Tuesday, April 26, 2011

10 Tricks for Growing Basil Indoors

Basil is a marvellous herb, and one which can easily be grown both outdoors and indoors. Basil is a well-known herb, known for its fragrant and tasty leaves which can be used for raw salad, or cooked with tomatoes to make tomato and basil sauce. There are, of course many other uses for the herb, classed as an essential by culinary experts worldwide. To grow basil indoors one should become familiar with these 10 tricks which will have anyone on their way to growing indoor basil within no time.

First ensure that its soil has adequate drainage at the base of the pot. This will allow the roots to develop properly and the plant will benefit from it as the excess water will be able to exit into a dish or saucer.

Second, know the pH level of your soil. Basil grows best in soil which is between 6 and 7.5 on the pH scale.

Place a few seeds in each pot. Sow them thinly, and the plants will have the right amount of space to germinate properly. This should happen around a week after sowing.

Once the plants have grown two proper leaves, you should remove the two weaker plants and leave the strongest in the pot.

Monitor the pH level of your soil every 4-6 weeks, and change it if needed using half-strength organic fertilizer. You should add a small amount of fertilizer every month or so to give the basil the nutrients it needs.

Make sure that the plant pots get enough light from the sun (about 6-8 hours a day). This can easily be achieved by placing the pots on a window sill where the sun will provide the basil with the energy it needs to grow and mature.

Water your basil at the base of the plant – do not shower the leaves and stems.

Water about once a week for the best effects.

Remove any flowers as they appear, as this will keep the basil’s flavour, and promote its growth even further.

The beauty of basil is that it can be grown all year round. Lastly, do not harvest a complete plant, but to take a few leaves off of each, starting from the top of the plants. That way further basil can be harvested as and when needed.

This guest was provided by Danny Ashton who talks about Growing Basil at his blog.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Coming of Age Gift Ideas and Remedies for Young Women

This blog post is part of my Unique Women in Business Networking group's monthly blog hop. Our theme this month is Celebrating Womanhood. I'm really curious to read what the other ladies in the group have to say on this topic. You can find links to their blogs at the end of this post.

Celebrating womanhood to me is about celebrating the coming of age for pre-teen and teenage girls. Many traditional cultures have rituals or ceremonies for girls at coming of age. However you choose to honor a young woman at this stage her her life, you may wish to offer something practical for the physical and emotional changes she may be experiencing.

Warm heat can help to relax the uterus to prevent cramping pain. These flax and lavender wraps are great for relieving cramps when heated in the microwave.

No microwave? This warming pain relief balm is also great for reducing pain from cramping. Both of these are all natural pain relief methods that may help avert a cycle of Ibuproferin, Advil or Motrin use which can be hard on the Liver.

Another natural remedy I like for emotional issues around menstruation is Leonurus cardiaca AKA Motherwort. Motherwort is exceptionally helpful for balancing emotional issues in women such as anxiety or irritability, whether related to PMS or menopause. It also helps smooth the menstrual flow for uterine cramping. For heavy bleeding or pregnancy this herb should be avoided. This is a picture of one of my Motherwort plants from this winter season. It likes the Central Florida Winter Weather. I have been making Motherwort tincture with these plants and will have it available in the Extracts Section of my Etsy shop later this month. You can leave a comment below if you would like to be updated when my Motherwort tincture is ready.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Find me at Access to Organic's Earth Day Celebration and Seed Swap this Saturday in Daytona Beach

This Saturday from 12 to 4:30 Access to Organics will be hosting an Earth Day Celebration with Workshops, Vendors, a Seed Swap and Free Seedling with purchase while supplies last. I hope you will join us if you are able. I'll be bringing my Musk Melon, Luffa, Dotted Horsemint, Brocolli, Candlebush and Amaranth seeds to swap. I will also bring body products including a limited amount of soaps, probably just the salt soaps and the Easter Soaps in order to protect my inventory from the heat. If there are other soaps or shampoo bars that you would like to pick up from me on Saturday, please send me an email at aquarianbath @ gmail.com and I will have them ready for you during the event.

April 23 Earth Day Celebration and Seed Swap. Noon to 4:30. Free Tree
seedling with purchase while they last,

Demonstrations, Seed Swap, special deals. Come have Fun!

Phone: 386.236.9447 Fax: 386.236.9717
347 Mason Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL 32117

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Farmer Fred Rant: Crop Rotation Plan for the Home Garden

This is a great gardening blog post I found on crop rotation. Hope you find it to be a good reference.The Farmer Fred Rant: Crop Rotation Plan for the Home Garden: "         Why rotate your backyard garden crops? Many of the plants that are in the same 'family group' h..."

Ancient Healing Turmeric Recipe and Culinary Herbalism Course with K.P. Khalsa

I was just reading an article in Herb Companion tonight about Turmeric and was thinking to myself that I need to use this herb more often. This plant is similar to ginger, and I have grown it here in the past. So I was excited to receive an email tonight from John Gallager from LearningHerbs.com with this cool recipe that Rosalee de la ForĂȘt learned from herbalist K.P. Khalsa. I'm happy to be able to share it with you.

Golden Milk: An Ancient & Healing Remedy

by Rosalee de la ForĂȘt

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years for countless ailments. In recent years it has also caught the attention of western researchers and there are many studies touting its many benefits.

Some benefits include...

  • Digestion and the liver (Ulcers, diverticulitis, flatulence, leaky gut)
  • Heart heath (High blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol)
  • Immune support (Cancer, colds and flu, bronchitis)
  • Musculoskeletal strength and flexibility (Joint disorders, arthritis, pain)
  • Nervous system (Pain, Alzheimer's)
  • Wound healing and healthy skin (Eczema, psoriasis)
  • Diabetes and Menstruation difficulties

Turmeric is pretty astonishing!

I learned this basic recipe from Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa and I often suggest it to my clients with a lot of success.

K.P. Khalsa has a new course coming out this week called Culinary Herbalism.

This recipe is in two parts. First we make the paste and then we’ll explore how to use it.

To make the turmeric paste you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup of water

Measure out the ingredients. The additional pepper makes the turmeric more bioavailable, meaning that you use less for better results. At these measurements the pepper is about 3% of the mixture.

Next add the powders and the water to a small sauce pan and mix well. Turn the heat to medium high and stir constantly until the mixture is a thick paste. This won’t take long!

Let this mixture cool and then keep it in a small jar in the fridge.

Now we’ll look at a variety of ways to use this mixture.

Golden Milk

To make Golden Milk you’ll need...
  • 1 cup of milk (or milk substitute if you don’t consume dairy)
  • 1 teaspoon almond oil, ghee or olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon or more of turmeric paste
  • honey to taste

Combine all the ingredients (except honey) in a saucepan and while stirring constantly heat the mixture until just before it boils.

Add honey to taste.

Other suggestions... this could be made into a smoothie. When blended it creates a beautifully foamy drink. Fruit could be added. Cinnamon can be sprinkled on top, etc. Experiment and enjoy!

Other options for turmeric paste

  • Add a small dollop of the paste on top of crackers and cheese.
  • Spread the paste on sandwich bread and continue with sandwich ingredients.

The best way to get our medicine is in our food.

Please check out this new course with K.P. Khalsa ALL ABOUT Culinary Herbalism. There is a video on making this recipe in the Culinary Herbalism Course.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekend Herb Fair Photos

I just wanted to share a few photos from the herb fair last Saturday. I had a nice time and plan to be back again next year as usual.

Above herbs sold out from the Herb Society.

Above a selection of herbs from Access to Organics. I picked up some Organic Lobelia, Spilanthes and Nasturium seeds from their booth.

Here are my honey bunny and Easter Egg soaps on my usual necklace rack. I'm shipping out 8 today, but I still have some left for sale online at AquarianBath. :)

Have a great week.