Saturday, January 2, 2010

Start your 2010 Herbal Journal

Did you get your seed catalogs? If not, they should be arriving any day. Pull out your graph paper and pencil and start redesigning your herb garden.

As you look through the seed catalogs, gardening magazines and websites take notes and keep them in a 3-ring binder so you have your own herbal journal. You can always add sections for recipes using herbs, an herb wish list, and tips on growing, using and preserving herbs.

Sub divide your sections so you can easily find information herbal cooking, medicinal herbs, herbal beauty products, potpourri recipes, essential oils and decorating with herbs.

Another way the herbal journal will come in handy is to record how well your herbs grew so that next year you can try planting them in a different area of the garden or perhaps purchase the herbs from a different vendor.

Don’t forget a section for thing you might try someday. For instance, if you think you might want to make homemade herbal sachets and pillows for gifts, you might want to keep track of ideas and tips as you find them. Here’s your first tip:

If you plan on making herbal Christmas decorations for next year, get out now and buy Christmas fabrics at a deep discount.

photo under morgueFile Free License Agreement

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year Indoor Herb Garden

As the holiday ornaments are taken down and put away, fill the empty spaces by starting an indoor herb garden. Attractive, aromatic, and handy, the growing herbs will cozy up your newly barren spaces.

Fresh herbs are preferred to dry by most cooks, and can easily be grown in a container on the window sill or kitchen counter. Herbs can be kept close at hand throughout the year, or transplanted in the garden when the weather permits.

Sage, basil, parsley, chives, and oregano will fit nicely in a strawberry type planter and be an attractive addition to you kitchen. Just snip off what you need as you cook.

The most popular herbs for a kitchen herb garden are spearmint, savory, basil, oregano, sage, dill, parsley and chives. You can start these indoors on the window sill and later move them. As long as you’re planting, add other cooking favorites, like thyme, rosemary, lavender, mint and some scented geranium.

Remember to control your mints by planting them in a metal container to keep them from overtaking you container or kitchen garden.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Soothe Away Holiday Stress with a Homemade Herbal Facial Mask

Homemade, economical skin care is always available in a kitchen with herbs. Soothe away holiday stress with a homemade herbal facial mask formulated just for your skin type.

Start with a base of 3 tablespoons yogurt or buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of honey.

If you have oily skin, turn the mask into an herbal remedy by adding a tablespoon of chopped sage.
An herbal cosmetic aid for dry skin can be made by adding a tablespoon of dried elderflower powder.
Those lucky people with normal skin will benefit with an herbal face mask made by adding a tablespoon of dried chamomile powder.
  • Mix the herb with the yogurt or buttermilk in a small bowl.
  • Place another tablespoon of the chosen herb into a teacup or mug, cover with hot water and let it brew.
  • Spread the mask over your clean face and relax for at least 20 minutes.
  • Strain the cup of tea and use it to gently remove the mask.
If any of the herb is left, brew a cup of  herbal tea and continue relaxing.