So Succulent Gardens

  (Columbia Station, Ohio)
www.sosucculent.com
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Mother's Day LIve herbs In a Garden Gft Basket - Order Now for a Timely Delivery

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I will be posting different Ideas you can order this weekend for a timely delivery to MOM!   A garden basket of Fresh potted herbs.  Visit my listing for more....

 

 
 

HOMEMADE Herbal Cough Drops and Syrup Recipe

HOREHOUND COUGH SYRUP
Make an old-time cough remedy by mixing horehound tea with honey.  Make an infusion by steeping 1 ounce of fresh or dried horehound leaves in a pint of boiling water. Allow it to steep only 10 minutes.
Strain off the leaves, then measure the quantity of liquid remaining. Add twice as much honey as liquid, mix well, and bottle.
To soothe a cough, take 1 teaspoon at a time, about 4 times a day!! Taken from: Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Herbs

HOREHOUND DROPS
1 cup fresh horehound leaves
I cup water
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup or honey
Put the horehound in a small non reactive sauce pan and add the water.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered,
for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then remove the horehound and squeeze out all of the liquid. Add the sugar and
corn syrup or honey to the pan, stir with a wooden spoon while bringing to a boil, then turn the heat down to a
gentle simmer. If bubbles threaten to overflow the pan, reduce the heat slightly and stir.  Boil to the hard-crack stage. If you have a candy thermometer, this is in the range of 330°F.  Keep
a shallow cup of cold water nearby. Stir the liquid occasionally, and watch how it falls from the spoon. When it forms a thread, begin testing for hardness by allowing a drop of the mixmixture to fall into the cup of cold water. Don't trust your fingers to examine the now hardened drop in the cup: bite it. If it's at all gooey or sticks to your teeth, keep cooking. When it's hard enough to crack when you bite it, remove the pan from the heat immediately.
If the mixture crystallizes, just add a cup of water and an extra tablespoon of corn syrup or honey to the pan, scrape all of the crystalline chunks into it, and begin again.
Lightly butter a candy mold, cookie sheet, or other heatproof baking pan, and pour in the hot mixture. If
you're using a flat-bottomed pan, score the surface of the candy after it has cooled enough to become firm. This
will help in breaking it apart, which should be done as soon as the candy can be handled.  After individual "drops" are
formed, sift granulated or powdered sugar over them to keep them from sticking together Store in a moisture-
proof container.

From the Herb Companion Magazine

 
 

Herbs in an Advent Wreath

Herbs in an Advent Wreath

There are many legends about herbs and the roles they played in the Christmas story.

The wreath circle stands for eternity, the following is an explanation of herbs often found in an advent  wreath:

Juniper, cedar and pine protected the Holy Family on their flight from Egypt.

Ivy denotes the trinity.

Lavender represents purity and virtue, lavender is said to have received its lovely scent when it served as the drying rack for the Baby Jesus' swaddling clothes

Sage stands for immortality.

Horehound is a wish for good health.

Rue is a symbol or virtue and banishes evil.

Thyme another manger herb stands for bravery and strength of Christ.

Rosemary is for remembrance.

The story associated with rosemary is that its flowers changed from white to blue in Mary’s honor.

Bedstraw, is considered a manager herb.

Pennyroyal, is supposed to have bloomed at midnight on Christmas Eve in  Christ’s honor.

Costmary, also known as Bible leaf and used as a bookmark the fragrance chases insects, was used by Mary Magdalene to make an ointment for the baby Jesus.

Tansy is associated with immortality.

 We carry all the above plants in spring ready to ship to your door.

See more at www.blossomfarm.com

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Lettuce from the garden deserves a dressing made from scratch.

We harvest our herbs at the peak of freshness and infuse in white wine champagne stock vinegar.  Our Herbes de Provence Champagne Vinegar changes with the growing season, Tarragon, basil, lavender, chive, fennel, thyme, bay leaves, lemon thyme, and garden burnet. With a dash of lavender honey. Since the herbs change monthly the color of the vinegar changes also.
Click here to view our new product Herbes de Provence Champagne Vinegar
Vinaigrette du Provence
Ingredients:
2/3 cup Olive Oil
2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard (I like Grainy)
2 1/2 tablespoons Herbes of Provence Champagne Vinegar
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Preparation:
Whisk all ingredients until well blended. Serve vinaigrette at room temperature.

Do not limit your yourself to just leafy greens.  If you like a little sweeter dressing add a 1/2 teas sugar.

 
 

Different types of HERBAL INFUSIONS to try at home

Infusions
Infusions, or tisanes as they are frequently called, are made by pouring
boiling water over the herbs and allowing the mixture to steep for 10-30 minutes depending on the strength you prefer. Infusions
are used for extracting the properties of flowers and the herb or leafy
part of the plant. Always keep the container tightly closed when infusing herbs. If using a teapot, atea caddy is helpful in keeping all
the properties in the water.

Decoctions
A decoction is used to extract the more tenacious plant material and is
the preferred method for brewing most roots, barks and hard nuts/seeds. A decoction is made by simmering the herbs in
boiling water for 15-30 minutes depending on the strength of tea
desired. Always keep the pot tightly
covered.

Solar Infusions
Sun charge your tea! Place the herbs in a large glass jar and cover
tightly. Put in the direct sunlight and leave for several hours or until the desired flavor is attained.  There's nothing quite like the taste of
sunshine brewed in a perfect blend of herbs to lift the spirits.

Lunar Infusions
Just as solar infusions capture the essence of sunlight, lunar infusions
utilize the great luminary energy of the moon. Though much subtler than other methods of brewing herbs, lunar infusions capture a
certain magic and essence. To make, place herbs (fresh flowers are
especially nice in lunar infusions) in a crystal bowl and set the bowl in a place where it will get direct moonlight. Let sit overnight and
first thing in the morning, drink your lunar infusion. Try it on the
next full moon. You'll be enchanted.
 
 

What can you say bad about LAVENDER? ------ NOTHING!

There is evidence of lavender being used for centuries, in Egyptian times in perfumes and massage oils. The Greeks used lavender as medicine during the first century AD. The Romans used lavender to scent the public baths where it was believed to restore vitality to bathers.

Romans also used lavender oil to massage and heal the skin and to repel insects. There are even several references to lavender in the Bible. The Queen of Sheba offered King Solomon "spike," an early name for lavender. Judith rubbed lavender oil on her body before seducing Holofernes. In France, lavender flowers were strewn on the floor to freshen the air and mask stinking smells of the unsanitary streets. In the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I drank 10 cups of lavender tea a day to ward off headaches and promote her sense of well being. The history of lavender's benefits is long and well documented.

Emotion: With antidepressant and sedative qualities, lavender lifts depression, eases stress and anxiety, and is useful in overcoming headaches, migraine and insomnia.

Insomnia: The sedative quality of lavender can induce sleep and ease problems of insomnia, restlessness and agitation.

Skin: Lavender is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory; healing cuts, burns, sunburns, insect bites, acne, eczema and even dandruff.

Breathing: Lavender is an antiseptic and can kill germs. It is also an expectorant, which breaks up congestion. It can help fight colds, throat infections, coughs, sinusitis and flu.

Circulation: Lavender is a sedative and hypotensive, and reduces high blood pressure and palpitations.

Digestion: Lavender use aids in easing indigestion, flatulence and nausea and alleviates bad breath or toothache.

Muscular: Lavender is analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic; the oil is good for aches, pains, sprains, cramps and spasms.

Source: Lavender, Nature's Way to Relaxation and Health by Philippa Waring

 "Lavender's blue, diddle diddle"- So goes the song;  All around her bush, diddle diddle, Butterflies throng;  (They love her well, diddle diddle, So do the bees;) While she herself, diddle diddle, ways in the breeze! Lavender's blue, diddle diddle, Lavender's green;  "She'll scent the clothes, diddle diddle, Put away clean- Clean from the wash, diddle diddle, Hanky and sheet;  lavender's spikes, diddle diddle, Make them all sweet!

 
 

HERB TONIC FOR HEALTHY PLANTS

1 1/2 teaspoon dried plantain herb
1/2 teaspoon dried nettle
1/2 teaspoon dried horsetail herb
1/2 teaspoon dried yarrow
1 clove garlic
1 kelp tablet (about 150 micrograms) crushed
6 cups boiling water
Combine all ingredients, pour on the water, and let steep, covered, for 5 minutes. Strain and use to water herbs. Or make a sun tea, letting the herbs steep all day. This tonic provides nutrients that herbs needs, and helps keeps pests away. ~ from "The Good Herb" by Judith Benn Hurley   
 
 

MINT PART 2 Recipes to follow

Here are other Mint Plants I have available in spring.


Mentha piperata 'Chocolate Mint'
Chocolate Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:  Bronze green leaves with a surprising chocolate peppermint fragrance. Add a few leaves to your coffee grounds before brewing for a special chocolate peppermint coffee. Can be added to brownies, cakes and ice cream recipes.
    

Add a few chocolate mint leaves to you coffee grounds. Add a tablespoon of dried chocolate mint herb to your brownie mix.  
 

Mentha x piperita 'Lavender'
Lavender Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Sweet lavender floral fragrance used for potpourri, herbal teas and cooking.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mentha pulegium
Pennyroyal
Height: 3"     Zone: 5-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description: Creeping growth habit, effective in repelling mosquito, fleas and ticks. A strong infusion of pennyroyal is an effect flea dip. Can cause spontaneous abortion so avoid using if the animal is pregnant. Make your dog a pennyroyal flea color by braiding pennyroyal around a string and placing around the pets’ neck.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mentha sp.
Blossom's Favorite Tea Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun - part shade
Description:  This is our creation from the farm, it is a chance seedling.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mentha requienii
Corsican Mint
Height: 1"     Zone: 6-9     Light: part shade - shade
Description:     Very dainty with tiny green leaves with a cool Crème de Menthe fragrance. Prefers a shady moist area between stepping stones, nooks and crannies and along a waterside. Seems to be hardy to only Zone 6 but reseeds freely.
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Mentha species
Basil Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade Description:     Dark green heart shaped leaves emitting a spicy floral fragrance.  Running short of basil?  Try this in pesto.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mentha 'Sweet Pear'
Sweet Pear Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     It really gives off an unmistakable hint of sweet, ripe pears.  Make a light sweet tea with pear mint, or use the tea to simmer fruits, (apple, peaches, pears, etc.) until soft, let cool and marinate in the frig for about an hour.  Also try in yogurt, punch, cream pies and fruit jellies. It is wonderful in salads.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mentha spicata
Spearmint 'Kentucky Colonel'
Height: 24"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Cool mint flavor, a classic ingredient of mint juleps, herbal teas or as a skin astringent.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mentha X gentilis
Ginger Mint
Height: 15"     Zone: 5-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Bright green leaves variegated with gold mottled stripes, with the taste of mint and ginger. Lovely container or basket plant for the porch.
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Mentha suaveolens
Apple Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Large woolly leaves with a sweet apple scent.  Herbal teas, cooking herb and fragrant garnishes.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mentha suaveolens 'Variegata'
Variegated Pineapple Mint
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:     Fruity, fragrant and very lovely variegated green and white leaves. Would be nice as a container plant.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mentha piperita 'Variegata'
Variegated Peppermint
Height: 12"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:  Creamy variegated peppermint is more of an ornamental variety of Peppermint,  but with the same great peppermint flavor. Peppermint is an excellent digestive aid and has been used for the treatment of morning and motion sickness, as well as an inhalant to treat congestion. Flavorful herb tea, hot or cold. 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mentha species
The Best Mint
Height: 18"     Zone: 3-9     Light: sun to part shade
Description:  The Best" Mint is so called because it is the most vigorous growing form of spearmint. The green, wrinkled leaves make a soothing and refreshing tea and may be used to scent linen closets and woolen chests, repel moths, in fact all mints are good repelling insects.

Recipes to follow in part 3

 
 

A little Ditty to help you remember how to cook with HERBS

The magical powers of herbs are such.
one's eagerness prompts one to use too much;
But tis wiser to taunt than to tire the taste,
And a nice moderation guards against waste.

A good rule to follow, in seasonings, therefore,
Is a scant fourth teaspoon to each serving for four;
And you soon will discover that herbs used with care,
Will glorify all that you cook or prepare.

Dishes that simmer, or bubble or stew
For long patients house - like soup or ragout -
Should be given their herbs the last hour or so,
For too lengthy cooking lets herb flavors go.

But dishes that cook while you hurry and fix,
Should receive their herb quota right in the mix;
While cold things - like cocktail - really should sleep
Overnight with their herbs to allow them to steep.

Author - M. Dunnigan

FOR MORE VISIT WWW.BLOSSOMFARM.COM/RECIPES.HTM

 
 

Herbs in an Advent Wreath

There are many legends about herbs and the roles they played in the Christmas story.

The wreath circle stands for eternity, the following is an explanation of herbs often found in an advent  wreath:

Juniper, cedar and pine protected the Holy Family on their flight from Egypt.

Ivy denotes the trinity.

Lavender represents purity and virtue, lavender is said to have received its lovely scent when it served as the drying rack for the Baby Jesus' swaddling clothes

Sage stands for immortality.

Horehound is a wish for good health.

Rue is a symbol or virtue and banishes evil.

Thyme another manger herb stands for bravery and strength of Christ.

Rosemary is for remembrance.

The story associated with rosemary is that its flowers changed from white to blue in Mary’s honor.

Bedstraw, is considered a manager herb.

Pennyroyal, is supposed to have bloomed at midnight on Christmas Eve in  Christ’s honor.

Costmary, also known as Bible leaf and used as a bookmark the fragrance chases insects, was used by Mary Magdalene to make an ointment for the baby Jesus.

Tansy is associated with immortality.

 We carry all the above plants in spring ready to ship to your door.

See more at www.blossomfarm.com

 
 
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