The Incredibly Tasty Tulip: Chèvre Cheese Balls — Gather Victoria

I’m not sure about you but Vancouver Island is awash in tulips! From pale yellows, crimson reds, pumpkin oranges, deep purples, lustred pinks and snow-white, their luminous colours are stunning. The most unsung of tulips many spring charms, however, is her edibility. With flavours and textures as diverse as her colours, her blooms offer not…

The Incredibly Tasty Tulip: Chèvre Cheese Balls — Gather Victoria

HSA Webinar: Shedding Light on the Solanaceae: An Exploration of Our Relationship with Nightshades

The Herb Society of America Blog

by Jen Munson, HSA Education Chair

20170811_093151The nightshade family of plants sounds ominous  – how could it not with the use of the words night and shade? The official name of this family is Solanaceae, and these plants are characterized by the shape of the flower, which in some cases feature near perfect pentagrams of petals, sepals, and stamens, and in others the petals are fused to form long tubes.

The Solanaceae features nearly 90 genera and 3,000 species, including some of humanity’s most important plants. You may be surprised to learn that many of our everyday foods fall in the nightshade family. These include hot and bell peppers, potatoes, eggplant, and tomatoes. To learn more, join HSA on April 13th at 1pm EDT when National Herb Garden gardener, Erin Holden, joins us for “Shedding Light on the Solanaceae: An Exploration of Our Relationship with Nightshades.” 

Lycopersicon_esculentum_Supersweet_100_0zz by David J StangAlthough many…

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Chervil – Herb of the Month

The Herb Society of America Blog

by Maryann Readal

chervil plantChervil, Anthriscus cerefolium, is similar to parsley but has a milder, anise flavor. It is sometimes called French parsley or garden parsley. The Romans named it cherifoliu, the ‘cheri’ part meaning delight and the ‘folium’ part meaning leaves—the joy of leaves.

Chervil is important in French cuisine, where it is an ingredient in classic sauces such as béarnaise and ravigote. These sauces pair well with fish, veal, or chicken. Along with parsley, chives, and tarragon, chervil is in the French herb combination, herbes fines. Chervil is better used fresh as it loses its flavor when dried. It should be added at the end of cooking to get the most out of its flavor. It is a good addition to omelets and salads and can be sprinkled over fresh fruit. Chervil makes a flavorful and colorful butter. The leaves and flowers can…

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Sensory Herb Gardens for Special Needs Children

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Candace Riddle

IMG_0317Ever since Beatrix Potter wrote The Tale of Peter Rabbit,children and gardens have had a special friendship. That friendship is even stronger between children with special needs and special gardens called “sensory gardens.” 

The difference between a sensory garden and a “regular” garden is the human factor— regular display gardens are designed primarily for visual beauty, while a sensory garden is designed to stimulate all the senses: sight, sound, scent, touch, and taste. A display garden is meant to be viewed or seen from either a short or long distance, whereas a sensory garden is meant to be experienced close and personal using all five of the human senses.  

Educators describe a sensory herb garden as peaceful and calming with the ability to draw kids into the moment; even non-verbal kids can show their feelings about their garden experience.

When we use the term “children…

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An Enchantment Spell for this Full Planting Moon

Spirit de la lune full planting moon

This Full Planting Moon is the first of 4 super moons in a row this year. This is also the first full moon of the astrological new year.

The energy has been intense leading up to this full moon. Establishing order, healing of old wounds and trying to maintain and establish harmony might be some major themes for you right now.

There are some powerful lessons with this moon. It is opposite Venus, trine Saturn and opposite Chiron. The Moon will also make a perfect triangle configuration to both Saturn and Mars, known as a Grand Trine.

This Full Moon is opposite Venus which can increase your need for love and affection, helping us connect to others on deeper levels. Be careful that with this vulnerability you don’t give into things like jealousy or obsession or codependency.

The Moon is trine Saturn, which gives us the patience, inner strength and wisdom to handle any of the obstacles that might come with the intense energies of this full moon.

Chiron, the wounded healer is conjunct the Sun and Venus, and opposite the moon right now too, so there are some unhealed wounds that might be making themselves known to you right now. These might come in the form of new experiences that hold similar energy to a past event.

You might feel like your healing is going backwards, but trust that it is cyclical. Trust in the seeds you’ve planted in the past. Trust in your inevitable period of blooming.

The full moon is also known as the Planting Moon. The Seed has sprouted. Life is flowing and growing wild.

The Planting Moon brings you back to Earth. Prepare your garden so your dreams can grow. Spiritually and quite literally.

For this earthy full moon, we are reconnecting with Gaia- the plant allies, crystal companions and our ritual from last month by completing our witches garden.

If you haven’t planted any seeds yet, no worries! There is still plenty of time. If you did already plant your seeds, they might be big enough to be moved to a bigger planter.

But before we transplant plant our seeds, we are going to create a dedicated planter to hold them and help them grow.

Read full article at: Spirit de la Lune ~ An Enchantment Spell for this Full Planting Moon

Our most popular F R E E Online Herbal Course is back

Birdsong Paula,Is spring singing sweetly in your neck of the woods? Here in the southern Appalachians, we’re sitting on the edge of our garden stools, ready to be fully wooed by the season. There’s nothing like the spectacle put on by vernal green beings, whose soft brightness is the ultimate restorative after months of dark and cold—figuratively and literally.As redbuds swell and daffodils nod their sunny heads, we’re feeling more than an emergence from winter. This past year surpassed seasonal hibernation; it was a chrysalis moment. A time of dissolution, solitude, and soul-searching, and for many of us a test of spirit as we mourned the loss of loved ones and faced unparalleled challenges. As the veil of the past 12 months begins to lift, we’re ravenous for the renewal of apple blossoms and robinsong.Throughout the last year, cascades of folks have found health, connection, and resilience through the study of herbal medicine. People have turned out for herbal classes, learned to make their own medicines, and grown gardens for the first time in profound numbers. Do you want to join the movement?Registration has just opened for our most popular FREE Online Herbal Course.
Our HANDCRAFTED HERBALISM FREE ONLINE MINI-COURSE is a foundational introduction to some of the most important subjects herbalists need to learn:
Sustainable Wild Food + Medicine ForagingHerbal Medicine MakingPlant Identification + Herbal BotanyIf you enroll by March 29th, you can join us for four vibrant videos, three downloadable lessons (yours to keep!), review Q+A’s, and a self-graded quiz (so you can tape your herbal report card to the fridge).
Enroll in the Mini-Course

Delectable Native Edibles

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Andrea DeLong-Amaya

tradescantia flowersYou may be one of the growing numbers of home gardeners who have put shovel to soil in the effort to nourish themselves and their families with wholesome, organic, fresh, and ultimately local vegetables and fruits. It is empowering to know exactly where your food comes from. And, while gardening is perfect exercise…it can be a lot of work! What if you could grow food plants that all but took care of themselves? Or better yet simply harvest, with caution of course, from the wild.

Native produce? Yes! The plants I’m about to tell you about are all easy to cultivate within their home ranges and, once established, may not require any attention outside of harvest. There are many virtues of raising locally native plants, such as decreased use of water, fertilizers, and pesticides, and promoting regional identity, and providing for wildlife. But those aren’t my main…

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US Lavender Growers Association –

Good Witches Homestead

 

Network with other lavender growers from around the world, learn from expert growers and business leaders in the industry, and access a wealth of resources for your business. New growers will appreciate our intensive, two-part “Start a Farm” series, while more experienced growers will benefit from a wide range of topics on production and business. Through the virtual platform, we will be able to provide networking in small groups, topical discussion opportunities, and a unique Exhibitor Hall experience that will allow you to truly assess the resources available to your farm and your business.

Lavender farms, shops, and festivals are popping up all over the country, and so are legions of lavender lovers. The United States Lavender Growers Association (USLGA) is offering enthusiasts the opportunity to indulge in an inspiring and fun day to discover all about lavender. You’ll be able to “tour” scenic lavender fields, gardens, and shops…

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Spring Flowers, Magical Bluebells.

Good Witches Homestead

To Elizabethans, bluebells were enchanted, and heaven forbid you hear their bell-shaped heads ring, for death would likely follow. Links with folklore were still prevalent more than three centuries later, as borne out by Cicely Mary Barker’s depictions ofFlower Fairies(the first book in the series was published in 1923) and her assertion that the bluebell be ‘the peerless Woodland King’.

Deep blue H.non-scripta, a perennial bulb, flourishes in humus-rich soils, and on limestone ridges. Young shoots push their way up through leaf litter to allow their flowers to open in the dappled shade of trees such as beech and oak.

The bluebell is a natural indicator that helps us to identify ancient woodlands, where it has grown for hundreds of years. Rich in pollen and nectar, it is also a vital food source for many native insects, including its main pollinator, the bumblebee.

Believed to call…

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Heartsease–Herb of the Month

The Herb Society of America Blog

A Tiny Herb Worth Knowing

by Maryann Readal

Heartsease, Viola tricolor, also called Johnny-jump-up, is The Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month for March. It is the perfect time to learn about this delicate little woodland herb that will be popping out of the warming earth very soon. You may know V. tricolor by one of its many other names. There are dozens of names for it including wild pansy, hearts delight, come-and-cuddle-me, love-in-idleness, call-me-to-you, and kiss-me-at-the-garden-gate, etc.

Viola_tricolor_aggr Muriel Bendel. Wikimedia CommonsV. tricolor is in the violet family (Violaceae). The flowers can be purple, yellow, or white but are most commonly all three colors. The herb is native to Europe and Eurasia and was thought to be brought to the United States by colonists. It can be an annual, biennial, or a short-lived perennial. It will reseed itself and thrives in cooler weather.

This unassuming little herb is rich…

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