White Sage is a Winner With Us! – How to Make a Cleansing Stick

White Sage is a Winner With Us! – How to Make a Cleansing Stick

What is a White Sage Cleansing Stick?

Have you ever seen someone burn a rustic-looking bundle of dried herbs to cleanse their new home or work space? Well, that herb was most likely white sage. Though some people may find this practice a little odd, burning sacred herbs as a safeguard against evil or negative energy actually dates centuries back, to Ancient Babylonian practices. In most recent history, Native Americans continued this ritual throughout North and South America, and burnt this culturally-sacred herb to ward off negative energy and rid their homes and temples of bad spirits. The botanical word for sage, ‘Salvia’, actually comes from the Latin words, meaning “to heal”, and its medicinal properties as well as its natural ability to repel insects (like ladybugs), is probably at the root of its mystical history. (more…)

Potted Herbs Make Great Indoor Accents

Potted Herbs Make Great Indoor Accents

To keep our test garden growing strong through the winter, we’ve moved some of our favorite herbs indoors. Our sun porch has become a haven for potted herbs and one of our favorite places to take a break or eat our lunches. Receiving lots of sunlight, our potted garden has been thriving throughout this mild winter here in zone 7. Watering about once a week, our plants are showing lots of healthy new growth and it’s not even spring!

What started as a project to see what temperature and lighting worked best for these potted herbs, has now developed into a lovely place to relax and find a moment of peace during the day. Having these plants close at hand makes cooking and crafting even more enjoyable. Bring natural beauty and energy to your home with two of our favorite fragrant and functional potted herbs!

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Fall Gardening- My Favorite Time Of The Year

Fall Gardening- My Favorite Time Of The Year

The sadness of summer fading can only be cured by the excitement of fall.

Cooler temperatures and the bountiful harvest draw our attention away from what was, to the beautiful changes before us. It feels good to bundle up in a favorite fleece for a morning jaunt into the garden. I hope you are making that little jaunt each morning; even ten minutes of trimming, weeding and piddling will brace you for the days work. Think of it as a kind of yoga or meditation practice. After a few weeks of practice, you get flowers and veggies. All that squatting down, reaching around, and scratching in the ground does kind of limber you up, and a few quiet moments looking over your plants does clear your mind, and those veggies will nourish your body and soul. Flowers brighten your day!

Fall is our favorite time to garden

Why would we not start the day in the garden? I don’t know because all of the above is true and we all know how busy and complex life is today. I try to visit my little home herb garden each morning, my excuse is to let the chickens out, but I always piddle and pull a few weeds or pick a little something to leave in the kitchen for dinner. This is a nice start for me because I also know that during the day, through some intrusive media source, word of mouth, or just something I see walking down a city street will give me pause. And I will truly wonder how the human race has gotten thus far. Since there is not much to be done about the world at large, one needs some means of maintaining sanity. The only salvation is a sanctuary, and home with a garden has the deepest roots. Whatever goes on elsewhere, it is grounding to know that the garden is there, orderly and bountiful. (more…)

An unexpected response, growing holy basil plants

Holy Basil

Here is a confession:  I haven’t always been an herb grower.  Sure, I grew herbs along with everything else.  Proven Winner Annuals, perennials, succulents, foliage plants, bulbs … you name it, I grew it.  We had a garden center in Richmond, VA and my customer base was my guide.  Whatever they wanted, I grew.  Or, was it the other way around?  Whatever I grew, they wanted?  We had a very good relationship, my customers and I.  It was truly an EXCHANGE.

But, in 2005, when I decided to close the store, my intention was to take EVERYTHING online.  I would keep growing as I had been since 1985.  Guess what?  Everyone else had the same idea.  There were plenty of folks growing and selling perennials online.  I just had to get in line.  It didn’t take me long, with the help of Google, to realize that what folks REALLY wanted was a quality herb grower.  I had grown herbs all along, and actually loved growing them.  But, here was my chance.  I could begin growing MORE than the ‘usual suspects’;  I was a kid in a candy shop.  Send me the seeds, and I will grow them.

So, the unintended consequence?  Enter some of the ‘unusual suspects’ with a BIG following.  Among the most important?

Holy Basil

This was one of those eye opening experiences ~ I began growing two types, Holy Red and Holy Green.  I was getting seeds from a variety of vendors, but that was my first mistake.  What was I really growing?  Among my first customer was a wonderful grower from Texas.  She was Hindu, and she educated me right away: ‘this is not Holy Basil’!  Well, it said so on the seed package.  My education began. (more…)