Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WEDNESDAY'S WISDOM: Is there really "Much Virtue in Herbs [and] Little in Men"?



Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

The photograph above today's blog entry was recently posted on The Last Leaf Gardener's 'Facebook (FB) Page, and I am including it with today's post for my readers who "don't do Facebook" as this image relates to today's content (however I said something else about it on FB).

This picture shows bundles of some of the herbs (which I grow in my urban — NYC — terrace garden) hanging out to dry, before I grind them and put them into jars to give to those near and dear to me for the holidays.

I grow an array of herbs in containers placed throughout my garden, and, I confess, that their scent appeals to me, as well as the classy way in which they appear in their "terra-cotta homes" as evidenced by this photograph of one of my types of Rosmarinus officinalis AKA Rosemary pictured below.



Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

This fact often makes it difficult to cut them, much less harvest or grind them for "fresh herb" culinary purposes! However, I concede that, just as humans have to trim their fingernails and toenails as well as cut their hair, herbs, too need to be clipped and pruned. Usually, the delight that my fresh herbs bring to my friends and colleagues is worth the discomfort that I have in relation to cutting them. If I give folks fresh herbs, I package them in attractive clear bags and then put unique labels on them.

This is evidenced in the images posted below, which are just a fraction of some of the types of herbs that I grow in my terrace garden, and, it is also just a sampling of how I package them for loved ones, friends and colleagues.


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
O. basilcum Spicy ("Spicey" Basil)

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
 Salvia offcinalas (Tricolor Sage)

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
Origanum vulgare  (Oregano)

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
 O. basilcum Purple (Purple Basil)


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
Thymus (Thyme)

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
Aloysia citriodora (Lemon Verbena)

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

However, once in a while, instead of packaged fresh herbs, I give folks ground herbs (which is why they need drying, as indicated in the first photograph included with today's blog post in the upper lefthand corner), so, when I do this, grind herbs that is,  I put them in "fun" jars as seen in the images posted below:


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
Thymus (Thyme)


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
  Aloysia citriodora (Lemon Verbena)


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

You may recognize the latter of the "herbs in jars", Rosmarinus officinalis AKA Rosemary, as it was featured in a blog entry that I made regarding the role of the herb Rosmarinus officinalis and remembrance, which you may refer to by clicking here.

Despite the joy my herbs bring to my loved ones, friends and colleagues, I suspect that I will aways feel a bit squeamish each time I cut them. I wrote about this in relation to Foeniculum vulgare AKA Fennel  on nybg's (New York Botanical Garden's) tumblr which you may refer to by clicking here.

Having said all this about the cutting and grinding of herbs, I admit that I like to "use" them as "subjects" (but I keep them in their containers when I do this) in my line of greeting cards that go beyond communication, and  my herb-themed greeting cards are wonderful to send to those near (and not so dear) to you at Thanksgiving. These cards are very classy because they fold out into a print which is suitable for framing, which is a "feature" my clients, such as such as Donna Wandrey from Dark Shadows, have appreciated. This is a fact which was discussed in a prior blog entry on TLLG, that you will find by clicking here.

Additionally, my images of Rosmarinus officinalis and Thymus, as well as  Salvia offcinalas, have made elegant "subjects" for my line of invitations that preserve a moment in time, so if you plan to entertain during Thanksgiving, you might want to consider my selection of invitations, which have been featured in former TLLG posts that you may refer to by clicking here and here.

Perhaps, upon seeing my images of wonderful herbs, dear reader, you can understand how I feel about cutting them and why I prefer to "use" them to "pose" for images for my greeting cards that go beyond communication, and invitations that enhance any occasion as well as event program covers that preserve a moment in time.   

Benjamin Franklin, whom I have referred to in a blog entry on TLLG regarding "neighbors and hedges" (which you may refer to by clicking here and here) authored a quote which may be apropos for the use of herbs; and it is this: "Much Virtue in Herbs Little in Men" in his book, Poor Richard's Almanack. While I agreed with Franklin's quote regarding "neighbors and hedges", I think — for the most part – that the virtues of mankind and herbs are not mutually exclusive.  

The "virtues in herbs" as well as the "neighbors and hedges" quote do reveal Franklin's sense of humor. He is still very much on my mind today because of his role to DLS (Day Light Savings Time), which just ended a few days ago. I referred to DLS in a couple of blog entries on TLLG and if you'd like to visit them, please click here and here; however, if you'd like to know what Benjamin Franklin had to say about DLS, please click here for "outside" information.

2 comments:

  1. And yet again you've timed your blog with events in my garden!
    Our area is getting cold and frosts have been predicted for several days now. Yesterday I took time harvesting basil in between 45-degree rainstorms: harvest, wash, warm the fingers, freeze, dry, mix, repeat. Put on a little favorite music (in my case, Phil Collins) and the task is fun and productive (except for the cold hands).
    Like you, I harvest herbs and create many fun and useful items for gifts, cooking, and other uses. My timing could be better though. When the weather is warmer and I need a break from writing or a peaceful moment to brainstorm, THAT would be the time to frolic in the herb garden. I still do that, but when it comes to harvesting at the end of the season, that's a bit more difficult.
    Your pictures have motivated me so I'm heading out to harvest many herbs. It's sunny and 46 today so my fingers may not chill as fast today. However, we have a still wind blowing.
    And through it all, I just love my garden!
    Peace Patricia and readers!
    Kristen

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  2. I love your "harvest, wash, warm the fingers, freeze, dry, mix, repeat" image, Kristen! Harvesting does seem tedious and tread-mill like at times, and it does seem the weather which accompanies this "task" or "duty" is always bone-chilling. But, if the temperatures were warm and balmy, I do not feel the urgency to harvest them, which was one reason I did not want to harvest when I did, but was "forced to" re my garden floor "renovation." At least when the weather is the freezing-rain-45 degree variety, I feel as if I'm rescuing my herbs from the elements. Whereas in nicer weather, I feel as if I am interrupting their lives way too soon! As for you, I hope you enjoy your music and harvesting knowing that you have a comrade on the other side of the county doing similar "worK!" WITH APPRECIATION for your good wishes and SENDING SOME TO YOU TOO!

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