So what is Herbal Happenings? It is the newsletter for the home-based business of Herbal Nature. We have been in business since 1996. Our main product is herbal notecards and bookmarks. Look for our line of herbal notecards in the products section. We are pretty excited and hope you will check them out on our Products Page.
Herbal Happenings is an electronic newsletter published quarterly. Each issue will discuss a seasonal topic. One column will be devoted to herbal sentiments and the their history. Each issue will focus on one herb, concentrating on the herbs historical past. The last item will be on Greek cooking and the use of herbs in cooking. Eventually there will be other topics like fairies, gardening and the like. It is the intent to make this an informative newsletter rather than focusing on Herbal Nature. Though there will always be personal notes and information to share.


Newsletter by: Herbal Nature
Harvest Time

It is that time of year when everyone is busy getting the garden harvested, bulbs planted and the garden bedded down for the winter. This is always a busy time for me and I anxiously watch the daily weather reports to make sure that none of my crops will be lost.

Drying

After gathering the herbs and flowers into bundles, I tie twine around each bundle and hang them upside down using the laundry drying racks. For the smaller items I use screens that lay across two drying racks. It is important to label the bundles because the herbs look different dried. The name is written on masking tape and stuck on the twine of each bundle. The laundry racks work because I can fold them up after I am done drying. Another option is to use a drying cabinet with drawers of screens to lay the herbs or flowers on. In my climate, it usually takes less than one week for herbs to dry and that is in my basement. I live in the desert so it makes drying an easy task. In the more moist climates, it is more of a challenge to dry without the herbs browning or molding. Air circulation is critical to keep the drying material from spoiling.

Storing

Once the herbs are dried I take them off their stems by hand using a large bowl to gather the leaf materials. Over the years, I have found that wearing a carpenter's mask or a bandanna over my mouth and nose helps keep the dust from the dried herbs going into my nose. It also helps if you can do it outside in a protected area. This a very messy process with twigs and dried leaves everywhere.

After removing the leaves, I crunch them up into smaller pieces then using a paper funnel to transfer them into glass jars.
I gather my jars by recycling old food jars. This is a great way to recycle old glass jars. It is best to store dried herbs in glass because the material is preserved better than in plastic containers, which breathes. It is important to label the jars with the name of each herb/flower and ate it. The glass jars are stored in my pantry out of the light and heat that breaks down the herbs quickly causing them to lose their color and flavor before the end of winter. My goal is to have enough herbs stored each fall to get through the winter until my garden starts to grow again.

Fall is the time for apples and pumpkins. This is one of my favorite recipes using pumpkin.

Pumpkin Bars

4 cups flour (preferably wheat flour)
2 cups oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
3-4 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 cups softened margarine/butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar or 2/3 cup of honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 16-ounce can pumpkin or 2 cups fresh
1 - 2 cups chocolate chips or carob chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside. Cream margarine/butter, gradually adding sugars/honey, mixing until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Alternate additions of the dry ingredients and pumpkin into butter and sugars bowl. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Grease baking pan and spread mixture in pan(s). This recipe will make two 8" x 12" - 2" deep pans. Bake for 30 minutes. Option is to make cookies, using teaspoon for dropping on cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes.

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