Spring Flowers

It was a long winter and I also moved. Some of my plants did not make it due to neglect and late freezes, my strawberry and rose are doing fine but all of the bulbs In smaller pots did not do well at all, one bunch of daffodils bloomed and a few didn’t survive the ordeal. But now I have a balcony that actually gets sun (and hopefully less spiders) so I have gotten some new replacements to start with. An old chair from the thrift store has been fixed up and it’s a nice place to have coffee. In my Aerogarden I started some Mint, Rosemary and Mitsuba. Plus some green onions living in a glass.

 

This Weeks Gardening And Kitchen Projects

I was about to enter my apartment when I heard a tiny defeated tweet from what looked like a scrap of dried leaf. Upon closer inspection it was an Anna’s Hummingbird that had gotten trapped in the stairwell and become exhausted. I offered it some sugar water and carried it to safety.

This morning I planted some ginger and put it next to my Aerogarden for light. Then trimmed back my lemon balm & chamomile and planted those this morning.

I started cilantro, dill and basil in the aerogarden.

Trimmings from the lemon balm and lemon slices are steeping in cold water for later. I baked some bread and some bran muffins.

I tried a new park I haven’t been to yet. It’s a bit of a walk to get to but worth it, at least up until spider season arrives.

 

I’ve been working on some soap recipes, I have a loofah I want to experiment with and also I was gifted a wire coat hanger for some experimentation with hanger swirls. I’m having some trouble deciding. I know scent wise it’s either going to be Vanilla with Espresso, Ginger Patchouli or Valencia Orange.

Tea Herbs And Lavender Creations

 

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Adding Lemon Balm, Lavender and Chamomile to steeping water, I am still sad my mint did not sprout with these others and I am using dried stuff. Here’s what I’ve been making as iced tea’s this week as I’ve been trimming up my garden.

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Fresh Lemon balm chamomile tea

2/4 cup fresh lemon balm leaves

1/4 cup Chamomile flowers

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1.5 cups of boiling water removed from heat.

Pour over herbs and steep for 5 minutes

 

 

Lavender Mint Tea

1 teaspoon lavender flowers

2 teaspoons dried mint

1.5 cups of boiling water removed from heat.

Pour over herbs and steep for 5 minutes

 

 

I’ve also remade a few things I ran out of so I have a fresh batch of Lavender & Cedar Shaving Cream, Lavender Lip Balm and a Lavender & Tea Tree Foot Balm. In a few more days I will be able to start picking and drying wild lavender on my walks, I can hardly wait.

 

Lavender Lip Balm + Foot Balm Recipe

.5 oz beeswax

.75 oz Coconut Oil

.25 oz Cocoa Butter

15 drops Grapeseed Oil

10 Drops Vitamin E

20 Drops Lavender Essential Oil

 

Add Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter and Grapeseed Oil to a double boiler and melt gently until all ingredients are dissolved.

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Remove from heat and add Vitamin E and Lavender Essential Oil, Stir and pour into lip balm container.

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I took the second half of this lip balm recipe and I added 15 drops of Tea Tree and 10 drops of peppermint and poured the remainder into a container to cool. Now I also have a foot balm.

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Freshening the air, gardening and ordering new things.

Cinnamon Scented Automotive Air Freshener 

I used  3 cotton balls and let about 1 ml of cinnamon essential oil absorb into them

You could also use a nice sachet or a piece of decorated felt to hang from the mirror but I didn’t want it to be seen so I used a large tea bag and tossed it under my seat.

Then I came inside and boiled about 6 cups of water with an orange peel, a stick of cinnamon and 8-10 cloves until my home smelled nice. 

I planted a new aerogarden so I will have fresh herbs soon. From my last grow I just used the last of my dried sage and parsley in my turkey day stuffing. I got a whole jar of dried dill which I use all the time. The Lavender is still drying, then I am going to reinfuse my lavender oil to make it stronger. As for my outdoor plants the native strawberry is still green and my moroccan mint is clinging on, everything else has died back, fall is certainly done. The first snow fell last night but melted right away. I hope it’s not too late to post that fall picture I took three weeks ago.

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I am restocking citric acid and I may make some bath bombs later on since I ordered Rose Clay but more importantly I needed it for dish washer soap, I’m almost out.

New ingredients I haven’t tried yet are nettle extract and tamanu oil, I got sample sizes of them. I am really excited about making a nettle hair wash and a tamanu lotion.

Strawberry

I have to bring all of my plants indoors/outdoors weekly it seems because they have been working on the exterior of the building. Replacing boards, power washing, painting. As a result it’s never quiet and all of my plants look spectacularly half dead. I did manage to grow this little guy.

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Basil!

I have two Genovese Basil plants growing in my Aerogarden and they are starting to take over so I made some Basil hummus.

 

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I kinda just threw things in the blender and it turned out yummy.

I also made an attempt at pita bread.

 

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It was good but it will be better next time 🙂

 

Then three days later my basil had grown back up into the lights and nothing else was getting any light.

 

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So I made Pasta sauce! I have some Oregano growing in the aerogarden as well.. and some chives if the poor things could get some light..

 

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Used the same throw it in the pan and it turned out yummy method.

I’m still eating the leftovers.

 

It seems that the more I chop my basil the more it insists on growing, I cut it back heavily this time, maybe I’ll have a few days to make some recipes with my other herbs. I have a savory chicken waiting to be roasted.

 

Indoor Garden

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My kitchen garden is growing beyond my means to consume it, salads, salad dressings, chip dips, herbed chickens, herbed potatoes, infused oils and all of the other things I forgot I made were not enough, The Aerogarden grows fast! It’s time to start drying. I’m going to try the paper bag method. I now regret not bringing the food dehydrator with me when I moved.

(For the paper bag method you cut and tie small bundles of herbs, make sure any damaged leaves are removed. Tightly tie them hang upside down by the stem in  a paper bags for two weeks.)

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My next grow is going to be Oregano, Savory, Mint, Chives, Parsley, Cilantro, and Genovese Basil.