Lemon balm, with its delicate lemon scent and flavor, is valued as a culinary, cosmetic and medicinal herb. Fresh sprigs are used to top drinks and as garnishes on salads and main dishes. Fresh or dried leaves make a refreshing tea, either iced or hot.
Used throughout history as a medicinal herb, lemon balm has mild sedative properties and has been used to relieve gas, reduce fever, and increase perspiration.
The volatile oil contains citral, citronellal, eugenol acetate and geraniol. Both oil and hot water extracts of the leaves have been shown to possess strong antibacterial and antiviral qualities.
I grew up on a farm. Honest-to-God, cattle, barn, apple trees, big garden, grow-your-own-food farm. I have no romantic notions about being a farmer because I know how itchy/terrible/invasive hay can be, I’ve picked up rotten potatoes with my bare hands, and I’ve stepped in cow piles. Always get tickled by people on House Hunters who are from the city and want to buy a farm to “live a simple life.” Farming is damn hard. My dad got up at 4 a.m. to feed the cows before he went to work and I spent many days in the summer weeding and picking vegetables.
That’s why I completely understand why Clint would have a farm. Not because he wants to go somewhere and commune with nature. Not so he can spend his days outside, getting his head on straight and thinking. But because it’s hard, physical, back breaking work. The kind where you drag yourself out of bed early and work until you’re sweating and by the time you’re done, you can barely manage to shower and drop into your bed and sleep the sleep of the bone weary. It’s the type of work where you don’t have time to think; you can’t be distracted around horses or cows who weight three times what you do.
Clint has a farm so he can be Clint. Nothing more, nothing less. He can work with his hands in the dirt of the Earth that Loki didn’t defeat. Sheep don’t care that he was mind controlled. Tomato plants don’t know that he’s a superhero. The guys in John Deere caps at the ancient feed store in town only want to talk about what the Farmer’s Almanac predicts for the winter while they drink an ice cold, glass bottle of coke. Exhaustion drives his dreams away, the good kind of tired that comes from a hard day’s work.
So Clint Barton has a farm. And it makes him whole again.