Happy, Herby New Year 2020!

Green Haven Herbs in pots

Is it January 2020 already?  For me it seems like the holiday season just flew by this year!  But that could be largely due to the fact that I was on an extended business trip from the Saturday after Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas Eve morning.  I arrived at 4AM that morning, thanks to … Read more

Give thanks to Milky Oats!

Milky oats steeping

Now that the weather is seriously cooling down and the days are getting shorter and shorter, who wouldn’t want a “hug in a cup”? That’s how I refer to milky oats tea, one of my favorites for when I’m feeling stressed out, strung out, down and out, and just generally depleted. Ever feel that way? … Read more

Herbal Allergy Relief

Autumn leaves

It’s fall!  The leaves are changing, the days are getting darker and cooler and…seasonal allergies are acting up!  (Full disclosure:  I, personally, don’t suffer from seasonal allergies, but I’ve worked with several clients who do and have had great success with providing herbal allergy relief through combinations of the following.) Let’s get to it, no … Read more

Psoriasis, eczema, what’s the difference?

psoriasis - Robbins Basic Pathology

If you’re suffering from red, itchy patches that literally have you ‘crawling out of your skin’, then perhaps the difference doesn’t mean much to you.  As it happens, though the two share similar symptoms, their causes are distinct.  Knowing which you suffer from is key in developing an effective strategy to select particular herbs for … Read more

Defeating the Squash Vine Borer – FINALLY!

Zucchini plants

Every spring, after a long, cold, dark winter has washed away any memories of the prior growing season’s trials, I awaken hopeful (and naïve?).  Despite my husband’s warnings, and probably my better judgement, I persist in planting zucchini in my garden.  Sure, I know that zucchini has the unfortunate reputation as being overgrown – there’s … Read more

4th of July and Victory Gardens – a classic pair

Home vegetable garden July 4, 2019

The 4th of July always brings back memories of our backyard vegetable garden when I was growing up.  It was a goal to harvest our first zucchini by (or before!) this date in western Pennsylvania. This July 4th, I am reminded of one of my very first blog posts on the Maryland Extension’s now-retired Grow … Read more

Musings on the history of herbal medicine

Polish herb book

Recently I was asked by a fellow Master Gardener for some suggestions on how to put together an ‘educational and fun’ lecture on the History of Herbal Medicine.  “Wow”, I thought, “that’s a particularly broad topic”.  I started asking her a lot of questions: whose history?  Which culture(s)?  How far back do you want to … Read more

Violet jelly

violets in jar

Every year around this time my lawn becomes awash in violets.  To some, these lovely little plants are weeds – the bane of a homeowner’s pristine-lawn-loving existence.  To me, they’re an opportunity to behold nature’s beauty – and to make violet jelly! As an herbalist, I need to share that the sweet violet (Viola odorata) … Read more

It’s spring, time to prepare the medicinal herb garden!

Welcome Spring!  You’ve been dreaming all winter about starting a medicinal herb garden, but now that the ground has thawed you realize you have no idea where to begin.  Fear not, and read on for a simple medicinal herb garden plan that incorporates a pharmacy of herbs for self-care that are easy to grow in … Read more