Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
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Wild Jewels for your Wild Valentine

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

I've always liked to make my own Valentine love letters....all handwritten and colored with leaves and sticks and twigs and rocks and plant dyed spots, or whipping up my own chocolatey and sticky and sweet confections, and irresistible luscious liqueurs....but this year, I'm stringing wild jewels too. A little something special for my girls. They're easy enough to be a children's project but I'm keeping this one a secret because I'm making these ones for my Valentine girls. I will say though, that my fingertips didn't go without the occasional needle poke so some children my need help with this one.

Personally, I'm not one for store bought jewelry like gold rings or trinket laden necklaces. I have a lustful eye and a heart for the treasures gifted and hidden amongst Nature. I do love sea jewels and shells and seed pods and gems and stones and twigs and precious metals and such and I , especially like to find these treasures myself and make my own jewelery with wild jewels.

Nature is amazing in her ability to provide us with nourishing foods, plant medicines, and even wild plant jewels if you look closely enough.  And, if you can't get that close, you can still look on your kitchen counter or in your cubbies or pantries and find plenty of useable jewels for making bracelets, necklaces, hair-clips and such.

For my Valentine necklaces I chose to string juniper berries, clove buds, lycii berries and rose hips, but there are so many other wonderful and easily assessable  jewels that can be used. I like raisins, cardamom pods, orange and lemon peel, dried cranberries or blueberries, cinnamon sticks, cottonwood buds, gourd seeds seed, cones from spruce, currents etc.....I'm sure there are tons of beautiful jewels right outside your doors.

 


 


To make your Valentine Love necklaces or bracelets all you'll need is heavy duty thread, (I used Button and Carpet Thread as I find it holds up better, but you can use fishing line to) a long, thin sewing needle and dried wild jewels. Any hard wild jewels like clove, cut roots, barks, and peels need to be soaked for a bit to soften up. Just place them in a mug and pour boiling water right over the top, cover and allow to cool, then they will be string-able. Some may need to be boiled a tad longer to soften.

 

There's really nothing to it, you'll want to tie a knot in one end or add a clasp or button and thread on your wild jewels singly or in a pattern. I like to just tie them together when it's to my liking so that the amazingness in uninterrupted. If you're making hair-clips you can easily just hot glue your wild jewels on.

**A quick reminder that small objects are not suitable to children of choking age.

 

Here are my completed Wild Jewel Valentine necklaces I made for my girls. From left to right I made a solid juniper (bottom left) solid rose hips (top) and a pattern of cloves, lycii berries and juniper berries (bottom right). I made matching bracelets as well.

 

 Do you think my girls will like them? I hope so!

 

 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, Herbalist

 
 

Sweet September Sale.....Free Shipping!!

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

In honor of Sweet September, Morgan Botanicals is offering FREE SHIPPING! Just order on my site and enjoy free shipping for the whole month.

All loose herbs, teas, salves and balms, essential oils, baths and soaks,  steams and tinctures included.

I also offer herbal products, medicine making workshops, children's classes, plant walks, garden and crop advice as well as private consultations and custom blends.

 

Let there be herbal healing and blessings to all!

Morgan Botanicals - www.morganbotanicals.com

 


 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Fan me on Facebook - Morgan Botanicals

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 

Are You A Seed Saver?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

As summer is turning to fall, our gardens are beginning to spill out their seeds in great abundance, insuring us its future generation. Do you save your seeds?

Collecting seeds from your own garden is a great way to preserve your prized beauties and save them for the spring garden or pass them along to family and friends. I find that trading seeds is a fun way to share my own plants and try out someone else's favorites. There are so many seed exchanges available to gardeners, but here are two of my favorite sites for seed swapping and seed giving.

This is the craigslist of seeds. You can post seeds you have to offer or request a particular rare variety.

World Food Garden - Seed Swap

 

"What do you do with seeds from vegetables and fruits after you're done eating? Most eaters, who aren't gardeners, probably don't give those seeds a second thought. Seeds for Food is an organization that collects seeds from the dinner table and distributes them among Saharan refugees and teaches them how to grow some of their own food."

I am a seed saver and trader....if you have any questions about collecting, cleaning and/or drying, storing, saving seeds of particular plants, or want to trade.....just let me know.

 

As always, please email any questions to

herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

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Crazy About Chia!

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Chia is often found growing on sunny hillsides, disturbed fields, prairies, and plains throughout the West and often after fires. This member of the sage family (Salvia columbariae) is very aromatic and worth growing. Chia will grow anywhere from 6- 24 inches tall and will have as many as 5 flower heads per stalk. The leaves are opposite, mostly basal and up to 4 inches long.

Seeds of this plant and the related species, S. mexicana, were an important food to the Indians and early settlers. These seeds are not only nutritious but easily digested. Some Indian tribes believed that a tablespoon of chia seed would give a warrior enough energy to go on a 24-hour forced march. When moistened, the seeds become mucilaginous and can be used to calm an upset stomach or made into poultices for topical wounds. If placed under the eyelid before retiring, this will help clean dirt from the eyes.

I think chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods known to man, and besides providing an enormous amount of energy, they are high in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and calcium.  These seeds are a good option for a child or adolescent, the pregnant women, vegetarian, or athletes and weight lifters who need that extra protein in their diet.

So what to do with all these Chia seeds you wonder? Well, Chia can be eaten raw, sprouted, roasted, or ground as a mush or as flour for bread. I mix them into meat loaf, breads and smoothies. One of my favorite ways to use them though is as a popular drink in Mexico called Agua de chia or Chia Seed Water. Here a great recipe to try at home.

Agua de Chia

  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 2 quarts pure water
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime or lemon juice, or to taste
  • A sprinkling of powdered cinnamon

1. Soak chia seeds in water until they soften and take on a spongy consistency.

2. Sweeten the 2 quarts of water with the sugar, stirring to dissolve, and add the chia seeds and citrus juice.

2. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve chilled.

 -Enjoy!

Find Chia seeds in my Local Harvest Store. 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 

Sunflowers...The Unusual Vegetable?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Boy, is it ever sunflower season! We all know that growing sunflowers isn't that unusual but as a garden crop they are fun and productive to grow. I tend to grow too many sunflowers- I just can't get enough! I save and search for new seeds of every color and size.

Nearly all of the sixty species of sunflowers in North and South America are edible, and to me, this make them valuable. Most of us are use to buying and eating just the seeds, but sunflowers offer so much more. Did you know that the immature sunflower head can be eaten like Globe Artichokes? Pick the buds when they're swollen but before they open- they taste just like a floral artichoke.

As for the seeds, gather the seed heads in late summer to early Autumn before the seeds are dry enough to be released. Then hang them in a warm, dry place.  The seeds can be roasted, hulled, made into a fine meal for flour, ground into butter or oil, or just simply eaten. Shells can even be ground as a coffee substitute.

I'm already starting to collect seeds for next years sunflower crop and so should you because there are so many wonderful ways to enjoy them!

Look for unusual sunflower seeds coming soon in my Local Harvest Store.

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.


 
 

Oh My.....Tomatillo

Jessica Morgan, M.H. Tomatillos are perhaps one of my favorite and most prized fruits. They're not only fun to grow (as they are incredibly beautiful plants) but they are rich in flavor and yummy to eat.

This native of Mexico, which is much like a tomato, dates back to at least 800 B.C. and has for a long time been cultivated there, but has never really caught on elsewhere. For a plant which is so rich in flavor, productive and easy to grow, this is surprising. In Mexican cuisine the tomatillo is important, replacing tomatoes which have come to be used in their place in other countries, particularly in salsa or other sauces for meat. I love how they impart a unique tanginess which tomatoes never quite attain.

The tomatillo is a member of the Solanaceae family (the nightshades: tomato, potato, eggplant, ect.) and should be taken into account for your crop rotation plan. Physalis ixocarpa and phladelphica are the most common varieties grown but there are several. Most nurseries sell Physalis ixocara as the principal Tomatillo species. But, you can find many varieties of seeds which may include large yellow or green fruits as well small purple ones.

If you have never grown tomatillos before just remember that they are sun loving, warm weather crops and love the heat. You'll want to choose a site that gets full sun and has well-drained soil that’s not too rich. A pH reading that’s close to neutral (7.0) is good for them. Simply water and feed while fruits are forming. I pick my tomatillos as soon as they are large enough to be useful and continue picking until frost.

So for those of us who are picking our tomatillos right now (and I say this in pure excitement!) thank goodness there are so many ways to use this abundance of fruit. I myself enjoy salsas, verdes, fried, or any where I want some tang.

Here is a simple and delicious recipe for Tomatillo Jam - Enjoy!

 Tomatillo Jam

  • 3 cups cleaned tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 7 1/2 cups organic sgar, measured into separate bowl
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic butter (optional)
  • 2 bags of powdered fruit pectin
  1. Follow basic instructions for Jam making. (cleaning jars and preparing canner)
  2. Finely chop or grind tomatillos. Measure exactly three cups into saucepot and add lemon juice.
  3. Stir in sugar, add butter if desired, (this reduces foaming) and bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in pectin and return to full rolling boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any excess foam.
  5. Ladle jam quickly into clean jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe, seal and place into canner. Water must cover jam jars by at least and inch.
  6. Cover and bring to gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and allow to completely cool. After cooling, check for proper seal, if lid springs back refrigeration is necessary.
This is the perfect spread across Chili Scones or homemade Corn Tortillas.

 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 
 

Very Interesting Veggies

Jessica Morgan, M.H. There is a sense of excitement that comes from growing something new in your garden each year. Why not explore your creative side and plant something unusual this year. I've put together some extraordinary vegetables with unusual flavors that will be worth the extra effort it takes to find these magnificent plants.

  • Asparagus Bean, also know as yard-long bean. A beautiful addition to any vegetable garden, and as good to eat as they are strange to behold. Easy to grow, produces abundantly, and has a pleasing taste all their own.
  • Borage is not the prettiest of plants when mature but useful to say the least. Leaves possess a mild, cucumber-like flavor guaranteed to perk up any salad.
  • Burdock doesn't need much water and is easy to grow. Slice the roots up for refreshing, sweetish, unusual aromatic flavor in stir-fry dishes or soups.
  • Chayote is low in calories and high in trace elements plus a good source of fiber. This vegetable pear is a tasty stand in for asparagus, or use it as you would potatoes or French fries.
  • Dandelion is enjoyable all year, and a closer look at its nutritional value should persuade you to do just that.
  • Horseradish root is useful both as food and medicine. Cook as you would parsnips or spice up a pot roast or baked ham. In the spring, the first leaf shoots of the plant can be picked for an unusual and pungent potherb.
  • Jicama tastes very much like water chestnuts, but with a slight hint of sweetness. These tubers can be used in a multitude of ways.
  • Luffa is a member of the cucumber family and is seldom seen growing in America, but spa-bathers and boat scrubbers are undoubtedly familiar with this sturdy "vegetable sponge." Grow some to scrub your veggie's!
  • Nettle if handled with care will make a valuable addition to you garden. Arm yourself with gloves and harvest away.
  • Orach has a mild flavor and contains much less acid than most other types of spinach. Add to quiches, roll up in crepes, toss into soups, or enjoy this delicious vegetable by itself.
  • Rocket is an excellent late crop with the flavor quite distinctive- sharp, spicy, pungent. Enjoy it at its best raw in salads.
  • Salsify has a multitude of uses. These roots can be baked, boiled, fried, or served in soups.
  • Scorzonera is delicious served hot with melted butter or a cream or mushroom sauce. But like Salsify can be baked or fried as well.
  • Sea Kale shoots have a delicate, nutty, slightly bitter flavor. They are yummy when eaten raw with cheese or in salads, or prepared like asparagus.
  • Skirret responds well to interplanting with salad crops such as radishes, onions, and leaf lettuce. Boil these roots up with salt and mash like potatoes.
  • Tomatillo's are the first cousin of the ground cherry. These sticky green berries are the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican dish.
The best part about planting unusual veggies is tracking down the seeds! Love you garden and it will love you!

Please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 
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