“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
I Peter 4:10
The last week has included a couple presentations – my first ones for the year!
The 1st presentation was part of the Butterfly & Herb Festival on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at Full Moon Natives & Herb Nursery in Port Orange. Here is a list of all their presentations:
10:00 - Turn Your Garden into a Butterfly Experience
11:00 - The Uses of Herbs: The Herbal Gourmet's Favorite Baker's Dozen
It consisted of an overview of 13 “Herb of the Year” recipients and their uses for cooking, tea, aroma and health plus a display of herbal products (see links for instructions) and a personal tip for each.
FENNEL (Foeniculum vulgare) – 1995
- used to create perfume, repel fleas and as a skin cleanser
TIP: Grow fennel by itself off in a corner of the garden or in pots well away from the herb and vegetable garden especially coriander, dill & carrots
THYME (Thymus spp) – 1997
- soaks for athlete’s foot & sore muscles
TIP: Thyme is good for new cooks: its flavor heightens most any food but it doesn’t overpower any dish even if you add a little more than intended
MINT (Mentha spp) – 1998
- soothe tired feet/ reduce swelling
TIP: Spearmint makes an elegant garnish either fresh or crystallized plus a choice accompaniment to ice tea either as a fresh sprig or combined with half a strawberry in a lemonade ice cube
LAVENDER (Lavendula spp) – 1999
- closet/drawer sachets
TIP: Gather flowering stems just as the flowers open
ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis) – 2000
- mosquito and moth repellant
MOTH AWAY BAG
TIP: Dried rosemary should be soaked in hot water before being added to uncooked foods.
SAGE (Salvia officinalis) – 2001
- Sage is highly aromatic and dried pineapple sage flowers have no fragrance but retain their red color for years
TIP: Pineapple sage is one of last edible flowers & hummingbird plants to bloom in autumn
BASIL (Ocimum basilicum)- 2003
- Symbolizes good wishes in the language of herbs
TIP: a pot on the patio table is said to deter flies and mosquitoes
OREGANO/MARJORAM (Origanum spp) – 2005
- marjoram symbolizes joy/happiness in the language of herbs
TIP: You can substitute marjoram for oregano and vice versa, but not in equal quantities. Always use the same form of the herb (fresh, dried, etc). When using oregano in place of marjoram, use a little less oregano; when using marjoram instead of oregano, use a little more marjoram or add some thyme
SCENTED GERANIUM (Pelargonium spp) – 2006
- Astringent for facials or baths
TIP: Essential oil of rose geranium mimics the effect of estrogen & Victorian women would sprinkle a few drops on a hanky to dispel tension and soothe hot flashes
LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis) – 2007
- used to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression
TIP: polish your wood with leaves from the garden if you run out of furniture polish!!
CALENDULA (Calendula officinalis) – 2008
- called organic iodine and invaluable in first-aid to decrease inflammation, soothe burns, heal minor cuts/abrasions
TIP: The flowers close when wet weather is likely to occur and they can therefore be used as a rough means of weather forecasting
BAY (Laurus nobilis) – 2009
- Soak in a hot bath with a bag of bay leaves to relieve the aches and pains or use for a refreshing facial steam bath
TIP: Bay leaf around the drain to deters roaches, in storage container to repel weevils plus use as a fragrant bookmark, in kitchen wreaths & holiday decorations
SAVORY (Satureja spp)– 2015
- tossed on the fire or use for smudging to create an aromatic disinfectant
FIRESTARTER: Simply wrap an empty toilet paper roll with newspaper and stuff with herbs!
TIP: Savory brings out the flavor in all bean dishes. Use summer savory (milder) with fresh beans and winter savory (stronger) with dried beans
12:00 - Natural Remedies for your Yard and Home
1:00 - Growing Herbs in Containers, Gardens and Landscapes
Joining Full Moon was South Mountain Girls Soaps with their decadent soaps and lotions, Master Beekeeper Tom with local honey, Marie with her yummy Seagrape Jelly, a very talented and unique guest artist who created butterflies and other creatures from petals and wire, Carla was in the nursery creating unique herb bowls and members of FNPS Pawpaw Chapter were available to talk natives - it's time to get your yards ready for our 2016 FNPS Annual Conference Landscape Tour!
The 2nd presentation was on Tea Customs Around the World at Deltona Regional Library in Deltona, FL on May 5, 2015.
Originally tea leaves had uses other than as a beverage – they were chewed for medicinal purposes or boiled or steamed and seasoned with garlic and salt as a side dish. All of that changed about 3000BC when some leaves fell into boiling water and Emperor Shen Nung of China found the taste refreshing. As navigators, sailors, and missionaries traveled to China in search of its treasures, the custom of taking tea began to slowly impact the world with each area incorporating its own customs, traditions, and values.
Tea customs are defined by three things: the way tea is brewed and consumed, the way people interact with tea and the aesthetics surrounding tea drinking. For more specific information on the customs in a dozen countries on all the continents, see this earlier post on Tea Traditions.
I also brought along two teas for tasting the way they are traditionally prepared in their countries . . .
African Mint – an herbal version of the traditional Moroccan Mint including spearmint and lemongrass prepared with lots of sugar
Vanilla Chai – an herbal version of the traditional Masala Chai including cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and freshly ground black pepper prepared with milk and honey
. . . and gave away some samples of American Classic Tea which is grown in Charleston, South Carolina and is the official White House tea.