Herb Maker Gift-Giving Idea: Glassware

Herb Maker Gift-Giving Idea: Glassware

I’ve asked five blog contributors to share their favorite herb-related gift ideas.  HSA’s blog will be running one per day during the first week of December. – Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster

By Andrea Jackson, HSA Member

glassware 2I spent some time thinking about herbal holiday gifts. What is it that I just can’t do without and what is it that always thrills me when I receive it. Are you ready?

Glassware!  Yup, all different kinds.

Mason jars of all sizes for jams and jellies and to age potpourri and to store bulk herbs and to keep elderberry syrup and habanero hot sauce. And then there are corked topped glass cylinders for stacked potpourri and roller top glass vials for perfumes and tiny glass cork topped vials for mixing essential oils to make new perfume blends. Oh, and recycled decorative liqueur bottles for homemade herbal liqueurs and cordials. Lovely antique vanity jars look enticing on the shelf just waiting to be filled with body butters and face creams.  Don’t forget the screw-top brown bottles for tinctures and bitters.

Bale-topped bottles stand waiting to be filled with vinegars or ginger beer or herbal soda concentrates and tiny pots for herb mixes or herbal salts. I am fortunate enough to have a group of friends who often drop off various bottles for me and when I reward them with a homemade herbal goodie they know if they bring back the empty container they will always get a refill.

Gift giving contest

Herb Cook Gift-Giving Idea: Drying Rack

I’ve asked five blog contributors to share their favorite herb-related gift ideas.  HSA’s blog will be running one per day during the first week of December. – Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster

By Mary Nell Jackson, HSA Member

herb drying rack 2Drying my herbal harvest often takes over my home. No more eating on the dining room table because baskets of herbs are gathered en masse; guest beds hold large, drying baskets.

A few months ago on a leisurely day I settled in to check out my Instagram  account and as I scrolled, up popped a photo of a hanging black mesh, tiered,  cylinder herb-drying rack filled with a herbal harvest.  The source was not given but from that moment on I was hooked on finding my own drying rack.

I googled Amazon and to my delight up popped many choices of mesh drying racks.

I researched each choice for my needs and decided on a four-tiered model with zipper closures. A week later my holy basil and passion vine blossoms had a perfect place to dry and my dining table and guest beds were swept free of drying baskets.

I hung my cylinder drying rack in an out-of-the-way corner in an entry porch room that usually stays cooler year around; perfect place to dry my herbs and a great place to check on them as I come and go about my day.

I’ve gifted myself and my herb gardening friend for her birthday; we both are smitten.  I can’t think of a better holiday gift to give an herb gardener, wish I had been introduced to this nifty drying rack 20 years ago perhaps my husband would have welcomed my herbal harvest!

Gift giving contest

Herb Gardener Gift-Giving Idea: Hori-Hori

Herb Gardener Gift-Giving Idea: Hori-Hori

I’ve asked five blog contributors to share their favorite herb-related gift ideas.  HSA’s blog will be running one per day during the first week of December. – Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster

By Beth Schreibman-Gehring, Chairman of Education for The Western Reserve Herb Society unit of The Herb Society of America

image2My father had over three acres of the most glorious organic gardens, filled with historic roses, lilies, and every kind of beautiful perennial and herb imaginable. I remember perfect summer evenings when he’d wander his gardens with a cocktail in one hand and a sprinkling hose in the other. He taught me everything I know about growing beautiful gardens organically and with a minimum of intervention.

The funny thing about my father is that he didn’t have a garage full of tools. He wasn’t into the latest, greatest gardening anything, well except for permaculture which really isn’t a latest and greatest secret. Like any other gardener he had shovels and clippers and long-handled pruners, but for his constant companion he preferred a simpler tool, a very sharp and well-made Japanese all- purpose gardening stainless knife called a hori-hori.

It wasn’t until I had my own gardens that I really appreciated his sensibility. My stainless steel hori-hori  is five garden tools in one. I can measure planting depth with it. I can prune with it. I can saw with its serrated edge and I can dig with its straight edge. It’s the easiest way that I know to draw and define a perfect circle for planting shrubs and trees.  My romantic father used to cut my mother beautiful bouquets of his glorious roses with it.  He has been gone for many years now but his native wisdom still lingers. I own two of these.

My favorite hori-hori is sold by http://www.barebonesliving.com and it comes with a wonderful sheath to house it in with a strong stainless steel clip. I’ve given so many of them as gifts that I’ve practically lost count and the fact that you’ll feel like a real gardening badass when you’ve got it clipped to your belt never hurts. It even has a notch for cutting twine or opening an ice cold bottle.

Gift giving contest

Win Free Gardening Book in HSA Contest

By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America

Rodale's organic gardening primerIf I’m ranking my favorite things, I must admit that herbs fall second. My first love is books. I love a new book’s promise of knowledge and adventure. And, free books are an absolute treat.

If you like herbs, gardens, books, the environment, you need Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening : A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Healthy Garden, by Deborah L.  Martin. And you can have it for free by entering the HSA Blog CONTEST.

Tell us your favorite herb and why – by May 5, 2018 –to enter a contest to win my review copy of the book. Simply state the herb and why in the comment section below this post or send an email to pariswolfe@yahoo.com. All names will be put into a drawing. Winner will be notified in mid-May.

I’ll go first.  My favorite herb is thyme, specifically lemon thyme. It grows prolifically with little care. It blooms the sweetest little purple flowers. It smells delicious when I brush my hand across it. It retains its flavor in dried form. Just like lemon, it punches up the flavor of almost any dish that calls for thyme.

I can’t wait to hear what you like best and why.

HSA members and staff as well as non-members are all eligible.