Another week has flown by!

As I look at the pile of notes on the ” *To-Do ” clipboard I find myself a little overwhelmed at all the little things that I feel that haven’t been done. But as I look around the workshop, yard, house, and website, I realize we got a lot done this week! A dozen odd Ash trees impacted by the savage Emerald Ash Borer have been removed. Over 150 foot of stone wall has been cleared of brush and dozens of pieces of fallen wall rock has been dug up and returned to it proper place (away from mower blades!) Two dump truck loads of mulch is in the process of being spread. And the basement has been prepared for the new freezer’s arrival (finally!)

Whew!

So just so you don’t think that I have been just sitting (read as collapsing) on the couch vegging after all of that, here are a few things that had been added in this week. Enjoy.

white and green floral greeting card
Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

Latin Binomials

\ ˈla-tᵊn bī-ˈnō-mē-əl \ n. The scientific naming of species whereby each species receives a Latin or Latinized name of two parts, the first indicating the genus and the second being the specific epithet.

These names are important because they allow people throughout the world to communicate unambiguously about any species. The only way to determine that you have the plant you want is by the Latin binomial; the use of specific Latin names is international. … That Latin name applies to only one specific plant.

In order to assure that you are ordering the herb that you want, all of our herbs in the Herd Shop have now been updated with their ‘true names’. Keep an eye open as we add more info about the plants, traditional usages, and certifications in the future.

A bit about certifications…

Folks have ongoing questions about our organic materials and they are really good questions… UsefulWeeds has a long history of promoting ethically produced, hand made, wild crafted, & certified organic products. It is important to us, important to me, that anything that I introduce to my friends and family is as clean and wholesome as I can make. That is why everything that we bring into the shop is from reputable, time honored suppliers that stand behind what they grow and produce, so that I can say the same about the teas, tinctures, and herbs that I sell. As I go through and modernize our catalog I will taking some time to add add tags to our items so that each item is clearly labeled as to its certification status. In the meantime rest assured that it is is more often the exception than the norm that something in our catalog is not organic. UsefulWeeds will always choose an organic choice regardless of the expense unless there is no other viable option available. I feel that you deserve no less.

Anise Star Pods

I am just starting to get into a real flow when it comes to creating the glamour shots of our herbs and teas and it I feel it is serendipitous to start out with an herb that literally is a star!

Star Anise is typically found as a spice in preparation of biryani and masala chai all over the Indian subcontinent as well as being widely used in Chinese,  Malaysian, and Indonesian cuisines. It is widely grown in the far East Star Anise is an unmistakable ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. You can also find it appearing in the making of phở, the Vietnamese noodle soup.

For me though it shines brightly in this season in the French recipe of mulled wine, called vin chaud ( hot wine ) or if allowed to steep in coffee where it deepens and enriches the flavor. The pods can be used in this manner multiple times by the pot-full or cup, as the ease of extraction of the taste components increases with the use of hot liquids.

Ginger Root & Root Powder

I thought I knew quite a bit about Ginger, but was surprised to recently find out it is among the oldest of cultivated plants and as such is not considered to exist in its wild state. Used worldwide from everything from wines, sodas, candy, pickles, and dozens of flavored dishes.

In traditional medicines it is been historically used used in treatment in a large variety of GI discomfort – colic, diarrhea, bloating, and as a carminative agent. Additionally it is reportedly beneficial for reducing nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

Luscious Lavender Tea

One the most delightful moments that I have doing this work is when a random call or note will come in and someone expresses how much they love a particular blend that we have created. Of all the various teas I blend, I would have to say this happens most often with Luscious Lavender. Deceptively simple in it’s makeup this cup of tea has such an amazing array of senses it keeps a place in the hearts for those who enjoy it. So happy to have this Victorian inspired floral blend gracing the “shelves” of UsefulWeeds once more.

Jasmine Tea

My understanding is that Jasmine tea is the oldest flavored tea in the world. This blend is a sublime blend of Pouchong green tea and fresh jasmine flowers following in the footsteps of centuries old Chinese traditions. As with all green teas, extra care must be taken to brew at the right temperature and time in order to release the essences perfectly. The extra care is thus rewarded in the first sip.

Rooibus Red

I must have had my first cup if rooibus close to 30 years ago while on a search for a robust cup of tea to compete with my then addiction to coffee. Ever since then it has been a fixture of our tea cabinet and stil continues to be the go to choice when all the other teas don’t quiet feel right at the moment. One of my favorite summertime teas I find that rooibus makes a crisp cold brewed iced tea and never seems to fail regardless of how long it steeps.

Well, it’s time to get back outside! See you next time. ‘Till later, Be Safe, Stay Well, Be Whole!

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