Monday, August 2, 2010


Our first zucchini and this one grew in the ground not in a pot. Next year it looks like we will be planting more of them next to the plum trees.

Monday, June 21, 2010

U-turn moment - 6 years in the making

This is our old deck - in our old life. We had a guy custom build it just for us. This was also the very first time we ever had "plants" in our life. The plants were secondary - it made no difference what "kind" of plants they were. They were something to put in all of our cool pots that we decorated our deck with. I did water them though, it gave me a fun thing to do on the deck.
These are our plants today. After we left the land of pagers (and left all our pots to my mother) and moved to New Mexico - now our focus is JUST on the plants. Our mints (chocolate, orange, spearmint and catnip - sadly my peppermint seeds never sprouted) and our chives and a few veggies here and there are all growing in things I would have been mortified to place on my deck. They seem as happy as can be, planted in litter box containers and milk jugs. Its harder not having the kind of money that we used too but it makes what we do have so much more precious.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Catnip Tea

Catnip is also known as catmint, catswort, and field balm. It is a member of the mint family of herbs and is now to be found in the milder climates of the Northern Hemisphere.

Catnip contains a substance called nepetalactone and essential oils. Nepetalactone has a sedative effect in humans. It also can be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and muscle-relaxing. The essence of the catnip herbs can be extracted through catnip tea, which is produced by steeping the aerial parts of the catnip for about 10 minutes in hot water which has been boiled and then removed. Catnip Tea can be consumed 2 to 3 times per day. Expectant mothers are advised to avoid drinking catnip tea.

When taken, Catnip Tea has the following benefits:
  • Catnip Tea has a calming effect, may help relieve stress, and may help treat anxiety and nervousness.
  • Catnip Tea may help alleviate insomnia.
  • Catnip Tea may also be used to help lessen migraine headaches.
  • Catnip Tea may also relieve stomach complaints such as colic, cramps, gas, and indigestion.
  • Catnip Tea may be used in treating fever.
  • Catnip Tea may help in treating toothaches. 
source Tea Benefits 

We also added a few leaves of chocolate mint plant. Not that catnip isn't good on its own...but everything tastes better with chocolate.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

St. John's Wort Salve ©Millie Fodor

First time using the crock pot to make a salve and cooking equal parts of dried herbs for 3 hours in olive oil. Things we changed: added more oil because when we put it in the crock pot it barely covered the herbs. We also added 4 pinches dried lavender. In the end we added more beeswax to make it more solid.

We bought all of the dried herbs in this recipe except, of course, for the comfrey which we dried ourselves. Herbs include: St. John's Wort, Calendula, Comfrey leaf and Plantain.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mallow - Malva - Malva Neglecta

The flowers of this plant can be softened in water and then chewed to relieve the pain of a toothache. The flowers can also be brewed by infusion into a mouthwash that is said to soothe irritations of the mouth and gums.

The fresh or dried leaves, too, can be used, either to make a poultice or brewed to make a tea. In the latter form, mallow soothes the mucous membranes and is therefore considered a good remedy for sore throat or even sore tonsils. Some claim mallow tea will calm, intestinal irritation.

Externally, mallow tea is used as a body wash particularly on children, to reduce fever, or to clean bruises. Crushed leaves are also applied to relieve the inflammation associated with mumps. However it is used, it should be washed well because dogs tend to choose the mallow plant to mark their territory.  
Healing with Herbs and Rituals, Eliseo "Cheo"  Torres

Just drying leaves and flowers now. We have no dogs so marking isn't an issue but the bugs have started to eat the leaves and we wanted to harvest before it  was too late. This is growing all over the yard but mostly in high traffic areas. This small patch was protected by a makeshift greenhouse which was removed this morning.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


We were very excited to get our game in the mail today. What a fun way to learn about herbs.   Wildcraft

Monday, May 31, 2010

Harvesting rose petals

Learning about all the things we can do with rose petals. Everything from making a tea for medicinal purposes to making your own facial cream. Now we just have to figure out what to do first.