California Bay Laurel, another Co-op herb product

Shan harvested her California Bay Laurel tree to share with Co-op members, and the branches are both beautiful and aromatic. As our September heat weakens and cool October evenings prevail, these leaves will be the essential flavoring in comforting soups, stews and braises. Everything from lentil soup to beef stew is improved with a few bay leaves.  Co-op members are also harvesting mint now, as the recent heat wave here in Los Angeles resulted in rampant growth.  We dry it to make our own mint tea bags.

Hurricane, a much loved Silverlake kitty who loved his catnip

And that catnip harvest is dry now, so we’ll be getting together to make more Co-op catnip toys.  Not all cats are affected by catnip, but those that are, they let us know that this is good stuff!

We are making Pepper Jelly this week, and will save the seeds from the peppers for our Co-op seed library.  Loquat seeds from the Co-op seed library are plentiful, and since these trees are so easy to grow here if you have a sunny spot, please pick up a few.  Our Co-op mission of preserving refers not only to the cooked and dried products we make such as jelly and tea, but also to preserving the seeds of our gardens, and preserving our local agricultural heritage.  Cyd is successfully growing an avocado tree from a pit from Wattles Park, a genuine California heritage fruit!  As genetically modified produce becomes more dominant in our markets, preserving the seeds from old heritage produce is crucial.

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One thought on “California Bay Laurel, another Co-op herb product

  1. Lovely photos, Susan! One small correction: My Bay Laurel is the Mediterranean type (as in the ancient Olympians’ crown). If you compare photos on the Wikipedia link, you’ll see that the California Bay leaves are longer and narrower, and the color isn’t as deep. Also, the California Bay leaves have a stronger flavor, so cooks tend to use smaller amounts in a recipe.

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