German chamomile, also known as sweet false chamomile, is part of the sunflower family. The name actually means “apple on the ground,” which is fitting because the leaves smell like apples. This plant is an annual aromatic Eurasian herb that is commonly grown in herb gardens for harvest of its flowers. It is to be distinguished from its “cousin” Chamaemelum nobile, a spreading evergreen perennial commonly called Roman chamomile.
Chamomile is very popular in teas. It is said that Chamomile Tea has a soothing affect. I can attest to that statement. Many times before going to bed I have a nice cup of Chamomile Tea. At times, a big glass of wine would seem like a better idea, but being a little health conscience, I tend to stick to teas. The tea is also said to have very positive medicinal properties.
The herb is used in many topical products for the hair and skin. Some body-washes and shampoos contain this herb. Some add it to cream cheese, fruit preparations and salads in culinary uses. Others add it to potpouris and bath water sachet pouches. Medicinal uses include creams for treatment of minor inflammations, wound or irritations of mouth or gums (please check with a medical doctor or pharmacist before using it in this manner).
Chamomile has daisy-like flowers. The plant is very hardy once established. Getting it established might take a few tricks. The seeds love light. It is said that broadcasting them in August in very light soil is best for germination. Well, I tried this. Of course, I forgot that I planted them and in the spring planted other stuff in the same place. Also recommended was starting seeds indoors in March and transplanting the plants in the garden after chance of frost has passed. I have not tried this yet.
It was mentioned that growing Chamomile in containers is not recommended. I will try to grow this herb again . . . but need to come up with a better method of remembering where I sow the seeds. Until I grow this herb in the garden, I will continue to buy those little tea bags and enjoy a nice hot cup of Chamomile Tea on a cold, snowy night before going to bed.
http://www.herbco.com/ Search “Chamomile”
http://herbgardening.com/growingchamomile.htm http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/ Search “Chamomile”
Bay leaves come from the evergreen bay laurel tree (Laurus nobilis). This tree grows about 40 to 50 feet tall growing only in zone 7. The leaves are leathery and stiff. Leaves from this tree can be picked at any time, but the most potent are the larger, mature leaves. The leaves are either dried and crushed or sold whole.
Several articles suggested growing the tree as an ornamental or container project and keeping it pruned since it is a slower grower. Of course, the tree does blossom and in spring small yellow flowers bloom and then turn into purple berries. This knowledge prevented any idea of trying to grow this tree in a container since we have no greenhouse.
According to Wikipedia there are several different bay leaves:
Here is a pickle recipe similar to mine. I do not cook the spices with the brine. I add them to the bottom of the jar then put the pickles on top adding the hot brine last before sealing the jars.
Kosher Dill Pickles
1 clove garlic Brine:
1 bay leaf • 3 cups white vinegar
1 head of dill • 3 cups water
1 teaspoon mustard seed • 6 teaspoons salt
Pack pickles vertically in pint jars
Boil vinegar, water, salt and spices for 5 minutes. Pour over pickles ½ inch from top, place a bunch of dill on top and seal. Ready in 4 weeks. Try them. They are good!
by Barbara Dean
Thyme is a perennial shrub with thin woody base and square stems. Lilac or white color flowers appear in summer. I had this planted in the garden and never used it. You know why? I did not know what it was. When I planted it I used markers that eventually got lost. I learned to write on rocks (at a MGA meeting) and this method works. I keep a marker in my pocket and retrace the writing when I weed. I began picking the leaves and using them with just about any meat I roast. What a wonderful flavor from this herb. This herb has vitamins and antioxidants as well. You will enjoy the fragrance coming from the oven.
There are many varieties of thyme. Thymus serpyllum is a creeping plant. This creeper is smaller than the plant in my garden. Thyme is a native of Europe and naturalized in North America. However, thyme’s Greek name thymon is thought to be derived from a Greek word meaning “to fumigate” or meaning courage. In both ancient and medieval times, the plant was thought to inspire courage. In the Middle Ages, sleeping on a pillow stuffed with thyme leaves was recommended if afflicted with melancholy or epilepsy.
I like this herb so much I will try to grow some in a container and keep it in for the winter. Hopefully, the sparse Indiana sunlight will be enough for this wonderful plant to flourish and I will have fresh leaves at my fingertips all winter long. Now is the time to be looking for different types of Thyme to plant in a container. I noticed some nice plants at several stores when I browsed for garden veggies. Soon one of these will be on my deck growing in a container getting ready for a winter home on my back porch.