Deborah J. "DJ" Martin

A Witch and a Bitch with an Herbal Itch - and an overactive imagination

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Month: May 2015

Herb Storage

We all need a place to put our herbs. Most of us put them in a cupboard in the kitchen so they’re handy for cooking. This is what most kitchen cupboards look like:

 

Image via Wikimedia Commons John Reid CCA-SA 3.0
Image via Wikimedia Commons John Reid CCA-SA 3.0

All those plastic & glass bottles let in light which, in time, leaches out healthful compounds in herbs.

In school, we were taught to put our herbs in a canning jar, then put that jar into a brown paper bag, close it with a twist-tie and label.

IMG_0033This offends my neatness sensibilities.

I keep a couple months’ supply in the kitchen and the rest is in ziplock bags (with the air squished out) in a plastic tub in the cool, dark, dry basement. I replenish my kitchen stock as needed from there.

A couple of weeks ago, I had an “aha” moment. You may already have had this moment but just in case, I’ll share it with you.

Instead of putting your jar into a paper bag to keep out light, take a little more time and paint the outside of your jar with glass paint!

IMG_0035(I hope you are a better letterer than I am.)

Several coats are needed (this jar has three) but once you’re done, you have something that looks better than a bag and keeps out light.

IMG_0034(The light at the top is from the camera flash. But no light gets through the side.)

You still need to keep them in a cool, dry, dark place but at least this’ll help with the “dark” and “dry” parts.

Now all I have to do is find room for all those pint-sized canning jars…

Garden Centerpiece

As many of you may know, my garden is a medicine wheel. Or just a wheel. After I downsized it last year, it’s 8 triangular beds with the interior paths being the “spokes” and the outer path the “tire”. I’ve long wanted a fountain at the hub but finding something I liked was an issue.

I love cast iron. There’s a lot of it in my house and not just in the kitchen. So, something cast iron would be good, right? Then, how to get the fountain part of the hub. A pump requires electricity and I wasn’t about to run a line from the house all the way out there. Solar fountains are nice but the solar panels I’d seen sit outside the fountain, have a cord running to them, and detract from the look. (I’m a neat freak.)

Earlier this year in one of my jaunts around the Internet, I found a floating solar fountain pump. The top of the whole thing is the solar panel. No need to run wires, either from the house or outside the fountain well. In addition, it provides something for the bees to perch on while getting a drink, although I have plenty of wine corks for that. But would it work?

What to use for the well? I finally found something I liked at a local flea market a couple of months ago.

My last chore was to put everything together so it looked as I had envisioned it. That meant hauling some rather large rocks from an old fire pit on the other side of our property. I’m glad we own a hand truck. A couple of them weigh almost as much as I do.

Here’s the result … even though my level says everything is good, the fountain likes to float over to one side.

IMG_0015

 

And if the neighbors get a little twitterpated about my “cauldron” (it’s actually a wash tub), well … 😀