• In the Herb Garden

    Bee Balm harvest, Happy farmer!

    A life-changing event happened for me a few weeks ago. Herbalist Tony(a) Lemos (director of Blazing Star Herbal School) saw my photo of a Bee Balm plant I’d identified as having powdery mildew and told me I was mistaken. It wasn’t the disease powdery mildew but part of the natural leaf pattern and perfectly fine to use. It took me a little while to process this. Actually, my brain is still turning it over. For years I’ve been rushing to get what Bee Balm I could harvested before what I called “the funk” (whitish spotting) appeared on the leaves. Then, I’d chop the plant down. To think I’ve been wasting…

  • In the Herb Garden

    Herbs for You, Me, and the Bees

    Want to know the downside of this beautiful basketful of herbs? It was stolen! Yes, stolen from the bees. They were already busy at work in the garden when I went out in the morning to pick. Being all too painfully aware of the horrors threatening the bees’ survival (Colony Collapse Disorder, poisoning, industrial farming, loss of habitat), I grow medicinal herbs as much for them as for myself. Our animal and plant friends need the nutrition and medicine that herbs offer the same as we do. So make sure you plant lots of extras 😉 (herbs in the photo, clockwise from top left: Holy Basil, Bee Balm, Echinacea, St. Johnswort,…