October 2019

Maypop or Passionfruit Leaves

The recent rain was welcome indeed!  The drought of September and October could not disappear fast enough as we all struggled to keep our plantings alive through rotational watering. Even with faithful watering, some new plants just curled up and died.  

This observation reminds me it is time now to prepare for winter by looking for light mulching material such as pine needles or shredded leaves to put around my cold sensitive plants such as rosemary. Mulches will conserve water and keep tender roots and the ground from freezing around our newer plants. Do not be surprised if we have to water to keep our wintering plants healthy.

Basil is still going but it is time to harvest the last batch, make pesto, and freeze it in ice cube trays. Silicone trays with a snap-on cover are ideal.  If you have also been harvesting and drying sage and rosemary leaves for winter teas, keep the stems to use in stuffing a roasting chicken. Traditionally, sage has been used to combat colds and fevers and rosemary to improve memory by increasing circulation to the brain, relieving joint pain due to arthritis, and relieving stomach pain caused by flatulence.

Blackberry Leaves

My foraging efforts have continued with success. Blackberry leaves were dried and added to my stores as a medicinal tea. Chris Cosby’s instructive presentation mentioned that he used blackberry leaves for his own family to combat digestive upsets. There was also a welcome surprise in my garden:  Intertwined with my plantings, passion fruit vine, also known as maypop, made its appearance. My new-found passion fruit vine is contributing leaves to my apothecary as a calming and soothing herbal tea.

As with everything, we need to do our own research on each herb we might want to use for our health.  When we use these herbs, we should carefully assess how our individual constitutions react to particular dosages. Chris Cosby suggested keeping this information in a detailed personal family herbal journal. What a great idea. This is how we gain wisdom in effectively using herbs for our health. Start small with herbs that are familiar and then carefully experiment, recording your experiences in your herbal journal. This way our storehouse of knowledge will increase. See you in the garden!    

As with everything, we need to do our own research on each herb we might want to use for our health.  When we use these herbs, we should carefully assess how our individual constitutions react to particular dosages. Chris Cosby suggested keeping this information in a detailed personal family herbal journal. What a great idea. This is how we gain wisdom in effectively using herbs for our health. Start small with herbs that are familiar and then carefully experiment, recording your experiences in your herbal journal. This way our storehouse of knowledge will increase. See you in the garden!    

~~Reni Erskine

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