Tag Archives: Herbs

Gardening in Winter

Happy Saturday everyone!  Or whatever day it is that you happen across this post.  🙂  As fresh white snow falls outside, it’s fresh and green inside… with my new AeroGarden!   Icon

I’ve had one of these on my Amazon wish list forever, and this year my sister bought one for me for Christmas.  Ho, ho, ho, merry gardening!  🎅

This is a 6 pod model that came with a starter set of herbs.  Two varieties of basil, parsley, thyme, mint, and dill.

I had lots of fun setting it up.  It felt more like a science project than gardening, and I suppose it kinda is.  Gotta love science that lets me garden indoors during the winter!  I felt a bit like a mad scientist.  “It’s alive!”   Or it will be soon.  😉  Here it is all “planted”…

It has a handy lighted display that lets you know when it was planted, when to add water, and when to add nutrients…

But it doesn’t actually work properly.  When you add the nutrients after the first 14 days, all you’re supposed to need to do is press the OK button and it’s supposed reset, but it doesn’t.  I’ve had to reset the entire garden twice now, but I guess it doesn’t really matter, once it’s growing, you don’t really need to know how many days it’s been planted.  I went online and found that other people were having the same issue, so at least I know it’s not just mine.

Each pod in the kit came with a little disk shaped label attached to the top that has information about the seeds planted within…

Observe the reflection of the unit’s built-in “disco lights” haha!  They don’t actually revolve around like a disco ball, but wouldn’t that be cool?!  If only they had a suggestion box.  😉   These lights are extremely bright, and because the timer is on the herbs 17 hour cycle, we have to cover it at night until they turn off or we go blind whenever we come into the kitchen.

Despite the 4 – 7 day label on the Thai Basil above, it was actually the Genovese Basil that was the first to sprout…

So exciting!

Soon, all but the dill and parsley were big enough to remove their little domes…

And here they are about a week later with the two basil plants towering over the rest.  I’ve been having to prune the basil a lot…

And here’s what it looked like this morning…

The dill is hiding in the back left corner…

Even though you can’t see it very well from the front, it’s getting plenty of light back there.  Dill grows really tall, so I’m sure I’ll have to keep pinching this guy back to keep it contained.

The thyme is a bit shaded though, so I’ll have to prune the basil a bit more…

No worries about the mint though, I’m sure it’ll grow like a weed regardless, spreading out its minty freshness…

But I will have to tame the mint a bit for the parsley’s sake.  The parsley has taken forever to sprout, I was beginning to worry that I had a dud pod.  But here he is.  Cute little teeny tiny parsley finally sprouting.  🌱

In all, I’m pretty darn pleased so far, and I’m looking forward to growing more fresh goodies in my little AreoGarden.

I forgot to mention that as the plants grow taller you’re able to raise the disco lights.  I raised it higher than recommended to snap the photo below, it’s supposed to be just high enough that the plants aren’t touching it.  If it’s too high, the plants will grow tall and spindly.  You’re also supposed to keep the taller plants pruned shorter until all of the plants are roughly around the same height.  As you can see, I need to prune the basil some more…

How many times have I mentioned that now?  Haha!  Maybe I’ll go down and do it after I post this…

But gosh you guys, do these fresh little herbs ever smell amazing!  It’s especially refreshing right now in the dead of winter.

Thank you again so much, Forest (my sister’s nickname), for getting me this little AeroGarden, I’m having lots of fun with it!  (Even though Mom hates it because of the bright lights. “Bright light, bright light!”) 🙃

Next, I’m thinking that I’ll get a selection of lettuces to grow.  If they do well, I may always grow my lettuce indoors, even during the regular growing season, because the bugs always bug my lettuce. 🐛 By the way, you don’t have to get the AeroGarden’s pre-seeded pods, you can reuse the empty grow baskets and domes that came with the kit and then use your own seeds.  All you’ll need are their little grow sponge thingies.  Just noticing that this kinda sounds like I’m doing a review for the AeroGarden or something haha!

Well, whatever it is, thanks for letting me share about it!  Ahh… the joys of gardening…

Have a wonderful day!

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Herbal Adventures

For many years I have believed in the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of herbs, and I rather like/prefer the idea of using natural remedies as a way to promote health and wellness.

One herb in particular that I know I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions how much I love is lavender.  Although it is said to have oodles of healing benefits, I just love it for the scent and the color of it, and for the way it makes me feel.  ♥   Yeah, no scientific studies or research by “experts” needs to be done on lavender to prove to me that it helps calm and soothe the senses.  Mmm…

But aside from lavender there are many other herbs that provide equally beneficial healing properties for a wide range of ailments, not to mention culinary pleasures as well.  I know I’m a bit of a nature freak, but seriously how cool is it that everything we could possibly need for health and wellness in life can be found somewhere on this beautiful earth of ours?

Unfortunately, a lot of the age-old knowledge for natural remedies has gotten a bit lost in this era of “modern” medicine.  But herbal medicine is making a comeback, albeit as an “alternative” type of therapy.  The thing with herbalism is that it  works best when practiced holistically, meaning with the intent to bring healing to the entire body to get at the source of physical and emotional imbalance, rather than just treating the symptoms.  So it often requires one to examine other areas such as diet, lifestyle, and mental attitude, taking into consideration the role that these factors also play in keeping you healthy or contributing to disease.  Plus, it’s a process, in many cases the healing actions of herbs take place over a period of time, so one doesn’t get immediate results like those that can be found in taking a pill.  But the long-term results of herbal medicine is often a much deeper healing, and for many people it’s well worth the wait.

Anyway, the reason I bring all of this up is because I’ve been playing “mad-scientist” here concocting some herbal remedies, and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.  There is some degree of caution to take when working with herbs and one cannot go about things completely blind.  There is a science within herbalism just as with anything else, so I’ve been reading up on it quite a bit.  It all started with bringing my herbs inside to try and winter them over, and morphed from there because of my recent health concerns.

I was at the second-hand store last week with my family, and as per usual I ended up in the used books section.  I have a tendency to get lost and completely absorbed amidst the books, so I try to resist wandering over to that part of the store.  😉

I hadn’t been specifically looking for any, but I found a few herb books…

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When I got home I went in search of other herb books that I knew I had packed away somewhere.  Some of which included a huge Atlas of Herbal Medicine, dozens of Herbal Companion Magazines that I had a subscription to years ago, as well as a couple of aromatherapy books.

I’ve been scouring over them all ever since and needless to say, my interest in herbalism has been renewed.  I’m thinking that I might have to force encourage my sister to get back to working on the Master of Herbalism Program that she began a few years ago at the Midwest School of Herbal Studies, so that I can pick her brain, she can be my Obi-Wan Kenobi of all things herbal.   😉

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Peace & love…

Adventures in Gardening Part 13 ~ Garden Center Goodies

I just couldn’t wait until my usual Mother’s Day kick-off to head to the garden nurseries for plants this year.  We had such an unbelievably early spring and with the lovely weather, it just wasn’t fair to make my inner gardening child wait any longer than absolutely necessary.  So off I went to visit a couple of garden centers that are located here in town ~ Bachman’s and Linder’s.

It was so wonderful just wandering around and taking it all in, both of these particular garden centers have an exceptionally pleasing atmosphere.  Whoever is in charge of their aesthetics is definitely doing it right!

Although I have specific nurseries that I prefer to buy my tomatoes and pepper plants at, I’m not as picky about my herbs.  So once I ventured into the herb area of the garden center, I started selecting ones I have planned (and ones I just got on a whim ;)) to put in my new garden this year.

My potting bench was so happy to finally have some potted plants setting on it ~ even if only temporarily until they get put in the ground…~

I picked up the regulars like Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, and Chives.  And of course… the ever constant veggie garden companion (and pest deterrent) Marigolds.

But I also got a few others that I haven’t got before like Apple-Mint…I had originally planned on Chocolate Mint ~ makes a delicious tea, but once I rubbed the leaves and smelled the aroma of this Apple Mint, I had to have it!

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And the same thing happened when I saw (and smelled) this Pineapple Sage ~ I’m pretty sure my mouth was watering…I have no idea what I am going to do with it.  There was a mention on the tag of using it as a garnish, but it is soooo yummy that there has got to be more I can use it for.  I’m open for suggestions…

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I also got some Lemon Verbena, Celery, and one lone Strawberry plant…I wasn’t planning on planting strawberries ~ we usually go to the farm and pick our fill there.  I think it was the sweet little pink bloom that sucked me in and made me have to buy it.  I don’t know where I’m putting it yet, but I’ll find a spot…

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Another not planned herb that I ended up with was lavender…This is a French Lavender variety that I haven’t seen before.   And the smell… now there’s something you need to understand about me and lavender… “we’re like this.”

Or here… this may explain it a bit better ~ For the Love of Lavender ♥, an earlier post of mine.  I have tried for years without success to grow Lavender as a perennial here in Minnesota, so I’m potting up this little baby (and the English Lavender that I also bought ;)) and bringing it inside when the weather gets cold.  🙂

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I’ll be planting all these bad boys tomorrow and there’s simply nothing better than breathing in the wonderful scents of herbs while gardening…

I’ll also be making more visits to the garden nurseries this upcoming weekend, and selecting my tomatoes and peppers, not to mention some flowers ~ I’m so excited!