For Dragonflies And Me

  (Snover, Michigan)
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A Companionate Herbal for the Organic Garden and Yummy Herb Butters Recipe's!

Summer is here and we are in full swing! I am finding it harder and harder to get to this blog with all the responsibilities I have around on the farm.  I am constantly thinking of things to write about and share, but finding the 'thyme', or should I say making the 'thyme' is just taking more effort than I would actually like.  But here I am and of course I love being here.  Lets talk more on herbs shall we? I just can't seem to get enough of herbs, they are so versatile and useful in so many areas in life... the kitchen, bouquet and right into the personal care line! I love to go out to the gardens and pick them... as I brush against their leaves they just welcome me there with their lovely aroma's telling me to pick & enjoy!  I have often touched on companion planting and I recently came across a great list that I thought I would like to share with all of you. Today I am going to focus a bit on the personal care end with of course a few yummy recipes for Herb Butters! Thanks for coming... see you again soon!

A Companionate Herbal for the Organic Garden~ 
This list was adapted from The Rodale Herb Book; How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature's Miracle Plants; published by Rodale Press, Inc. 1974, pg.s 268-269.

HERB:                          COMPANIONS AND EFFECTS:
Basil                             *Companion to tomatoes; Improves growth and flavor; repels flies and mosquitoes.
Bee Balm                       *Companion to tomatoes; improves growth and flavor
Borage                           *Companion to tomatoes, squash and strawberries; deters tomato worm; improves flavor &
                                      growth.
Caraway                         *Plant here and there; loosens soil.
Camomile                       *Companion to radishes; improves growth & flavor.
Chervil                           *Companion to cabbages & onions; improves growth & flavor.
Chives                            *Companion to carrots; improves growth & flavor.
Dill                                *Companion to cabbage, improves growth & flavor; dislikes carrots  
Fennel                            *Plant away from gardens.  Most plants dislike it.
Garlic                             *Plant near roses and raspberries, improves growth & health; deters Japanese beetle
Horseradish                     *Plant at corners of potato patch to deter potato bug.
Hyssop                            *Deters cabbage moth; companion to cabbage & grapes; Keep away from radishes.
Lovage                            *Improves flavor and health of plants if planted here and there.
Marigold                         *The workhorse of the pest deterrents.  Plant throughout the garden: discourages                                             Mexican bean beetles, nematodes, and other insects.      
Mint                               *companion to cabbage & tomatoes; improves health & flavor; deters white cabbage moth.
Marjoram                        *Here and there in gard3en; improves flavors.
Nasturtium                     *Companion to radishes, cabbage & curcurbits; plant under fruit trees.  Deters aphids,
                                       squash bugs, striped pumpkin beetles.  Improves growth and flavor.    
Pot Marigold                   *companion to tomatoes, but plant elsewhere in garden too.  Deters asparagus beetle,
                                        tomato worm and general garden pests.       
Peppermint                      *Planted among cabbages, it repels the white cabbage butterfly.
Rosemary                       *Companion to cabbage, bean, carrots & sage; deters cabbage moth, bean beetles & carrot fly
Rue                                *Keep it far away from sweet basil; plant near roses and raspberries; deters Japanese beetle.
Sage                              *Plant with rosemary, cabbage & carrots; keep away from cucumbers; deters cabbage moth
                                       & carrot fly.
Summer Savory              *Plant with beans and onions; improves growth and flavor; deters bean beetles.
Tansy                             *Plant under fruit trees; companion to roses & raspberries; deters flying insects,
                                        Japanese beetle, striped cucumber beetles, squash bugs and ants.       
Tarragon                         *Good throughout the garden.
Thyme                            *Here and there in garden. It deters cabbage worm.

Of course as usual this is only a small amount of information in a world of endless info!  These are the most commonly used herbs in the kitchen, but doesn't even touch on medicinal ones.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Aromatic herbal baths are one of the most pleasurable ways to cleanse your skin and revitalize your whole body after a hard day at work.  You can add particular herbs to promote relaxation or stimulation.  Therapeutic preparations can be made at home from essential oils and herbal infusions quite easily.  In an earlier blog I gave you the how-to's on Oils and Vinegars for cooking, here are some personal care recipes!  Enjoy!

Antiseptic Wash~ Among oils with antiseptic action are thyme, lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus.  Add 8 drips of one of these to a small bowl of water and apply to minor wounds.

Foot Bath~ You will need: Fresh leaves of bay, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon balm, thyme, marjoram, spearmint.
*Sprinkle 1-2 handfuls of herbs into a large bowl.
*Add 2 tsp. of salt and enough hot water to cover the feet and ankles.
*Soak feet for at least 10- 12 minutes while breathing in the delicious aroma's!

Hand Cream~ You will need: 1 cup rose water, 1/4 cup glycerin, 1/4 cup cornstarch and 3 drops chamomile oil.
*Blend rosewater, cornstarch and glycerin.
*Heat gently in a double boiler to thicken, then cool for about 15- 20 minutes.
*Stir in oil.
*Store in screw top jar for up to 3 months.

Lavender Spritz~
For a classic skin freshener, fill an spritzer bottle with distilled water and add a couple drops of lavender essential oil.  Shake to blend and before each use.

Lip Balm~ You will need: Oil of eucalyptus, lemon, thyme, jasmine, lavender, geranium, juniper, OR  peppermint.
*Add 2 drops of one of the oil's listed above to 1 tbsp. of warmed cocoa butter.  Put in a small jar and let it cool. 

Stretch Marks Massage Oil~ You will need:  5 drops of EACH~ lavender oil and neroli oil, 6 drops frankincense and 1/4 cup almond oil.
*Add oils to a small stoppered jar and shake to blend.  Massage gently into the skin to firm it up and to combat stretch marks.

Rosewater Toner~ You will need: 2/3 cup rosewater, 2/3 cup witch hazel and 6 drop glycerin.
*Pour all the ingredients into a bottle and shake will before each use.

Herb butters add a lovely finishing touch to cooked veggies, fist or chicken and are so easy to make!  All you need to do is beat your favorite fresh or dried herb9s0 into some softened butter, cover with some plastic wrap and chill until you're ready to serve it up!
Here are some yummy Herb Butter Recipes to try this year!

Lemon & Fennel Butter ~ the flavor of fennel goes very well with fish or grilled corn on the cob!
1 Stick salted butter, softened
2 tbsp. chopped fennel fronds
zest of half lemon, grated
1/8 tsp. pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly blended; pat into a roll about the size of a tangerine, cover with plastic wrap and chill.  When ready to serve, cut into chunks~ very cute!

Cilantro & Scallion Butter
~ Use this on some new potatoes and enjoy the sweet savor of scallions blended with the pungency of cilantro!
1 Stick salted butter, softened
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
1 scallion (green onion) finely chopped.
Follow prep method above.

Chive Pepper Butter ~ So yummy on grilled chicken or roasted cod fillets!
1 stick salted butter, softened
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
1 tbsp. mixed peppercorns, lighted crushed
Follow prep method above.

Happy Day,
Jean
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