Sunday, March 29, 2009
Choose to be happy
Refusing to listen to the constant barrage of bad news doesn't mean you're sticking your head in the sand, but each day we have two choices: to be happy or not.
Which do you choose?
Labels: good news network
Friday, March 27, 2009
Featured this week are moisturizing Lip Balms from Patti’s Potions Natural Soaps, Ltd.
Did you know that most lip balms contain petroleum products that are NOT eco-friendly? This is your opportunity to experience fine natural oils in your lip care experience. Food-grade lip-safe flavorings and essential oils may be used to add flavor to the lip balms. No sweetener is added. Ingredients: calendula infused olive oil, shea butter, natural beeswax, jojoba, castor, & vitamin E
To win TWO of these luscious lip balms, simply enter by posting a comment in response to this blog entry and take a chance at winning!!! Don’t forget to include your email addy so we can contact the winner!
The following blogs are also participating, so stop over to enter with them for additional chances to win AND the chance to explore some cool blogs. We are unable to ship out of country at this time.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
These fairy garden kits are the perfect gift for any little girls birthday, as an Easter present, or a way to introduce any little girl to a love of gardening. They were named for my first granddaughter Mackenzie, and can be found at www.gardenchick.com/mackenzies-garden.html
They are packaged in a reusable container perfect for storing all those pieces of jewelry, doll clothes, etc., that seem to find their way under the couch, in the seats of the car.....
Included in the kit is a packet of seeds to attract fairies, card with fairy facts and directions for planting your garden, and a booklet of fairy stickers.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Fairy Garden Chair
If you don't have a lot of room in your yard, or just want to add a little whimsy to your garden, try planting a fairy chair. It can be moved around the yard, is easy to maintain, and adds a focal point to an otherwise plain area of the yard.
Plant a Fairy Garden Chair
"Just living is not enough" said the butterfly fairy, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." -Hans Christian Anderson
What better way to invite the "wee folk" into your garden than by creating a special garden just for them. To make them feel welcome, plant a few of their favorite flowers or herbs, and add some natural building materials such as small rocks, twigs or shells for them to make their home. All you have to do after that is simple ... just sit back and believe.
Materials needed for your Fairy Garden Chair:
Scour thrift stores, flea markets or the neighborhood curbside for an old chair. Remove the bottom.
Chicken wire. Cut two pieces about 12" larger than the opening of the bottom to allow you to form a basket to place the soil and flowers/herbs.
Staple gun and heavy duty staples
Green sheet moss
Potting soil amended with compost or rotted manure
Fairy flowers and or herbs- choice of plants will depend on where you intend to place your chair. Sunny spots will require sun loving plants and a shady or woodland area will require shade loving plants.
Place the two pieces of chicken wire over the opening of the seat and gently push down to form a fairly deep "basket". Shape the wire over the seat sides and staple underneath being careful to push down any wires.
Line the basket with wet sphagnum moss, placing the green mossy side face down and showing through the chicken wire.
Cover the wire completely. Staple the chicken wire to the frame, bending it around to the bottom of the chair frame. Be sure to carefully bend down the edges to prevent any sharp wire from sticking your fairy friends.
Fill the basket completely with your amended soil and plant some of your favorite fairy plants.
Plant suggestions include:
Thyme: This is a must. Thyme will invite fairies into your garden and it is said that fairies hide their babies under the thyme for safekeeping.
Lavender: Lavender is good for all those midnight fairy parties. They can create wonderful lavender infused wine and the scent of lavender is very soothing.
Sweet Woodruff: The delicate white flowers will reflect the moonlight for their fairy dances.
Lambs Ear: What a soft place to make a bed!
Rosemary: Called the elf plant. Fairy lore maintains they are captivated by it. Plant the trailing variety to cascade down the side of the chair.
Primrose: Attracts the company of fairies. Often called the fairy flower.
Bluebells: Lures the fairies into the garden to dance
Pansies: Created by the fairies from the colors of the sky, (blue) sunset (red),sunbeams (yellow), and brown from the earth.
Lily of the Valley: Dainty, bell shaped flowers, perfect for making fairy caps
Forget-me-nots: A pure blue flower associated with many fairy legends. Forget-me-nots represent remembrance.
Care of your fairy chair: Like all container gardens, the fairy chair will need to be watered more often. Check daily. If herbs and perennial flowers are planted, they will need to be pruned to keep them compact. Also, your soil will need to be refurbished periodically and new plants to replace the annuals.
Fairy Flower Tea
2 T fresh chamomile flowers 1 handful fresh mint (any kind) 1 handful honeysuckle blossoms several raspberry leaves
Steep in one quart of water that has boiled for several minutes. Serve with delicate fairy treats.
Lemon Grass Herbal Vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar is great for making salad dressing, adding to soups, or stir fry. Why use plain cider vinegar when you can use herb infused vinegars? Herbal vinegars not only add flavor to your vinegar, but minerals as well. Vinegar is an exceptionally good solvent for extracting minerals, vitamins, and flavors from plants. Lemon grass is high in Calcium 3.7%, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Selenium, and Vitamin A. Add herbal vinegar instead of regular vinegar to any recipe calling for vinegar. Cooking vegetables with a small amount of vinegar has the added benefit of making minerals from the vegetables more accessible for digestion and absorption.
How to make lemon grass herbal apple cider vinegar: Make sure you purchase vinegar from a reputable brand. You should not be using white vinegar that is 'flavored' with apple. Chop clean dry lemon grass leaves & stalk coarsely. Fill a glass jar to the top with the fresh lemon grass, pack down slightly leaving enough room for the vinegar to completely cover the herbs. Fill the jar to the top with your Apple Cider Vinegar and cover with a non-metallic lid.
Gelatin Recipes: Substitute 1 T of water for mineral rich herbal vinegar in gelatin recipes to add minerals & flavor.Lemon grass soups: Lemon grass is very popular in Thai soups. When making soups with lemon grass use the stalk and cut it the stalks at an angle to maximize the surface area. Add the lemon grass at the end of cooking the soup so that it does not boil for more than 10 minutes. Remember that lemon grass is a top note and the flavorful essential oils will dissipate quickly if heated for too long.Simple Lemon Grass Ginger Soup2-3 stalks lemon grass sliced diagonally1 medium onion sliced2-3 slices fresh ginger1 chicken breast cubedsesame oil for fryingchili pastesalt to tasteadditional vegetables as available1 quart chicken or vegetable stockDirections: Heat soup stock with salt and ginger. Sautee onions & small chicken pieces in sesame or olive oil until chicken is cooked and onions are lightly browned. Add chicken, onions, and lemon grass and simmer for 5 minutes. Add chili paste to taste.Coconut Lemon Grass Soup recipe from Dawn Cook:1/4 cup of Mae Ploy red curry paste (Find at Asian markets)2 onions cut into 1/2 in. strips4 cans coconut milk2 cans straw mushrooms1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)1/4 cup lime juice1 LB. peeled and cut shrimp or cooked chicken chunks Cooking wine or sherry (optional)Lemon grass stalks 2-41/4 cup chili garlicDirections: Heat high sided sautee skillet or stock pot to medium high heat. Add curry paste and onion. Stir together till mixture heats through. Pour in two cans coconut milk and stir till combined. Once mixture is creamy add the rest of ingredients except meat and season to taste. Bring to a low boil and turn down heat. Let simmer until desired consistency. Add meat and leave on heat till meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with rice. Garnish with chopped green onions.
Mixed Use:Lemon Grass Infused Oil: Lemon grass can be used to make a herb infused oil in a base oil such as Extra Virgin Olive oil steeped with wilted, freshly harvested or dried herbs. Lemon grass is high in antioxidants which helps infused oils resist rancidity. Use the infused oil for cooking, massage or lotion making. I often use lemon grass infused and essential oil in my Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Balm for aches and pains.
Lemon Grass Extract: An extract or tincture of lemon grass can be made with 80-150 proof vodka or Everclear. Chop herbs coarsely, fill jar with herbs, then cover with alcohol and cap for 6 weeks in the dark. Strain through a coffee filter after 6 weeks and use for cooking or medicinally for colds. If you are out of fresh lemon grass stalks you can use lemon grass extract in soups. Add near the end of cooking. When fresh plants are not available for tea one can use up to a teaspoon of extract diluted in water medicinally for chest colds and sinus congestion for adults.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Free Victory Garden Issue from Essential Herbal
Now let's get growing!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Week Four of the Herb Blog Group contest
Labels: Herbs from the Labyrinth
Thursday, March 19, 2009
If you are trying to think of ways to get your kids interested in gardens, and to "eat their veggies", why not plan a pizza garden. You don't have to have a large space, even containers will do to house veggies for your pizza.
You will need:
- Good garden soil, either in an existing garden, or a purchased garden soil. (not potting soil)
- Organic all purpose vegetable fertilizer, or compost
- Plants. I prefer plants instead of seeds. Children are impatient, and with plants they can see immediate resuts. Tomatoes, onions, basil, oregano, and peppers are good choices. They all require the same light requirements, full sun. Oregano, may need a little less water than the others.
- Mulch to keep weeds at a minimum and conserve water
- Tomato cage
Allow your child to accompany you to the garden store or nursery to pick out their plants. Have an employee talk to your child about varieties, planting, and care of their plants.
After planting, create a garden journal with your child, taking pictures of the plants as they grow, find recipes for pizza dough, sauce etc, and place in the journal. After the harvest, learn how to preserve some of your garden's bounty for winter use, and lastly take a picture of your child eating that delicious pizza they grew themself.
Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
3 large, very ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 6oz can of tomato paste
dried crushed red pepper flakes to tast
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
chopped fresh herbs to taste (basil, oregano)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, stir in onion, and bell pepper and cook until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes and garlic, and cook until juice begins to thicken. Stir in tomato paste, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in fresh herbs during the last few minutes of cooking.
Makes about 2 cups. Freezes well.
Spring is around the corner!
My poor water logged hens and chicks
Day Lillies by the barn
Lavender, waiting for me to pull out the chickweed
Peonies: This is one of three plants that were divided last fall from my old peony plant. Divide in the fall and fertilize now with a good organic all purpose fertilizer. My peonies usually bloom around Mothers Day. Knock off the ants and bring in the house for a wonderful scent!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Planning Your Business
Friday, March 13, 2009
Week 3 Herbal Blog Contest SunRose Aromatics
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Catch my blog posts on a successful woman
Fairy garden and butterfly kits can be found at www.gardenchick.com/mackenzies-garden.html
What a great Easter gift for the little girl in your life.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Labels: lasagna gardening
Pictures from the Lawn and Garden show
Thursday, March 5, 2009
New Blog Giveaway.....by ME!
Let's get ready for spring by celebrating with Garden-themed sugar cookies! It is my turn this week to sponsor the blog giveway. I have decided some lucky people will be the first to get my new product, not even on the website yet. This little kit comes with a Fairyland Cookie Sugar Cookie recipe card, 1 cookie cutter, and a pack of Fairy Sparkles. The cookie cutter will be picked by me, and will either be a fairy, or one of her fairyland friends: dragonfly, flower, gnome, butterfly, or bird.
HOW CAN YOU WIN? For the week between Friday, March 6 and Thursday, March 12, you can enter by simply entering a comment in response to this blog entry. Be sure and leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.
The following blogs are participating, and you can increase your chance to win, AND explore some cool blogs.
Sun Rose Aromatics email@example.com
The Rosemary House firstname.lastname@example.org
Aquarian Bath email@example.com
Patti's Potions firstname.lastname@example.org
Natures Gift email@example.com
Torchsong Studio firstname.lastname@example.org
The Essential Herbal email@example.com
This contest is over now, but many more to come. Scroll up to the March 13 post for the next giveaway. These will continue thru May. The winner chosen by me was firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Nashville Lawn and Garden Show
I love the spring lawn and garden shows. Every year we drive up to Nashville, Tennessee, (2 hours) for theNashville Lawn and Garden Show. Each year they have a theme. This year is "A Yardful of Flavour". It is next weekend March 5-8. I will take pictures and post on the blog.
Check it out www.NashvilleLawnandGarden.com