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Herb “Gardening”

Ok, so here’s a bizarre little story for today. Ben’s mom frequents a lot of the year-round farmers markets and found out about a lady who was having a “Build an Herb Garden” class in her store. We (Ben, Me, Ben’s mom, Ben’s dad) all signed up and thought it might be fun to learn more about herbs.

My initial knowledge was pretty bleak and extends 99% into the culinary world of herbs. I don’t know much about tinctures, salves, or anything in the medicinal world. I also know there’s quite a lot you can do to make teas. So – lots to learn!

We showed up and her store was really a random hodge podge of various objects. You could browse around the store and at least 80% of her wares looked like cast-off odds and ends with no price tags. The store itself was old – the ceiling was falling down in parts, it felt like the heat wasn’t working, and her cats (yes, cats!) roamed freely. Some would knock over random items or jump up on customers… It was a unique experience.

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It was fun seeing her pots of herbs scattered throughout the store. I saw one cat nibbling on something and wondered if that was a plant she was trying to sell. Hmm. Totally bizarre! 🙂
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We were hoping we’d get some seeds or maybe a seedling plant to put in our gardens, but instead we received a sheet of graph paper to graph out a garden and another sheet of paper showing a list of taller plants on one side and shorter plants on the other. From there, it was basically an open 2-hr session of people asking her questions and her not really giving anyone answers. Interestingly enough, I think some of the people who attended knew more than she did and that’s where I picked up a few interesting tidbits.

As my mind wandered a bit through some of the session, I got to look more towards the back of the store where she had some really cool apothecary stuff. I’m familiar with epidemic jars from historical books and movies but I’d never seen one up close.

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It was an expensive class considering we didn’t really get much out of it but it made me want to grow some of my own herbs. I think it might be a bit optimistic to tackle tea but I thought maybe I’d start with more of the herbs we use for cooking all the time. A couple years ago I tried growing rosemary but I learned in the class that rosemary doesn’t do well in Wisconsin winters and needs to come indoors. Maybe that’s why it never grew! 🙂

There were also a number of people who grew comfrey and judging from the wide range of medicinal uses – I’m thinking that may be one to learn a bit more about and maybe try and grow too.

Always fun to learn new things. Is anyone trying to grow any herbs this year besides me?

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2 Responses

  1. That sounds like an interesting 2 hours you spent there. Let us know what you have luck growing.

  2. That woman definitely sounds like a free spirit! It would be fun to poke around that store.

    I might try some herbs in pots on the patio and see what happens, but I have sooooo much to do with the landscaping that I might not get around to it.

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