My Herb Walkabout (Journey)
I've been growing herbs for decades. It's funny, because in some ways they've become so familiar that I take them for granted - the chives on our baked potatoes, the flat leaf parsley on our bean casserole, the jar of dried catnip for our feline friends, the lavender flowers for sachets, the lemon balm for tea, the fresh chopped oregano for pizza . . . the list goes on and on. It's taken a while to ramp up to a life filled with herbs, though.
When I started out, I wasn't very crafty. I worked long hours and probably considered simple country crafts and certainly gardening as something I'd never have the time or energy to do with any regularity or dedication. I never really liked getting dirty, either - well, shame on me, huh.
If someone had explained to me that one day there'd be a list of dozens (if not hundreds) of projects I'd completed successfully, I might have even been slightly horrified. There's a big difference between buying a jar of an enticing herb blend and growing, drying and bottling it yourself. For the first, you need the discretionary income, desire and a little time to shop. (But there's a thrill involved in even this limited emotional investment -- don't get me wrong. It's a small introduction to the secret and mysterious world of brews, arcane recipes and power - womanly power.)
For the second, the actual cultivating part, you need to understand how plants grow and what wizardry they can (and can't) perform for you. You also need to be willing to get dirty, do battle with bugs over your small plot (or pot), and watch the skies for weather warnings. You need to know where the seeds are and how get at them. You invariably get elbow deep in soil, compost, mulch, leaves and grass, whether you want to or not. You also get inundated with the exotic aromas of luscious, green growing things. I brush my lavender bushes all the time in my travels around our landscape, and the spearmint trails out into the driveway every summer where I encounter it as I head off to get the mail.
In the years I've kept herbs, I've learned my lessons one at a time, through successes and a whole lot of failures. Someone -- I can't remember who -- said you can't really know a plant unless you've killed it at least three times. I've met that challenge and surpassed it.
I'm a living example of how little herbs can teach big lessons. From a casual shopper dabbling in herb lore and crafts, I've become a decent gardener and cook. I'm more connected to the soil and more available to ideas about food and planet friendly practices than I would have been otherwise, I think, which is one of the reasons my story is important.
One potted herb can start you on a most amazing journey if you let it; I know. Herbs really are magical. If you've come to my blog for information about growing, cooking, crafting or healing with herbs, I hope you find some useful and entertaining information here. I've certainly been entertained and enriched by my curious investigations into the workings of these amazing little plants.