Garden Plans

My plan was to not purchase any plants, but rather start them all from seed. I started the seeds in my metal seed starter tray and placed them into a heat mat near a south-facing window. Some of the little buggers grew, but not very fast and they are still quite tiny. I could possibly still plant seeds, but we don’t have the longest growing season here. I’m technically zone 7a, most of the areas around me are 6a or 6b.

I went to Cliff’s Country Market to get hella vegetables because that’s all I’m craving in this heat wave, and they had these beautiful organic starts for sale. I’m not an expert grower, so I suppose I just need to keep trying or putting more effort into my seed starts.

For now though, I’ll be ok that I purchased some plastic pots and more plastic labels in order to have my vegetable garden growing beautifully. Also, I realize I could get veggies at the farmer’s markets but it’s in my genes to grow plants.

My boxes would be sad without an abundance of vegetables. Yes, they are in the front yard because we have an unusually wide “hellstrip” due to our narrow street.

I already have garlic growing and some volunteer mustard greens and arugula. I made a yummy dish using mustard greens and spinach from the garden! I’ll put that up soon.

In my back yard I have smaller boxes where I have planted more cooler season vegetables and I’m planting potatoes as well. This is Idaho after all!

Anyone else starting a garden? Already started? Do you have any seed starting tips?

Peace and love,

Kristan

Thanksgiving Flower Harvest

Calendula is prolific in my garden. This is something I can view as a blessing due to the many benefits for which this herb is known.

I am grateful for my garden and all it has to offer and to teach me.

I am opting outside today and choosing to not buy anything.

I am grateful for my health which allows me to garden and harvest with ease.

I am grateful to spend another Thanksgiving with my family and see them maintaining their health and vibrancy.

I collected these the day before Thanksgiving and will dry them to add to tea. I still have calendula infused olive oil on hand from a year before.

The tiny native bees love them!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Herbal Tea Blends How-To

Buying tea is fun: exploring new flavors and brands that may help ease symptoms or simply taste good. What’s more fun is making one’s own tea blends!

My garden has mint, lemon balm, lavender, chamomile, parsley, rosemary, calendula, and many other cooking herbs. These are the ones usually being made into tea.

Most of my arsenal is pictured here. I have a serious love of vintage tiny crocks and they are perfect for storing dried herbs.

Choosing which vessel to drink from and deciding where to place the herbs is the hardest part of the process! I have a lovely tea strainer that sits atop a mug, and I also have a muslin cloth bag that is nice for a whole pot of tea. Obviously, I chose the stainless steel tea strainer + my favorite poppy mug.

My favorite blend is mint, lemon balm, and a bit of lavender.

Sometimes I enjoy just mint, I think that’s my second favorite.

Chamomile by itself is amazing, but I like it with mint. Also with lemon balm.

Calendula + mint; lavender + calendula; parsley + mint; basically anything mixed with mint is delicious and soothing.

I have “modeled” some blends based on purchased teas I enjoyed but didn’t care for the price tag. Those usually include licorice root because of its natural sweetness. They require more effort, so I’ll usually mix a larger batch to enjoy over a longer period.

Rosemary is best when fresh and is super strong. I enjoy it mixed with honey and chamomile!

In fact, I like most herbal teas with a bit of honey. I think their flavors come out more fully with some added sweetness.

All herbs either came from my garden, or were bought in bulk at my local herb supplier.

The honey in the coconut jar was purchased in bulk also!

As far as how much to add to each cup, it’s a personal preference, and can also be based on how fresh the herbs are + how finely cut they are. I generally use about one tablespoon because I like a good flavor. Definitely use less if you are using a true tea like earl grey or black.

What are some of your favorite tea blends?

Peace and love,

Kristan