Blog Moved

I have combined my herb blog and gardening blog so please join me at http://gardeninspire.com/garden-inspire-blog/

Since I love growing and using herbs there will still be posts (hopefully more frequently) about herbs as well as general gardening.

Thanks for visiting!

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Harvesting Herbs In the Off Season

Besides growing herbs indoors I have been able to harvest some of the herbs from my garden throughout much of the winter.

For Christmas this year I made an herb cream cheese spread from fresh parsley, green onion tops, orange mint, and sage.  If you have no or light snow cover it is easy to see which herbs look green.  Otherwise you will have to carefully uncover a few herbs and see what you can find.  My parsley is green all winter.   For younger or smaller herb plants harvest with care.  If you harvest too much you may damage or kill the plant.  My sage is large and well established, I have many parsley plants, the green onions are plentiful as well as the orange mint.  I would not recommend harvesting rosemary over winter unless you are growing it indoors or live in a zone 7 or warmer climate.

Using Herbs From Your Own Backyard

A great article about using the herbs in your yard by Tina Sams – owner and editor of The Essential Herbal Magazine.

 

Wildcrafting in Your Backyard: Using the Herbs and Medicines Under Your Feet

By Tina Sams for elephantjournal.com 

There have always been the mountain herbalists, the grannies and the people who have used weeds and plants as medicine.

For a couple of decades, we were encouraged to look to exotic plants from far-off lands to use as medicines, ignoring those that grow all around us.  Perhaps, because of the locavore movement, we are now looking to the medicinal weeds and herbs that grow right outside our doors.

It is not uncommon for people to tell me that they’ve sent off for seeds for plants like chickweed, dandelion and burdock—it can be difficult to convince people that the dandelions in their yard are the exact same thing that they are wishing to grow.

This is not unlike our tendency to drive past vast wild raspberry patches in order to plunk down $3 for a pint of cultivated berries at the store; we have become so distanced from our food sources that we’ve learned not to trust ourselves when it comes to things like foods or first aid.

Sometimes, people are completely overwhelmed at the thought of learning all about medicinal herbs—that’s easy to understand.  There are thousands of plants with properties that we can use; there are very few that we cannot, as a matter of fact and it is a lot of information to learn.

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Win Tickets To Earthwell Festival

Win a pair of tickets to the Earthwell Festival, – Explore The Worlds of Wellness & Sustainability, August 25 & 26, Jordanelle State Park, Utah

Get the details here.

Pineapple Weed

Pineapple Weed

Pineapple Weed

You may have seen this plant in your yard and discounted it as a weed without checking into its scent or usefulness.  Pineapple Weed Matricaria discoidea has ferny leaves like chamomile and a dome shaped yellow flower.  When the leaves are crushed or rubbed they smell like pineapple.

The flowers are sometimes used to make herb tea – either alone or mixed with other herbs.  The leaves can be added to a salad although they may taste better if harvested before the plant blooms.   Pineapple weed is also used medicinally.

Pineapple weed is an annual flowering plant that can be found in North America (this photo was taken in Seward, Alaska), England, Europe, and Asia.

Cautions:  Always be sure to correctly identify foraged plants before use.  Only harvest from areas that have not been exposed to pesticides, automobile exhaust, and other pollutants. Those who are allergic to flowers in the daisy family may have a reaction to Pineapple weed.

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