Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

In the beer garden

Posted by: Martha Buns Updated: September 19, 2013 - 1:48 PM

This year we're trying a twist on the trend of incorporating herbs into drinks. Instead of herbal syrups or muddles in mixed drinks, we opted to grow herbs with an eye to possible beer-brewing components.

We've had an abudance of likely suspects: thai basil, rosemary and thyme (both lemon and lime varieties). But the first one in the brew pot was the pineapple sage, which is threatening to take over one of the raised beds. It's currently in a saison bubbling away in the basement. This is our first foray into adding herb leaves. If it turns out, we'll be in the market for names. How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?

The other addition to our planned beer garden was hops. Unfortunately, the rabbits took a liking to the plants this spring. They've bounced back since we surrounded the bottom few feet with chicken wire, but we're not likely to get any hop harvest.

What herbs have you tried in drinks, either the beer, mixed drink or tea variety? My next plan to use up some of that gigantic pineapple sage plant is a simple syrup to incorporate in iced tea. .

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