Some years I don't need to be out collecting all my goodies, along with the fact that there are some years your heart's just not in it, and then there are years that my body simply won't let me do it on particular days . . . but this year is a year I desire to be out and about collecting all my herbs, thinking about how I'm going to use them and then actually doing it. It's such a "rush" because you are harvesting some while others are just starting to grow and you are almost in a constant dreaming state. You're dreaming about what kind of teas you're going to make, you're deciding that when the thyme blooms how best to use it (I'm thinking Lemon-Thyme Tea Cake or perhaps a gargle), and you have choices. You may want to make a simple lemon balm tea or a mixture of chamomile, lemon balm and say - passion fruit or rose blossoms - or whatever. You sometimes get stung, as I did a couple weeks ago, by stinging nettle and you reach out in your garden to find a way to address your issue. Being out in the herb garden daily allows you to see the changes in your plants. Some plants need to be harvested at particular times but, for instance, if you only go out once a week - you'll miss the optimum time to harvest your lavender.
Oh, and tasting!! I love this time of tasting the herbs straight from the garden. I used to not do this. Foreign feelings in my mouth and on my tongue as well as tasting odd flavors were not something I looked forward to attempting. It's odd, isn't it? When you've not done something before you automatically think . . . ick!! One of the first things I learned while reading about herbs was, if you haven't tasted it or used it yourself - how dare you expect someone else to.
I challenge you to go outside where the yard has not been sprayed and find white clover, fresh young white clover, no brown showing on the bottom of the bloom. Pop the top off and put it in your mouth and chew it. IT'S GOOD!!! Try a rose petal. Depending upon the type rose, they actually taste differently and it's the same with nasturtium leaves and flowers. Find out what bee balm really tastes like and then try red, purple, scarlet, etc. When the pineapple sage blooms, try the gorgeous, sweet smelling blooms. They don't taste anything like they smell - at least not to me. This one act of tasting herbs and flowers was the hardest of all things for me to do. My friends, you can know a lot about what you're feeding people but if it's all just words on a piece of paper - what do you REALLY know? (Now I have to put a caveat here. I'm assuming that you will be responsible and know that what you are putting in your mouth is safe to eat and has also not been sprayed with poisonous chemicals. If you don't then perhaps it's time you did. Don't be careless. Also, I'm assuming that while you are harvesting herbs, you are taking care to not wipe them off the face of the earth. Take some-leave some.)
Anyway, all of this is such a "rush" to me. This year I find I'm looking at my plants with an eye toward healing, healing the gut, healing the bones and muscles, healing the aches and pains and healing the mind. This "rush" leaves me with a feeling of gratitude. I walk away from the garden anticipating the next visit. It's a great time of year!
It's going to rain again. The skies are looking dark and ominous. Hubby went to town earlier this morning and bought the metal panels and stakes to put up in our garden. The Scarlet Runner Beans are already sending up runners. When he got home we got busy putting those up and then weeding and tilling what needed it. Then we went ahead and planted the sweet potato starts. The garden is ready for rain and so are we.