Monday, May 31, 2010

Mugwort & Rye afternoon companions

This afternoon we began another round of clearing out, and in between I decided to try a new recipe for Rye bread.

I will have to tell you tomorrow if I like it, it always tastes better the next day.

Thanks to the recommendation of my beautiful friend Ayla of Chrysalis Woman (, I also started some Mugwort vinegar. I did not fill the glass completely, my sweet Mugwort is pretty strong and I did not want it to overwhelm with its' strong taste :). I only had a few small sprouts right now anyways. Will be drying the rest to burn.

Vinegars are a wonderful way to infuse your favorite herbs for use in salads, over beans, etc, etc. Just pack a clean Mason jar to the top with herbs. Slightly warm raw apple cider vinegar (don't use cheap apple vinegar, the raw one with the mother is best. :)...), cover herbs, and cap. Make sure to shake the jar a little every day (give it some good magic!) for at least two weeks. Strain, and enjoy!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chilly 'Maters

A few weeks ago, I was sweating like a dog in the desert, fearing the upcoming summer months. As I was working through my distaste of our sweltering summer to come, I happily planted my tomatoes and cucumbers after the last official frost day.

What the heck is happening???

My poor little tomatoes are going through some serious climate shock, and dropping all their blossoms.

Temps are dropping back to low 50's over night, and sofar only the super hardy cherry tomatoes and green zebras are surviving. All my heirlooms have the shivers and a dropping their blossoms like hot potatoes :(.

My kiwi plant looks like I fed it some Miracle grow, and I am not sure the trellis patio cover I built last summer is going to hold it up. It seems to be thriving in this late season chilliness.......

Monday, May 24, 2010

Anticipating this full moon, and the Gypsy Secret to beautiful hands.....

I was not surprised to find this old secret in one of my "gypsy" books :). I did laugh, because you can buy the preservative laden alternative in many cute little mall cosmetic stores.

The Gypsy women, and now us Garden Witches, are rough on their hands...and this little recipe will take out even the stubborn dirt, and make them smooth.

In a small bowl, put in some extra virgin olive oil. Now, either add some sugar or sea salt to make a thickish paste. Rub this all over your hands, massaging it in while you visualize taking care of the beautiful hands that sustain you :).

Rinse off. Voila!

The next full moon happens to fall on my birthday this year :). I am so excited, as I have some wonderful new things to unveil as the moon grows again.

Doing a full body salt scrub on a full moon night is an excellent way to honor your body, and "wash away" anything that may hinder you in fulfilling your goals.

I like to turn this into a relaxing ritual, in a bathroom lit by candles. If you don't live in suburbia, you could do this outside by the light of the moon :). Make a big bowl of olive oil and sea salt (use sea salt, a gift from the ocean rather than table salt). Start with your right foot, work up the leg, and just slowly massage in the scrub as you visualize the things/people that no longer serve you or make your life HAPPY. Then go right foot, leg, left arm, right arm, belly and chest (be gently around the breast area). If you are dexterous, massage your back too!

Then step into the shower, make the water warm and rinse away the salt, watching all that needs to go wash down the drain :). Turn the water as cool as you can stand, and rinse once more (I like to visualize myself standing under a waterfall!). This closes the pores, and "finalizes" the ritual.

Pat dry, put on some comfy clothes, or go to bed naked :)...

Much love,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Drying the bounty

My backyard has herb fairies that come and drop off plants while I sleep :).

I have borage back there that comes every year with a vengeance. It has white blooms that taste like cucumbers....and prickly leaves that only taste good when you use them as younglings. No one knows where the mama plant came from, but now it grows everywhere, even in the leftover grass/weed (I call it grass/weed, it is mostly weed. I am taking it out as I go...).

Then there is Ms. Lemonbalm. Her babies are growing out of every crack where there is even a sliver a dirt. Funny, these herbs need absolutely no nudging. I had so much last summer that I began trying different techniques to harvest & store. I have found now that the best way is to hang it up and let it dry, even though it is said the Lemonbalm does not dry well. Mine does.

Then there is spearmint, mint, oregano, chamomille, and arugula. All of them have found their way into our lives :). They forgive my sporadic watering plan, and grow abundantly for me. I think they know I love them ...

Last year I dug up a little mugwort plant on a walk by the river. This too is now popping up all over the place, except where I planted it.

Once they have settled in, these beautiful herbs have a mind of their own.....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A work in progress.....

Please be patient, this is a work in progress :). While you wait, you can find me at The Goddess's Daily Groove.

Heike, the Kitchen Witch