A January Harvest

Not a bad harvest for January 5th!

Today was a very pretty day.  It was cool, but not at all unpleasant.  There was a very full list waiting on me, but it was all things I enjoy.  When you love what you do it just doesn’t feel like work.  Yesterday’s list was full as well, so much so that about half the list got bumped to today.

I spent the morning processing the herbs I had drying in the kitchen for a few weeks.  Once I had them stripped off the stems and chopped up, I made three different kinds of infused oils.  Once the oils are done in 10 days, I will strain the herbs out and turn the oil into massage oil, bath oils, and salt scrubs.  This is fun work and you get a huge session of aromatherapy to boot!  My girls have gotten spoiled to handmade bath products with organically grown herbs.  The benefit to your skin is huge, make growing herbs for this sole purpose worth it!  Of course, my herbs have many purposes.

Mint is going great.  Once you get mint started, you don’t have to give it much attention.  Unless, of course, it grows like mad and tries to take over your bed.  For this reason I only plant mint in a container or in an area of the yard I want it to take over.  Who wants to mow?  Dandelions are also flourishing.  In my garden these are NOT WEEDS!  If you want to be healthier, make a tincture of dandelions.  That is my go-to medicine around here.  Not only does it help with colds and such, for us it works great on allergies.  And unlike man-made medicines, there are no side effects.  Rosemary, of course, is doing great.  This plant actually doubled in size over the horrid summer with no extra water!

Surprisingly, I found Dill coming up in the garden boxes.  The freeze should have killed it, but it did not.  So I picked it!  There was a bit of lavender left to harvest and some parsley.  All in all, I was very pleased to find so much in the Garden.  Sage, Salad Burnett and Thyme are still doing fine, but they had not grown much since my last harvest  and I choose to leave them for another day.  So many of the herbs are evergreen and hardy through the winter, at least here in East Texas.

As you can see, herbs really pull their weight in the garden.  Everyone should have some.  Your food will taste better and you will be healthier.  Most all culinary herbs double as medicinal herbs.  The local library is a great resource for learning about herbs.  Then, if you find a book you like you can purchase it online or at a used book store.  This keeps you from buying books that are really not that helpful.  My favorite herb book of all time is Growing 101 Herbs That Heal, by Tammi Hartung.  101 herbs may be more than you are looking to grow, but this book is very good and you will learn how to grow the ones you want to use.

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