Overview of Herbs:
Growing, Harvesting, and Preserving Herbs
For centuries herbs were part of every-day life. People used herbs in food, for cleaning, for cosmetics, decorations, as well as for medicinal purposes. How to grow, care and preserve herbs was taught within families. Most of the time mothers taught daughters. In the Middle Ages a girl may not have been able to read but she most likely would have had some knowledge of growing herbs and of their many uses.
Beautiful herb gardens and extensive research of herbs and herbal remedies was practiced in monasteries, convents and by court physicians and alchemists. The knowledge, important to every day life, was treasured and passed from one generation to the next. Herbs were seen as necessary and sacred, and those with vast knowledge of the herbal healing arts were revered (and sometimes feared).
As our modern age developed, chemically produced lotions, potions and medicines came to the foreground. Many artificial products were created in factories for mankind’s use. Sadly herbal knowledge became less important and growing and using herbs went into a steep decline. Eventually herbs slowly were forgotten about by many, especially city dwellers.
I grew up in a large city and everything we ate came from a store. For years, even as an adult, I distrusted anything that was not bought in a store. My ‘farming’ experience was limited to watching my parents grow geraniums (Geranium pelargonium) in a box on the balcony, never even realizing that those pretty plants have herbal benefits.
As an adult I started to grow a garden and with it, slowly began to grow herbs, learning more about them, one plant and herb at a time.
I am happy to see that in recent years herbs have made a comeback. Our society has become more and more aware of the negative side effects on our health due to living in a chemical-infested world. So recently there has been a push back to nature. Growing and eating organic foods and herbs, as well as the use of essential oils has been revived.
This revival, the wish of a more natural lifestyle is easy to understand. We all wish our loved ones, our families and ourselves to live a healthier, toxin free life. We all want a cleaner, chemical-free environment. Herbs are all a part of this movement to a healthier, more natural way of living. The more I have read about herbs and learned about their benefits, the easier it was to see that growing and using herbs is a worthwhile endeavor.
Herbs are easy to grow and use in various ways. We just need to learn how. In the past, the knowledge was passed on from parents to children. Today we have books, videos, and the super highway of information: the Internet.
Here, in my blog you will find useful information that will help you to live a healthier life. As part of this, I will write articles focused on different herbs, featuring various of my favorites. I will write about how to grow, tend to, preserve and use herbs.
Herbs produce a plethora of beneficial seeds, leaves, flowers, stems and roots. Growing them is really quite simple. All you need is some dirt, seeds or a starter plant, sunshine and some water. Your herbs will grow. Most do not have many requirements.
In my next articles I will discuss growing, harvesting, and preserving herbs.