My favourite of all homesteading things is gathering plants/flowers & herbs for my culinary / witchy apothecary collection. We use a lot of herbs in our food as well as skin care, salves, tinctures and other remedies. Plants and herbs are truly multi-purpose and we can be a little bit greedy and indulgent in our use of many of these items because we grow most of them.
I thought I would share some of the contents of our herb cabinet and maybe give you a few new ideas for things you can grow, gather and store with ease.
Everything pictured here is from the garden/forest. Rose petals, rose hips, dill, sage, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, mint, oregano, basil, chard, nasturtium leaves (provide a peppery flavour to dishes also good in teas to sooth coughs), Crushed tomato skins (give a nice roasted tomato flavour to dishes) sunflower petals, dried fireweed leaf and flowers, Labrador tea & juniper berries.
Here’s a closer photo of some of the herbs. sometimes I just open the jars, smell the contents and then close them up again. They just smell so good. Is that weird?
We don’t grow everything we use. I have some bulk herbs such as: Ecinacia, Hibiscus (I make lemonade with it in the summer, infuse it in vinegar and use it as a dye for soaps), St Johns Wort & Eucalyptus on hand.
And there’s the common household spices that we purchase in bulk as well. A friend once told me with authority that you are supposed to only buy what you can use within a year because they lose their potency. I’ve had some of these for three years and they are still working fine by my accounts. I store them in dark, dry location in well sealed containers. If they loose their strength – use more! 🙂
Turmeric, cayenne, peppercorns, sesame seeds, mustard, nutmeg, bee pollen, caraway, gara masala, poppy seeds, anise & chilli powder.
Also, I have herbs and flowers, garlic and other things hanging in bundles everywhere. It’s small things like this light up my heart with happiness. There’s garlic, tobacco leaf, Vietnamese coriander, feverfew, lavender hanging around.