Just in case you were out shoveling last month and may have missed some of my new content, here is a list of all the articles and other bits. Thanks for reading!
5 Herbs Used For Powders -Some herbs can be powdered and use cosmetically, or nutritionally. Check out a short list.
What is An Herb - Sometimes the basics need to be said.
How to Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden - If you usually lose steam taking care of an herb garden, why not start with something that greets you in the busiest room in the house?
The Beginner's Guide to Starting an Herb Garden From Seeds - Overwhelmed with the whole concept of herb gardens from seed? Check out this overview.
Russian Herbs - If the Olympics inspired you to explore Russian Cuisine, these familiar herbs are often used. Plenty of Russian recipes included.
2014 Herb of The Year - Celebrate the Herb of the Year; Artemisia.
How to Prepare Seeds For Planting - If you ever wonder why you don't have success growing certain herb seeds, perhaps the seeds needed an extra step in order to germinate.
Seed Diagram - I drew it and scanned it. Now someone has to at least look at my skills.
5 Herbs That Help Soothe Pinkeye - It's no laughing matter, but I firmly believe that Bob Costas could have remained at the Olympics with some simple herbal remedies. Yeesh.
That's it! Soldiering on into March!
Soothing and lovely, Eucalyptus deserves a closer look. I once grew a large table of eucalyptus for making topiaries. Then, when they were large enough to transfer to the form, I became so in love with brushing my hand over the flats of fragrant plants that I never did transplant them to the topiary form. Thus began my love of this deliciously scented herb. Recently, I saw a suggestions to hang a branch of eucalyptus in the shower, so the heat releases the scent. This is brilliant! If only I could find fresh eucalyptus branches in the dead of winter, while sick. Perhaps I should grow some in the greenhouse?
I like to make sleep pillows for my children when they are stuffed up, that contain the leaves. They feel like they are taking a little big of comfort to bed with them and it really does seem to help them get some rest.
I am currently sipping a cup of hot tea and watching even more snow fall on the 3+ feet that is already out there. Wow! I can't even imagine that someday soon I will be starting my herb seeds. It's a good thing that I have a little greenhouse off the side of my home, where I spend plenty of time each day to counteract the cold, dark days of winter.
I wanted to share with you a new page that I have created to address herbs and livestock. Since that is beyond the scope of this site, I thought it made sense. Here is the link directly to the page: The Farmer's Herbal. I encourage you to *like* and ask any animal related herbal questions there.
Seriously, all kidding aside, our voice of the Olympics; Bob Costas, needs to soothe his tired eyes. Of course, we can all just guess what's going on, but it certainly appears that the poor man has Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye) As it continues to progress, all I can wonder is if there are any herbs in Russia that can be purchases and used as makeshift eye compresses? Could someone give that man a teabag?
There have been many articles added to the Herb Gardens site these past few weeks. In case you haven't had the chance to see them all, check out this list:
A new month, a new list of herb articles. Enjoy!
Late winter means flu. Many parts of the country are warm-cold-warm-cold, we go out while under dressed and then get chilled. We gather for meals and community outreach during these last lingering months of winter, sharing friendship and germs. We are emotionally and physically weaker, from lack of fresh air, exercise and fresh healthy foods. It is the perfect storm for catching the flu or other nasty cold.
It is not too late to try out some of these great cold and flu herbs. Focus on boosting your immune system, and getting the rest you need. We all need to be healthy for spring gardening!
Herb Question of the Day: What herb do you want to know more about?
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If you are lucky enough to get a reprieve from the winter weather, scoot out and take a look at your garden beds. There are some things that no matter how cold, should be addressed as soon as you see them.
Plants lifting or heaving -The frequent thawing and freezing of the topsoil can push plants right up out of the ground. Gently step around the lifted plant and press it back into place, before the roots die of exposure.
Obvious animal damage -Let's face it; critters love our gardens. The soil is soft and easy to dig into, the plants are tasty and well fed, and for the most part, our gardens are protected better than other areas of the yard, from predatory animals. This means that they are viewed as easy living to small rodents and birds overwintering. Check for digging and chewing damage on your plants. Try to spot where the new burrows and chew marks are and deal with the animals doing the destruction, before they kill what plants are there. I have cats that keep most critters away from the gardens, but there are repellents and trapping methods that may help.
Winter seedheads gone or exhausted -I recommend leaving things like echinacea seed heads and other plant material in place, for birds that overwinter . Now might be the time to remove the seedheads if they are broken and used up. Look closely at the plant material that you have left in place and cut it back to clean up the area and prevent a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses that will come alive at the first sign of spring.
Mulch blown too thin or moved - Let's call it wear and tear. With winter winds and bad weather, mulch can be blown around, heaped up against one side of a plant and not the other, or just plain moved away from the area it is supposed to be protecting. Go out with a garden rake and put back this winter blanket where it needs to be. Take note of any areas that seem to get more wind than others, and work that into your garden plan for this year.
All of these things seem to go unnoticed until spring and then the damage may be done. Take a few minutes to go out and look closely at all your overwintering gardens. You may be able to head off a larger problem while it is still manageable.
I have written about the herbal remedy Fire Cider before; basically it is one of the first recipes that anyone new to herbal remedies makes. It's easy, effective, and well known. Fire Cider started out somewhere back in herbal history, brought to the forefront of herbal remedies by one of the most respected herbalists in the world; Rosemary Gladstar, and shared hundreds of times in herbal blogs, chats, classes, and amongst friends. Even she was not the first, only the most heard. My point is Fire Cider is a well known herbal remedy that has become a staple of herbalists everywhere.
Recently, Shire City Herbals trademarked the term Fire Cider, and it has caused quite an uproar in the herbal community. Although I am not well versed in law, I do know that the idea that they *own* the phrase Fire Cider is laughable. Apparently due to the uproar happening, they are now asking the community to give them a couple of weeks with their patent lawyer to work things out. This is distressing at best. It is downright unethical to take a common, folklore phrase, and try to take ownership of it. No matter that you have created your own version of the recipe and then printed (very cool looking) products with your special label on them. It is wrong and flies in the face of everything the herbal community believes.
Is this Fire Cider debacle the death knell of a small herbal company that overstepped? Only time will tell. What will happen, is the herbal community will once again come together to make a point; herbal remedies don't belong to any one person. They belong to all of us who believe in them. Go ahead and make your own version of your favorite herbal remedy. Bottle it and sell it if it's your desire. Just don't claim that you were the first to come up with the name or the idea. Karma is very aware of what you are doing.
There has been an outcry of injustice within the Green community. Here are some interesting things that you may want to take part in:
World Wide Fire Cider Making Day is February 2. Are you in?
Change. org petition to have the Fire Cider patent revoked. Are you thinking of signing?
A Pinterest board all about Fire Cider recipes in all their glory. This is such a fun one!
Photo: The Dabblist
Growing herbs indoors seems like a pretty simple thing right? Slap some seeds into dirt and find a sunny window. Growing indoors is certainly fun and not too tricky, there are some bumps along the way that any gardener can avoid. Check out some tips for growing the most delicious basil!