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May Day Herb Jars



Herb jars are fun, frugal if you have a few herbs growing nearby, and are always received with joy. 

To make one for a friend, or even for yourself-
find a suitable jar,such as a pint size canning jar, and a bit of wire.
Twist the wire into a handle and secure it around the neck of the jar.
Fill the jar with water, then go out to the garden and snip a few of your favorite herbs and flowers and add them to the jar. 

You can embellish this herbal gift further by tying on a bow or pretty gift tag. 
If you choose herbs that root easily in water such as mint, basil or rosemary, add a little tag giving instructions for potting up the herb plants once they have rooted.  This can be a gift that keeps on giving! 

What are your May Day traditions?

Herbal Blessings,
Catherine

Happy Herbalist Day!


 *This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase from one of the links in the post, I may receive a commission. No extra cost to you, but I may be able to buy more herbs! I only share things I personally use or highly recommend, promise!

Happy Herbalist's Day!

 
The Herbal Academy has done it again! If you haven’t heard, they just released their Botany & Wildcrafting Course with an amazing pre-registration sale ($50 off)! The class is going to cover the art of wildcrafting and the science of plant identification so that by the end of the course, you will be able to identify new plants anywhere in the world using your newfound skills and a dichotomous key. I am excited to be signing up for this class myself, and I welcome you to join me! Here is a link to more information: Botany & Wildcrafting Course.

 
Learn how to wildcraft and identify plants confidently in the Botany & Wildcrafting Course!

Giveaway ~ Botany and Wildcrafting



Post contains affiliate links

Enter to win the Botany & Wildcrafting Course by Herbal Academy

I am so excited about this upcoming course from The Herbal Academy! They are hosting a giveaway of one free course enrollment right now. I'll be studying along with you, so if you're interested in botany and wildcrafting (and what herb lover isn't?), go enter to win and sign up for updates so you will be ready when pre-registration begins in a few days.
Botany and Wildcrafting Course Giveaway 


Spring Wildcrafting

Happy Herbal Spring!

The dandelions are popping up all over in my area. Spring is the perfect season for wildcrafting.
If you are new to gathering herbs from the wild or would like to brush up on your botany skills,
The Herbal Academy has a new Botany and Wildcrafting Course beginning next month! If you are interested in this great offering, be sure to sign up to be notified when registration opens.

For starters, you can take a walk around your own yard and possibly find common herbs such as dandelion, chickweed, plantain, cleavers, and yarrow growing right under your nose (at least that's what happened to me when I first discovered wildcrafting)!

One caution, be certain you 'know that you know' what plant you are harvesting. A good field guide is helpful for identifying wild herbs. A knowledgeable friend or family member is also a great source if you need help with plant ID. Online sites such as this one can be beneficial, too.

I hope you will consider the Botany and Wildcrafting Course, it looks like it will be a fabulous way to learn both botany and wildcrafting.

Do you have favorite herbs you already gather from the wild? How about sharing your tips with us here- especially recipes for incorporating those wildcrafted herbs into spring dishes!  
Dandelion Pesto is one delicious way I like to incorporate dandelions into my spring menu.


Herbal Blessings,

Catherine

Joy in a Garden Cart

This brings me joy- a cart loaded with herbs, perennials, and other assorted green and growing treasures! Simple, herbal things bring me much delight.
And when you are a family of plant lovers, everyone has to get at least something at the plant nursery.  So there are herbs, tomatoes, and poppies for me, a natal plum for my husband, succulents for the middle love child, a 'glittery' ice plant for the littlest love (who at almost 16 is hardly little anymore), and a gift plant for a friend. All of these came from one of my favorite plant nurseries- Barton Springs Nursery. If you are ever in the Austin, TX area, you won't want to miss it! They have a great variety of herbs and plants of all kinds, pottery, seeds, gift items ... all the things an herb lover enjoys. 
 What is your favorite herb and plant nursery? Please share because I visit as many as I can wherever I go!
What are you buying for the garden these days?

Spring will be here soon!

Herbal Blessings,

Catherine 


Spring Sowing in the Stillroom

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
 It's time for seed sowing around here. I love, love, love springtime and one of my very favorite things in the whole world is planting herb seeds in tiny pots during late winter in anticipation of spring.

Seeds are a great way to begin or add to your herb collection. They are inexpensive, easily obtainable, and many herbs are simple to grow from seed.

12 herbs that I grow from seed:
  1. Basil
  2. Borage
  3. Calendula 
  4. Catnip
  5. Chives
  6. Cilantro
  7. Dill
  8. Echinacea
  9. Hyssop 
  10. Lemon Balm
  11. Nettle
  12. Parsley
There are lots of places to purchase seeds. I suggest your local herb shop, nursery, or natural grocery store for starters- it's convenient, and you will be supporting local small businesses. 
If you need to order by catalog or online, here are a few websites I've ordered from:
 
 
Do you have a favorite place to buy seeds? Please share it in the comments!  
 
Today I planted seeds for poppies (love, love, love poppies), bachelor's button, sage, and nasturtium, along with some flowers- aster, hollyhock, morning glory. Dill and Cilantro were sown last week and more will be planted as it gets closer to our last projected frost date, which is March 31st.
 
I am already seeing a few signs of spring- mints are unfurling new green leaves, hyacinths are in bloom, and the oregano has new growth just beginning to show. Oh, and the dandelions are popping up new green leaves all over. Just about time for a spring tonic! 
What signs of spring are showing in your part of the world? 
Are you planting seeds indoors or out, and what new thing are you growing this year?
My want-to-plant list is always much longer than my growing space can hold- this is the year of the flower for me. I'm planting lots of flowering herbs, edible flowers and the like this year. 
 
Happy seed sowing! 
 
Herbal Blessings,
 
Catherine 
 
 

On Sale Today Only ~ Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle

Hello herb loving friends!
Winter is in full swing here, and I'm spending my time mostly indoors.
How about you?
I am perusing the seed catalogs and planning for next season's garden, making tea, and diffusing sweet orange, peppermint, and other favorite essential oils.
Aromatherapy is a long time interest of mine.
If you are interested in learning more about herbs or essential oils, there's an excellent resource available at an unbelievably low price available today only:

https://us154.isrefer.com/go/herbmain/a8910/

The Herbs & Essential Oils Ultimate Bundle is packed with ebooks on so many aspects of herbalism and incorporating essential oils into your daily life. At $29.97 for today only, it's a great value. I purchased this one in a previous sale and it is well worth the low price.

I hope you will check it out and see if this might not be a good way to spend cold winter evenings- learning more about herbs and essential oils!

Stay Warm and I'll check back in soon.

Herbal Blessings,

Catherine

Spicy Autumn Sweetness for the Home


To bring a touch of autumn sweetness into your home, slice up a lemon and an orange.  Toss them in a pot with a couple of cinnamon sticks, a few star anise, and some cloves.  Add water and simmer on the stove top. Your home will smell delightfully fresh in no time.

For more herbal goodness- add a sprig or two of rosemary and/or lemon thyme to the mix.

What is your favorite autumn scent?  I love all the spicy, apple, pumpkin, autumny smells. It's hard to choose a favorite!


Cool Off with Refreshing Herbal Drinks

Photo by Neha Deshmukh on Unsplash

Summer is here.  It's hot. Completely normal, but still ... it's HOT out there.  And that means the herbs need watering frequently, and so does the herb gardener.  The herb garden is happy with water from the hose (I drank from the water hose as a kid, but yuck! no more hose water for me!)

My norm is my favorite stainless steel water bottle from Mary Janes Farm filled with water and a squirt of lemon juice or a drop of lemon essential oil.  But some days I like to dress it up a little.  I will pick whatever herbs sound good at the moment and add them to a jar and fill with water.   I almost always choose from the lemony herbs- verbena, lemon balm, lemon thyme, and add mint or tulsi. Sliced fruit is great, too. Letting it sit on the windowsill or the garden table for a few hours infuses the water with a refreshing herbal flavor.


I love anything lemon, and this strawberry lemonade sounds delicious.  Of course, I would add a sprig of lemon balm or lemon verbena to boost the lemon flavor.

And this Herbal Lemonade Station sounds like a lot of fun for a summer gathering.

What is your favorite herbal summertime drink?  
Please share a recipe or a link if you have one! 


Herbal Blessings,

Catherine

Confused about Herbs and Essential Oils?


Ever feel that herbal knowledge is difficult to come by (at least from sources you can trust) or are you a tad bit confused by essential oils with all the hype you find online?  

I've been both of these at one time or another in my herbal journey.  
I fell in love with herbs in my early twenties, which was before the days of Google (I'll be 50 on my next birthday, just in case you are curious!) and herbal knowledge was not so easy to come by.  I hunted for herb shops within a days drive and had many adventures searching out my newfound passion. I read every book I could find, which wasn't very many, and continue to add to my collection of herb books when I find a new title of interest.
While I wouldn't trade those days for anything, I am so very thankful for the internet and easy access to information, herbal education, books, and ordering herbs online. 

My beginning with essential oils was interesting.  Again, before Google, I found an ad in the phone book for a business that sold 'herbs and essential oils'.  To the kind lady's credit, she did have a few bottles of essential oil on a shelf in her 'office', but from what I saw, she was clearly in another business. When I asked which essential oils she recommended, her reply was spot on, whether she was just trying to get rid of me or not! "Use what you like." Sounds crazy, and I was a little annoyed, mostly for wasting my time and gas getting there; but I've discovered that the essential oils I 'like' are quite helpful to me, so maybe she really was offering her best advice.  For everyday use, I like (LOVE) geranium, lemon, peppermint, lavender, and tea tree essential oils. 

 Essential oils are very powerful, concentrated, and do require common sense and caution when using.  It is best to have a good essential oils guidebook on hand and follow safe practices.  
My protocol is know your oil, and then dilute, dilute, dilute! 


If you are in need of some help getting started or continuing your journey with herbs and essential oils, I can't recommend the Herbs + Essential Oils Super Bundle to you highly enough.  It is an incredible value- 
  • Total value of the bundle: $769.68
  • 16 eBooks & printables and 10 eCourses
  • 3 physical bonuses + 1 digital bonus valued at $106.84
All of this for only $29.97!  

It is available only until May 22nd, so if you are interested, click HERE to learn more.


I love herbs and essential oils and am so excited to add these great ebooks to my library!

Herbal Blessings,

Catherine Ann