My permaculture group met last night. It was another terrific evening filled with excellent food, a thought-provoking discussion about our book selection, Tending The Wild and talk of spring, seeds and guilds and animals. I suggested that our resident herbalist give a training on setting up herb gardens. I began one last year and, although it grew well, I don’t feel that I made very good use of it. I would rather have fewer plants but a deeper understanding of how to use the ones I do have.

There are really three different types of herb gardens although there is a lot of overlap. Medicinal, culinary and aromatic (tea) herbs can certainly be grown together but I need some process for figuring out how to label and contain them. I have a vision of one those glorious Victorian herb gardens. Somehow I see myself in a long white skirt and romantic drooping hat, gently snipping sprigs of rosemary. The reality will probably involve blue jeans and sunscreen but a girl can always dream.

There are few things that I use reguraly in self-treatment and two of them are not even herbs. Honey is very good wound salve. I usually warm it a bit before applying it to breaks in the skin. I also eat a lot of garlic. I hope it helps my blood pressure and cholesteral levels but, even it was bad for me, I would find it hard to resist. I had some garlic sop last night that was so creamy and interesting. I have got to get the recipe for that one.

I am sometimes bothered by insomnia and I have found both lemon balm and camomile tea to calm me down. There is nothing dramatic about it; you won’t drop like a rock the way you will with a sleeping pill but for me, I just feel calm and sleepy.
Peppermint is my tummy trouble tea and for woman’s issues, you can’t beat raspberry leaf tea. I have had good luck with a corn silk tincture to keep by bladder healthy

I have a lot of herbal medicine books and Blazing Star Herbal School is nearby. I have another dream of taking some of their classes and becoming more competent. This one doesn’t involve the white dress but it does involve having more time than I can carve out right now. In the meantime, I will be going over my seed collection and learning what I can about comfrey and yarrow, bee balm and tansy. Don’t the names just make you feel better?

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