10 Easy Steps to Using Herbs Wisely

Kitchen Herbs with Mortar and Pestel Copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

With a growing distrust of big pharmaceutical companies and a government that seems to approve new drugs with lightening speed, it is no wonder that millions of Americans are turning to herbs to treat everything from the common cold to cancer.  Should you decide to dive in to a self-prescribed herbal remedy there are 10 easy steps to using herbs as safely and wisely as possible.

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Songkran: A Thai New Year Celebration – Part II

Brightly festooned temple in Chiang Mai, ThailandBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz -

As mentioned in Part I, Songkran is often called the Water Festival because it ushers in the rainy season so crucial for growing rice, the main staple in the Thai diet.  Naturally, water has always played an important role in the celebration, but modern participants have taken the tradition and turned it up a notch…or ten.  Today’s festivities often begin days before the ‘official’ holiday, which is around April 13th, and can last for several days after Songkran ends on the 15th.  One can feel the tension building as the holiday nears.  Locals and visitors alike have a wary look in their eyes and a rare alertness to their steps.

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Songkran: The Water Festival – Part I

SE Asia II   (55)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

As we walked down a narrow lane in the Thai city of Chiang Mai, some unseen person standing in the shadows shouted “Sa-wat-dee pee mai!” just as a cascading sheet of water hit me in the side of the head.  Water was dripping into my sandals, my hair was plastered to my face, and my sunglasses dangled somewhere behind my neck.  I turned to see the laughing, smiling faces of a group of eight year olds.  My face said all there was that needed to be said as I resigned myself to my fate and laughed with them.  “I’ll be back!” I said teasingly, sending them into new fits of joyous laughter.  Today is the beginning of Songkran, the Thai New Year, and my birthday – and my only regret in being out on the streets at all today is that I didn’t have my own bucket of water.

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Granny Women and Biopiracy

Copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz -

After a long, cold, snowy winter, spring is finally beginning to take hold here in the Ozarks.  A quick walk through woods or meadows reveals rising sap in the trees and swelling buds of flowers and leaves.  In the garden, Nature’s slow wakening from the Great Sleep is most evident in the growing carpet of chickweed and henbit along the garden edges and the first leaves of dandelion popping out of the barely-green grass.  Many people consider these plants to be pesky weeds, but for wild foragers and herbalists, these “weeds” represent some of nature’s finest edibles and medicinals.

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Saving Seeds: Open Pollinated vs. Hybrid

Share the Seed (12)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz -

Ever wonder what the difference is between open pollinated, hybrid, heirloom, and GMO seeds, and which one is right for you? Well, in today’s post I hope to shed a little light on the situation, but first, you might want to send the kids out of the room for this studious look at how seeds are born and why you should care what happens in your garden when you’re not looking.

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L is for Moon

Lunnaria Seedpods - Wikimedia Commons smallBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz -

Luna is the Spanish word for moon.  When spoken with its proper accent, the word rolls smoothly off the tip of the tongue.   It is a beautiful word that I don’t often have the opportunity to use, so each time I see a full, opulent moon I whisper to the night, “La luna es bonita.”  – “The moon is beautiful”.   So it shouldn’thave come as such a surprise that I would fall for a plant whose name is derived from the Latin word for Moon.  Continue reading

What Lies Beneath: Karst and the Ozarks

Copyright Jill Henderson 2002 By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz -

Recently I was leafing through a bunch of old pictures that I had taken of our first Ozarks farm and the surrounding countryside.  I was admiring my favorite shots – those of deep rolling hills and meandering rivers and clear blue springs.  These are the things that speak so clearly to love of this place – the thing that keeps my feet from wandering too far away for too long.

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Flicking Feathers

2008-3 -  April sunrise (27)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz -

If someone had told me when I was younger that I would actually enjoy being awake before dawn, I would have laughed.  But over the years I have developed the habit of waking up with the sun.   And since we turned the clocks forward in anticipation of the Spring Equinox on March 20th,  I’ve been up  just in time to witness the rising sun as it paints the eastern sky with watercolor shades of pink and yellow; everything looks so new and fresh in the muted light of dawn and life is just beginning to stir in the dark recesses of the woods.

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