposting from March 8, 2012

Spring, a time of new beginnings, presents horseradish to be harvested.

This wonderful big root spent last year beside a pile of chicken manure and thrived. Soon we will be taking the brisket out of the brine for the annual St. Patrick's Day family gathering and feast. Horseradish is a vital part of this special dinner for many of us!
First you find the leaves from last year in a pin-wheel. There may be a few leaf buds that that have popped up in the center.

With a good-sized shovel and a bit of patience one digs the root. It can have many pieces heading out in several direction so a good sized hole is the best way to start. There will be roots left in the ground for next year's harvest.

The root will be washed and scrubbed or peeled to reveal the creamy white flesh inside.

I used the recipe from A Circle of Recipes by the Annisquam Sewing Circle. It is a bit time consuming but well worth the effort! The result this morning, two large jars and 6 small jars of a beautiful Prepared Horseradish.

The Secret Life Of Horseradish

A reposting from April 22, 2008...

Last year we planted 5 sections of horseradish root which grew to be about 4 feet tall as you can see to the right!

Most of the harvested root was made into a wonderful sauce to use on corned beef, shrimp and fish. The small pieces left over from the processing were put in a pot in dirt for the winter in the greenhouse. They gave off a heady aroma all winter!

Now the roots have put up leaves and are being planted in several garden beds as part of the companion planting scheme. One in the potato patch, one near the pear and the peach trees and one in the brassica bed. There are several more to be placed. All are being planted in bottomless pots to control the spread - I hope!

Another use for horseradish - its secret life - is explained in an article from Mother Earth News

The rough-and-ready horseradish plant has long been snubbed by prudent farmers and gardeners. The perennial horseradish (Armoracia lapathifolia) grows wildly throughout temperate climates, leading many people to consider it just another pesky weed. In fact, the plant is so tough that great efforts have been made to limit its growth. Only sauce and Bloody Mary lovers hold horseradish relish in admiration for its spicy properties. Yet the plant lives a double life that few may realize.
for complete article click here


Winter finally arrived

No measurable snow until February...

Then we had more than twelve inches on the greenhouse that had to be helped off with a second storm a few days later leaving 10 inches more. And now, a week later, the temperature is forecast to go to 50 degrees.

The rosemary is blooming inside the greenhouse. The two fig plants look well. There are many pots with the trees from the Arbor Day Foundation that arrived, bare root in the fall. And an artichoke under a cover of mulch that was new in 2016. When the sun is shining it is wonderful in the greenhouse, warm and moist.



Snow for a few days. Rain on the way soon.

Meanwhile the seeds are sprouting. The workroom is workable again. More seeds to be planted and put in the heated greenhouse - winter sowing.



Saturday, December 3, 2016
8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Annisquam Village Hall
32 Leonard Street, Annisquam, MA  01930

The Annisquam Christmas Fair features handmade holiday greens, center pieces, wreaths and plants; exceptional handmade crafts and a glittering display of costume jewelry. Beautifully wrapped foods, baked goods and preserves all prepared by our members grace our gourmet table; and there is even something for a beloved pet! Delightful hostess baskets, grab bags and our own Circle of Recipes cookbook are popular traditional items at the fair.

A delicious three-course luncheon will be served at 12:30 and tickets are $18. Reservations are recommended. Please call 978-283- 2247.

Founded in 1837, the Annisquam Sewing Circle is one of the oldest continuous independent societies of women in the United States and is the oldest one on Cape Ann. All proceeds from the Fair are contributed by the Annisquam Sewing Circle to Cape Ann community programs.

Annisquam Sewing Circle.net
FaceBook: Annisquam Sewing Circle


Hot Mustard! a favorite...

Hot Mustard from mustard seeds grown at the Annisquam Herb Farm. 

Collected and separated from the pods with patience.

It is always worth the effort!

The taste is similar to traditional German mustard according to one mustard aficionado who was very disappointed when we did not have enough mustard seed to prepare them for last year's Arts & Crafts Show!

Chocolate Mug Cake Gift Package

New this year!

The Chocolate Mug Cake Gift Package 


  • Mug 
  • Instructions on creating your own Chocolate Cake in a matter of minutes! 
  • Recipe Card so you can do it again!

Annisquam Arts & Crafts Show 2016

Slate Hors d'Oeuvres Tray, Hot Mustard, Basil Pesto
by the Annisquam Herb Farm
The 32nd consecutive year
Annisquam Arts and Crafts Show

October 8th and 9th, 2016  

Saturday and Sunday, 10a - 5p
Annisquam Village Hall, 36 Leonard Street, Gloucester MA 01930
Free to all
A sampling of offers by the Annisquam Herb Farm 

Annisquam Concord Grape Preserve & more

Canadian wool hat

One-of-a-kind hats for children

Cotton potholder

Soft, Cozy Scarf

Canadian Wool Shawl/Scarf

Caring for Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Growing rosemary in eastern Massachusetts

Rosemary is drought-tolerant and can be grown in pots. The wind is the culprit here as it dries out the leaves. 

Be sure there is plenty of drainage. Rosemary does not like wet roots. In the summer you can plants it in the garden, dug it up in the fall and put in a pot with soil that will drain well. Keep on an enclosed unheated porch or in a room with no heat. It needs some sun light but does not require direct sun.

We keep ours in an unheated greenhouse and mulch with hay. The plant will bloom most of the winter there. Fertilize once a month with a good quality fertilizer like Neptune's Harvest. Trim as you need the rosemary for your recipes and to keep the plant full. 


A long, dry Summer...

This summer the Concord grapes vines did well with less moisture in the ground under the arbor as did the lavender and the foxglove in other parts of the garden. The basil is still doing well especially the plants in a very large pot. The peach trees had no blossoms due the the warm spell early in the season followed by a frost. The pear tree bloomed but all the blossoms dropped and no fruit appeared. The potatoes and beets are much smaller then usual. The broccoli is finally coming along. The winter squash and pumpkins are veery small and there are not many of them. 

More attention needed to be paid to mulching earlier in the growing season. It keeps the soil at a more even temperature, retains moisture and keeps the weeds under control. And much more attention to the changes that took place!

More photos at: Annisquam Herb Farm on FaceBook

The final preparations are in full swing for the Annual Annisquam Arts & Crafts Show! Mark your calendar, October 8 & 9, 2016, 10a-5p, Annisquam Village hall, Leonard St., Gloucester MA 01930
Hand knit, one of a kinds items, preserves and gift items