Violets are Delicious

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Beth Schreibman-Gehring, Chairman of Education for The Western Reserve Herb Society unit of The Herb Society of America

violet bouquetOne of the loveliest flowers of spring is the Viola odorata or as it is commonly referred to, the “Sweet violet.” Violets have been used in herbal healing remedies for centuries, in fact St. Hildegard of Bingen, the famous 12th century German mystic and healer, was said to have made a healing salve of violet juice, olive oil, and goat tallow for its use as a possible anti-bacterial.

I use violets whenever I can for their healing virtues, and they are also an absolutely delicious ingredient in salads, drinks, and desserts. Back in the day, violet flowers, and leaves mixed into salads were one of my favorite spring remedies for pre-menstrual melancholy. When chopped liberally into extra virgin olive oil with some fresh comfrey leaves, they make a poultice that can…

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May 2019 Newsletter, The Oregon Lavender Association invites you to enjoy lavender all year round!

Good Witches Homestead

Announcements and Events
 
May 2019
This is an exciting month for lavender lovers and farmers!  Our plants are greening up and sending up shoots!  We will even see flowers from our featured lavenders this month, Lavandula stoechas, and maybe flowers from the early blooming L. angustifolia varieties, such as French Fields, toward the end of May!
There aren’t any events going on during this month, but June will be packed. Here’s a sneak peek of some June festivals and events so you can get them on your calendar:
Clackamas River Lavender Festival at Eagle Creek Lavender
June 22-23, from 10-4
 Join us for our Festival at Eagle Creek Lavender on the Clackamas River. Live music, savory food, U-Pick fresh lavender, gift shop with lavender products, artistic vendors and awesome classic cars on display. A bargain at $5 per car for parking. No pets, please. 27525 SE Starr Rd, Eagle…

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Old-fashioned Banana Fritters

A Hundred Years Ago

Banana Fritters are a wonderful comfort food, so I was thrilled to find a hundred-year-old recipe for them. The fritters were crispy; and, when served with a little confectioners sugar sprinkled on top, had just the right amount of sweetness. The fritters are made using banana slices or chunks, and when I bit into them, the embedded fruit was pure delight. This recipe is a keeper.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: American Cookery (March, 1919)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

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The Finesse of Grossing Mommy Out

Good Witches Homestead

Little Granddaughter has developed a way to utterly gross out her mommy, but also adds to the many reasons why we are an herbalist. Herbal infusions come to play and thank goodness she takes her herbal vitamins every day.

We also raise and rescue German Shepherds, Bones is a rescue, but maybe in this video, Bones again needs rescuing from one very precocious Granddaughter…

Herbal infusions, which are basically strong teas,  are incredibly useful for providing the body with easy to assimilate nutrition.  It is best to use gentle, nutritive and tonifying herbs which act mostly as food for the body.  Examples are nettles,  chamomile, oatstraw and raspberry leaf.  This type of herbal preparation is used for extracting and making bio-available the richness of vitamins and minerals found in many plants.  It is important to note that herbs work overtime to bring about health and increased vitality.  They do not offer quick fixes, but…

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Mountain Rose Herbs ~ How to Make Natural DIY Cleaning Products

Bowl of natural herbal carpet deodorizer powder with wooden spoon surrounded by citrus slices.

We all know that many conventional cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both our bodies and the planet (not to mention the budget-busting expense and all the waste produced by those empty plastic bottles and extra packaging!). We’ve been creating our own cleaning formulas for years, and we love how easy and inexpensive they are to whip up.

Great to have on hand year-round, these homemade cleansers can easily and naturally replace that questionable collection of store-bought formulas in your cupboard. With just a few basic ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and essential oils, you’ll be on your way to (really!) cleaning up your act —while reducing waste and saving money!

DIY Kitchen & Bathroom Spray

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in 16 oz. spray bottle and shake well before each use.
  2. Use this aromatic solution for kitchen counters, cabinets, refrigerator shelves, glass, blinds, tile, sinks, tubs, and fan blades.

Read the entire post here:  Mountain Rose Herbs ~ How to Make Natural DIY Cleaning Products

The Goddess Feasts: The Magic of Gratitude, Pleasure and Plenty — Gather Victoria

This April I’m celebrating Goddess Cuisine. I made a Floralia Cake for the Goddess of Flowers, Violet Cream Cupcakes for Venus, honeyed libations for the Goddess Bona Dea and a savoury fresh white cheese made with plenty of “herbs and blossoms born of the earth’s free will” for the Great Mother, Cybele. And more! This…

via The Goddess Feasts: The Magic of Gratitude, Pleasure and Plenty — Gather Victoria

Happy Spring

Good Witches Homestead

Plants are expressing their life force as they emerge from the soil to meet the light.

Aphrodisiac Honey – to give you Spring Fever!
Honey – 1 quart, local raw wildflower or buckwheat honey
Red Roses – 1/2 cup
Orange blossoms – 1/2 cup
Blood Orange peels – 1/4 cup
Tangerine peels – 1/4 cup
Vanilla bean – 1 bean cut open and scraped, include all parts
Dark Cacao powder – 2 tablespoons, sweetened or unsweetened
Cinnamon powder – 1 teaspoon
*Red Pepper flakes – a pinch
*optional
These amounts are approximate suggestions, adjust to suit your taste.
Put all (or some if you can’t get all) of the dried herbs into a quart jar and cover with the honey.
Stir and wait as long as you can! It will be good in a day, and get even better as it ages!
Six weeks? Six months? Your call! You can…

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Dandelion, A Common Spring Garden Herb

Good Witches Homestead

Taraxacum officinale

Also, Known As:

  • Blow Ball
  • Cankerwort
  • Dandelion
  • Lion’s Tooth
  • Pissabed
  • Priest’s-crown
  • Puff Ball
  • Pu Gong Ying
  • Pu-kung-ying
  • Swine Snout
  • Telltime
  • White Endive
  • Wild Endive

The dandelion is a common garden herb, with easily recognized flowers. During the spring season, the leaves and the root of the dandelion begin to produce mannitol, which is a substance utilized in the treatment of conditions such as hypertension and a weakened heart in continental Europe – where it is often prescribed by herbalist for patients with these conditions. An herbal dandelion tea made using the roots and the leaves of the herb are good to take from about the mid of March to about mid-May in the treatment of such conditions. Prepare the herbal dandelion tea in this way, first, boil a quart of water in a pot, slowly reduce the heat and then add 2 tbsp. of cleaned and chopped fresh…

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Dandelions with Bacon or Ham Recipe

A Hundred Years Ago

Each Spring a primordial urge pulls me out of the house –paring knife and bowl in hand– to the weedy natural area at the far edge of my yard. Luscious green dandelion plants peek through the brown leaf-covered grass. The winter has been long and hard, and I desperately need to renew myself. The tender foraged greens are my spring tonic (as they were for my parents and grandparents).

People traditionally ate a very limited selection of foods during the late winter months, and often they were nutrient-deprived by April. Their bodies told them they needed the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants provided by the emerging dandelion leaves.

Since I’m a dandelion connoisseur (Is it possible to be a connoisseur of weeds?) , I was thrilled to find a hundred-year-old recipe for Dandelion with Ham or Bacon.

I made the ham version. The ham bits nicely balanced the slight bitterness of…

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Drinking in Spring: Red Flowering Currant Elixir — Gather Victoria

Right now in my back garden, a Red Flowering Currant Bush (Ribes sanguineum) is in full radiant bloom. Her drooping clusters of “soul-piercing pink flowers” are sending out an entrancing floral, fruity and spicy perfume. Which is probably one reason ethnobotanist and author Abe Lloyd describes the blossoms as “capable of transforming winter sodden pessimists…

via Drinking in Spring: Red Flowering Currant Elixir — Gather Victoria