Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let's Talk Herbs

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When Lindsay and I placed our seed order the other evening, we made sure to order herbs this year.
Now I should qualify that to say that we have ordered some herbs in the past, cilantro and parsley, and they have grown very well for us.  In fact we were able to save seed from our cilantro!  We just love it in fresh salsa!  And we use our parsley fresh and dried in our homemade buttermilk ranch salad dressing!

But this year we longed for more and decided that we are going to do a separate section just for herbs in our garden.  We ordered lavender, basil, chamomile, a new variety of parsley and we also ordered Echinacea.  
Technically, Echinacea is a flower but it has great medicinal properties, so I wanted to grow some to use in tea or to grind up the root to use in capsules to help build up the immune system.  All the echinacea that I have grown in the past have been from commercial growers.  The ones we will grow are heirloom seeds!


 Echinacea in my garden in June 2011

I also am going to add feverfew to the herb garden, but that I will transplant from my cottage garden! 
Feverfew in my garden 2011

I have never grown Chamomile but it is a good plant for tea!  Very soothing, and relaxing. I am realizing that I will need to keep my chamomile and my feverfew planted in different sections so as to not confuse the kids...or myself!
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I have grown lavender before.  Mostly the English variety Munstead.  I am not sure what the heirloom variety will be like.
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I do know that lavender smells fantastic and is easy to dry and make into sachets for your closet or drawers.  You can also use it in baking, and in soaps and bath salts.  Lots of variety!

Do you grow herbs? What kinds of herbs do you grow? Do you have an herb garden or a few pots in your kitchen?  If I didn't have space for a garden, I would definitely put some herbs in pots in the kitchen!  So great for cooking!

Here are a couple of great resources for learning about growing and using herbs.

The Bulk Herb Store -  Has a great dvd on Making Herbs Simple.  I learned a lot of fun things to do with herbs from the dvd I have - hair treatments and more!

The West Ladies - Vickie, Hannah, Cecilia and Jasmine are a mother and her daughters that we just love!  They are very down home and we love that they live the things they teach.  Their Homestead Blessings dvd by Franklin Springs are great!


12 comments:

  1. How fun for you! I have grown a variety of herbs for the past several years. Some medicinal, some for baking, some for shampoo...I love how pretty they look drying too.

    Jennifer

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  2. We love herbs at our home too, and I will be planting parsley and basil seeds soon. Last week I planted 6 cilantro plants (4 outside) and they are thriving.

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  3. Now I want some apple mint tea!

    I had forgotten that I grow echinacea because I called them cone flowers. After a bit of Googling, I see that they are the same. This is something I keep forgetting. Wonder what's good for memory... Now I just need to learn how to harvest them. I take echinacea daily through cold and flu season and have done so for a number of years. I can honestly report that I've not had a cold in that time, though I've felt "threatened" by one. In those cases, I take one extra dose daily. I swear by its efficacy and, yes, I know that it is important to tell your doctor. I told mine and she said that she was very pleased with my taking it.

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  4. I have grown mint, lavender, dill, rosemary and some other one I can't remember right now. I love herbs!
    I am going to order some echinacea and plant it this year.

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  5. I have their breadmaking dvd and all the others are on my wishlist.

    I do grow herbs but not a lot. Just in a planter on my deck for cooking. I planted a few in a raised bed last year and so far it looks like they've made it through the summer.

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  6. I LOVE my herb garden! They are so easy to grow, which is important to me,as I do not have a green thumb. But herbs are so friendly and accomodating.

    I have not done anything with medicinal herbs. I have used mine mostly for cooking and caterpillar growing. We grow rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, parsley, dill, lavender, basil, and rue.

    Really...for many years, the children, and now the grandchildren, have enjoyed watching the swallowtail caterpillars grow from tiny, tiny creatures to fat fellows as they eat the rue and the parsley. Usually once a summer, someone gets a caterpillar (or two) and watches it through its metamorphosis into butterfly! It's worth sacrificing a bit of parsley!

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  7. I love the Homestead Blessings gals!!

    I have an amazing herb garden where I grow all of the above including dill, basil, oregano, sage... It's truly stunning and it's all in my head. Someday it will be in front of the picture window of the living room... someday. ;)

    Blessings, Debbie

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  8. What a pleasant surprise for me this morning, I have grown herbs for years and enjoy them so much. Your plants look so healthy. My plans this year are to increase my herb garden, thanks for the sites I have already book marked them. I enjoyed the video too, I grew apple mint last year but didn't use them I just enjoyed going by the garden and cutting some stems to place in water. This year I will try the tea.I found herbs to be so forgiving when I neglect them ~smile~, have you found this too?
    Enjoyed your post from yesterday on the orange marmalade cake, it looks so delicious, it reminds me of a coconut cake I make with an orange sauce between the layers, so delicious.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Sue

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  9. I agree, time to start thinking about the garden. We share the love of herbs. May I suggest adding Rosemary. You can use it for cooking but also you can add some in a hot bath and it soothes achy muscles.
    huggs,
    Brenda

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  10. I love this series, I was blessed to receive it as a birthday gift a few years ago, and it's full of helpful information, plus they are so sweet to watch :)

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  11. We grow all you have mentioned accept feverfew- don't know that one. We don't have much luck with cilantro for some reason.

    I think I will order the herb video. I so enjoyed all the others that you loaned me. Thanks again!

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  12. I love the West Ladie's Herb DVD. It's one that I keep and watch a lot. Most of them I send on to my daughter but that one is SO full of information I need.

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