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Projects
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Longue Vue Gardens in New Orleans

Longue Vue Gardens in New Orleans

Recently had a taste of the sweet, sunny South--left Maryland in 23-degree weather and arrived in New Orleans to 60 degrees with leaves still on the trees and many plants in bloom. Headed for a favorite garden spot to visit: Longue Vue Gardens. Enjoy the sunshine in the gardens even if it is cold where you are!

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Holiday Decorations to Attract Birds in Winter

Holiday Decorations to Attract Birds in Winter

Homemade holiday decorations are a delicious way to attract wild birds to your garden this winter.

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How to Grow an Indoor Rosemary Topiary

How to Grow an Indoor Rosemary Topiary

Rosemary is an evergreen herb that has a long association to Christmas and the holiday season. Here’s how to create an easy tabletop decoration made with this fragrant member of the mint family.

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Make your own Calendula Salve

Make your own Calendula Salve

Today is the last day of November (already!)--it's that time of year where we need to think about holiday gifts--and what better than a useful, homemade gift? Calendula salve is easy to make once your calendula petals have infused in oil and it makes a wonderful herbal salve. As a gardener, I use it regularly, however it is great for chapped lips, hands and dry skin and it is gentle enough to be used in preparations for babies. Give a gift that will be appreciated and used--this one is thoughtful, homemade and healing!

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Plant Some Fun this Weekend

Plant Some Fun this Weekend

Why not use this Thanksgiving holiday to plant a gardening seed? You can help sprout young gardeners with these easy indoor gardening projects.

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Harvest Season Celebrations and Events

Harvest Season Celebrations and Events

The end of October-beginning of November brings about the close and celebration of the harvest season as well as a few seasonal celebrations. October 31 is All Hallow's Eve or Halloween,and it is the beginning of Samhein in Ireland and Day of the Dead in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

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International Herb Association Conference 2018

International Herb Association Conference 2018

This year's IHA conference in Mountain View, Arkansas, was full of memorable moments--from seeing dear old friends, field trip to Missouri and Baker Creek and Sweetwater Land Trust, fun and educational programs from a variety of speakers, great vendors--to the annual awards banquet and auction and time in the Heritage Herb Garden (even in the rain).

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Citrus Hop Bitters

Citrus Hop Bitters

Nearly everyone who tastes these bitters, asks for the recipe. So I am sharing it here so you can make your own--they are easy to make and store for years (if they last that long). This recipe is published in Hops, Herb of the Year 2018 by the International Herb Association.

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Herb Harvest Fall Festival featuring the Southern U.S.

Herb Harvest Fall Festival featuring the Southern U.S.

Gearing up for the Herb Harvest Fall Festival at the Ozark Folk Center. This year we are highlighting the foods of the Southern United States--south of historic U.S. 40. Here is a sneak preview of a classic buttermilk pie--infused with herbal flavors.

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Pesto alla Genovese

Pesto alla Genovese

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For centuries, Italians have made pesto with a mortar and pestle, hence the name pesto from the verb pestare, which means to pound or grind. Pesto prepared in this manner is by far the best, it has a wonderful emulsion and is thick and creamy. The flavors are also more intense--the garlic is more pungent, the nuts are sweeter and more resinous, and the basil is rich in perfume. Nowadays, many of us use the food processor to make pesto since it is quick and easy. Directions for both methods are given here.

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The Essential Ingredient of Pesto is Basil

The Essential Ingredient of Pesto is Basil

Often referred to as Pesto alla Genovese, the essential ingredients of pesto are an Italian green basil (preferably ‘Genoa Green’ or something similar), olive oil, garlic, parmesan, and pine nuts. Real pesto is not made from cilantro, arugula, nettles and other herbs--green herb sauces are called salsa verde.

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Quintessential Summer Food: Deviled Eggs

Quintessential Summer Food: Deviled Eggs

What food do we think of for picnics, barbecues, potlucks and cool summer fare on hot summer days? Yep, deviled eggs are perhaps more American than apple pie. And every single person I know has their own recipe... here's our family favorite... with a list of variations.

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Plant Heirloom Flowers to Grow More Vegetables

Plant Heirloom Flowers to Grow More Vegetables

If you’d like to add more beauty, fragrance and vegetables to your garden, Chris McLaughlin’s new book is for you. “Growing Heirloom Flowers” is a new approach to local and sustainable gardening.

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How to Create a Dream Pillow from Dried Herbs

How to Create a Dream Pillow from Dried Herbs

Hops have been used for centuries to brew beers and in infusions for medicinal purposes, however hops have many other uses as you can see in the following recipe for creating your own dream pillow. Herb Society of America members had a hands-on project last week where folks could make their own dream pillows and it was very popular. After a long day of gardening or a hard day at work, relax in a hot tub and then hop into bed with a dream pillow and sweet dreams!

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Hop-Happy Teas

Hop-Happy Teas

Last weekend at our Celebrate Hops, Herb of the Year 2018 event at the US National Arboretum, we served lots of hop infusions and some herb tea blends and folks liked them so much, I'm posting a few of the recipes here.

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5 Easy Vegetable Garden Hacks

5 Easy Vegetable Garden Hacks

Vegetable gardeners are known for their clever work arounds to take some of the work out of growing their gardens. Here are five of the easiest garden hacks to start using today.

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United States National Arboretum Celebrates Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

United States National Arboretum Celebrates Hops, Herb of the Year 2018

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Once a month, during the gardening season the Herb Society of America sponsors "Under the "Arbor", a series of herb-related events held at the US National Arboretum. Last weekend we celebrated Hops, Herb of the Year 2018 with hands-on demos, educational displays and lots of hoppy tastings.

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Celebrate National HerbDay with a Dozen Favorite Perennial Herbs

Celebrate National HerbDay with a Dozen Favorite Perennial Herbs

On this last day of April, we are heading into the merry month of May and spring has finally arrived for real. Gardeners across the country are rejoicing--and I am delighted to see perennial herbs popping up here and there in the kitchen garden--these plants are fairly hardy so most of them make it through the cold of winter. We anxiously await their leafing out and we welcome them every spring, dear old friends that they are.

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Everyday is Earth Day in the Garden

Everyday is Earth Day in the Garden

After a very cold spring, this gardener decided to spend Earth Day in the garden with my hands in the earth. It was a perfect spring day--sunny and cool--at least the gale-force winds seem to have abated. Yesterday and today up until 1:09 pm this afternoon, we were in a 2nd quarter moon, in the sign of Cancer, which is a fruitful planting sign, so I wanted to get my aboveground plants transplanted and seeds sown before the moon traveled into Leo which is a barren sign.

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Cultivating and Harvesting Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Cultivating and Harvesting Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Since hops are Herb of the Year for 2018, I figure I ought to tell you about growing them--actually they are fairly easy to cultivate. Some gardeners find them to be invasive, since they send out underground runners and are a rapid-growing vine; they definitely need support and room to spread.

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