Monthly Archives: May 2013

The Wonderful World of Mints Part III: The Medicinal Uses of Mint

Mortar and Pestel with Herbs © 2013 Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

In Part II of The Wonderful World of Mints: Growing & Using Mint in the Kitchen, we covered the various species and cultivars of the Mentha genera and how to grow, harvest and use them in the kitchen.  We also learned how to prevent losing the distinctive flavors of specialty mints over time by separating those that have the ability to cross pollinate.  Of course, most gardeners already know and love flavored mints for use in food and to create soothing and flavorful teas, but they aren’t just fantastically edible.  Indeed, most Mint Family members are highly prized for their nutritive and medicinal qualities, which makes them much more than just an ingredient in tea or toothpaste.

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The Wonderful World of Mints – Part II – Growing & Using Mint in the Kitchen

Herbs With Cutting Board © Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Last week we discussed the Mint Family and how to identify its members through characteristics such as stem shape and flower presentation.   But because this series is all about “mints”, it’s only fair to give the Mentha mints their day in the sun.  After all, mints such as spearmint and peppermint are by far and away the most common and popular herbs in the entire Mint Family.  If you missed last week’s article, you can read it here:  The Wonderful World of Mints Part I: Identifying Mints in the Garden

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Moore Oklahoma, Our Hearts Are With You

2012 7-2 Sky Shots (4)Today is a day filled with dark clouds and tears for the horrible tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma.  I cannot post my regular column with a heart so filled with pain for those who lost their lives, their loved ones, and their homes.  This catastrophe brings back such dark memories of another deadly twister that rocked the lives of those in the nearby city of Joplin, Missouri, two years ago and of countless tragedies that have no rhyme nor reason.

Our prayers, our hearts, and our tears are with you today.   May you find a small ray of peace at the end of the storm.

The Wonderful World of Mints – Part I – Identifying Mints in the Garden

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Of all the plants in the garden, mints are probably the most numerous and sometimes the most notorious.  That’s why most people immediately envision sprightly spearmint, tangy peppermint, or one of the many flavorful cultivars or subspecies of the Mentha genera when mint is discussed.  But Mentha mints only make up a tiny fraction of plants that belong to the Mint Family (Lamiaceae), which contains over 200 genera and more than 7,000 species!  In fact, it might be surprising to learn just how many Mint Family plants reside in our gardens. Continue reading

Feathered Friends Brighten Spring

Tufted_titmouse_closeupBy Jill HendersonShow Me Oz –  (Excerpted from A Journey of Seasons)

The hands of time seem to spin faster during spring than during any other time of year. So many things are happening right now that it is almost dizzying to watch. Every day I take time for at least a short walk about the property and could spend hours at my journal describing the myriad of new plants, animals, birds and bugs that I find.  Right now, it’s the birds who have my eye with their colorful plumage and brilliant songs.

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