How to Dry Herbs for Optimal Quality

If you grow your own herbs, you’ll want to learn how to dry them to preserve their freshness and enjoy them through the winter months. If you follow the techniques described here, your dry herbs will last for months to come.

By Tammi Hartung 

a handful of lavender tips for your kitchen and garden

The potency of the lavender flowers increases with drying.

Flowers and leaves can be used fresh, and both buds and stems can be used dried.

Lavender is a member of the mint family and is close to rosemary, sage, and thyme. It is best used with fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and savory.

In cooking, use 1/3 the quantity of dried lavender flowers to fresh lavender flowers.

Adding too much lavender to your recipe can be like eating perfume and will make your dish bitter. Because of the strong flavor of lavender,  the secret is that a little goes a long way.

Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops.

The spikes and leaves of lavender can be used in most dishes in place of rosemary in most recipes.

Use the spikes or stems for making fruit or shrimp kabobs. Just place your favorite fruit on the stems and grill.

To retain the flavor and fragrance of dried lavender, store them in glass or pottery containers with tight fitting lids so the oils will not escape from the flowers.

Due to its excellent healing and analgesic properties, lavender can provide instant relief from heat rash or red and sore skin. It can also prevent blistering. Make a lotion using 12 drops of lavender essential oil in 1 tablespoon of distilled water. Dab the area gently.

Easy Kitchen Garden, Step by Step

Grow a kitchen garden to enjoy safe, flavorful and nutritious homegrown food.

By Roger Doiron


Over the next 50 years, the international community will face health, food security and environmental challenges more daunting than any civilization has ever faced. The United Nations estimates that food production would need to increase by 70 percent to feed the projected global population of 9 billion in 2050. Plus, we’ll need to grow our food in an unstable climate with a greatly depleted natural resource base. [Keep reading….]

anonymous asked:

Hi. Can you tell me a little about being a kitchen witch? I'm really into crystals and I'm learning about herbs, but I'm not really interested in Wicca. Do I still need to dedicate myself among other things?

Certainly not! You are a witch when you decide you are one. Moreover, the practice of Witchcraft is entirely separate from Wicca (which is a religion that can include Witchcraft).

If you are interested in centering your practice around the Kitchen, herbs are a great place to start! I find that I can do so many “little acts of magic” throughout the course of my day with the herbs in my kitchen cabinet. (You can find plenty of correspondences on my Herbology page here.)

  • A sprinkle of salt along door thresholds and window ledges will help in keeping negative energy and harmful spirits away
  • A wish written on a bay leaf and burned is sure to come true
  • Sprinkle some cinnamon in your coffee for a psychic boost (cinnamon is great for raising intuition and psychic awareness)
  • A basil leaf or two under the doormat ushers in wealth
  • Basil in the bedroom ushers in love
  • Have someone in your life that you want to quickly and mildly curse? Write their name on a piece of paper (or a napkin, if it’s more convenient) and sprinkle cayenne paper over it as your visualize negativity falling upon them

If you are drawn to crystals, you can work those into your Kitchen Craft as well!

  • A piece of quartz by the stove helps food to taste better
  • Rose quartz at the kitchen table brings people together and encourages loving connection
  • …And add some turquoise to enhance healthy communication
  • Agate, aquamarine, chrysocolla, coral, gold, jade, jasper, lapis lazuli, obsidian, pearl, peridot, pyrite, rhondonite, tiger’s eye, topaz, tourmaline, and tourmalinated quartz are all great crystals for helping to regulate the digestive system

Other things that I regularly do while in my kitchen include:

  • Scrying in the kitchen sink: Doing the dishes? Doesn’t mean that you can’t work a little divination in, if that’s your thing! Keeping a special candle by the sink for such occasions may help.
  • Enchanting beverages with intention: This is a little something that I do for both my boyfriend (with his consent, of course) and myself. It works with coffee, tea, lemonade…anything that you can stir a bit of magic into! Just visualize your intention as you stir either clockwise (to draw things in) or counterclockwise (to expel certain energies away from you).
  • Blessing meals: This can be as extensive as a drawn-out blessing over food while you cook, or as simple as a short blessing with loved ones before beginning a meal.
  • Sigils!! This is such a fun and fairly simple way to bring magic into your kitchen and home. You can use lemon juice or a finger dipped in water to write sigils just about anywhere.
  • Sweeping out your kitchen? Use the opportunity to sweep negative or stagnant energy out of your home as well!
  • Use kitchen chores as a time for prayer or personal affirmations.

Use One of These 4 Simple Garden Designs to Grow the 12 Best Kitchen Herbs

These four herb gardens are each designed to fit into a 12-square-foot area, to help you make the best use of space near your kitchen door.

By Barbara Pleasant

I’m part of a cooking co-operative on campus and we grow herbs on our kitchen windowsill. The oregano (pictured), rosemary, parsley and sage are thriving. Unfortunately the chilly winter killed our basil, which was by far my favorite herb. My best friend and I have been trying to grow lavender, but it’s difficult to start from scratch.

Use One of These 4 Simple Garden Designs to Grow the 12 Best Kitchen Herbs

These four herb gardens are each designed to fit into a 12-square-foot area, to help you make the best use of space near your kitchen door.

By Barbara Pleasant