Cooking With Herbs Throughout History

Throughout history people from every culture have been using herbs to season and flavor food.

In the 17th century, John Parkinson, the famous English herbalist at the Court of King James I, wrote these words, Dried summer savory leaves ground up with bread crumbs “used to breade meate, (correct spelling for the times) be it fish or flesh, give it a quicker relish.” Meaning that it gives it a better taste.

Herbs do taste good and smell good, they are healthy and they give us so many options to experiment with. Hard and fast rules when using herbs are very few. You can make your own rules. Fresh versus dried is simply a matter of personal preference.

There are a few things to remember when cooking with herbs in order to get the best benefit of the natural oils. Fresh herbs like basil, should be torn with your fingers instead of chopped with a knife. Tearing releases more of the natural oil. Any fresh or dried herb should be added no more than 5 or 10 minutes to the end of cooking time. The longer they cook, the more taste
you lose.

Another little tip: When using dried—–half the amount of fresh will do in most recipes.

Too little is better than too much! Herbs can be overpowering if not used in the proper amounts
.
The blending of herbs can serve a two fold purpose, adding wonderful flavor to your dish, and allowing you to cut back or completely stop the use of salt and or fat.
Actually there is a third benefit, once you remove the salt and fat from your food, you discover the real taste . This is always a big surprise to most people.

I’m an herb farmer and strongly believe in the powers of herbs to support, heal, cleanse and maintain the health of our bodies, minds and spirit.

But they are like everything we do that has a real purpose, we must learn about the process and commit to a practice of when and how to best use them.

You can find more information about our farm and our products by going here:
http://www.sagehillgardens.com

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera (Liliaceae) is a succulent plant with no stem, just thick fleshy leaves containing special sacs full of gel which oozes out when the the leaves are cut or broken. It flowers rarely and grows 2 to 3 ft tall.

Aloes should grow 3 years before you attempt to collect the gel.

They are not cold hardy except in some southern climates they can survive outside if caution is taken for protection.

Potted Aloe VeraI grow them in pots and move into a sheltered location before the first frost.

The gel of Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory saponins and antimicrobial, vitamins C and E, soothing salycilic acid and minerals.

This plant is a must to have on hand for sun exposure, bug bites, burns, eczema,shingles, and other skin rashes that need speedy relief and healing.

It’s often mixed with cucumber juice and in this form can be drunk to help immune function, digestive function, and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and Chron’s disease.

It is wonderful to break a leaf and apply the gel directly to the face and arms after being in the sun and/or water.

Aloe Vera doesn’t like too much water and thrives in a location where filtered sun is available…loves the shade in the afternoon. Also likes being left in one location…not too much moving around.

A good thing!

Authors Give Proceeds to School Gardening Project

Top Authors Give Proceeds to Middle School Gardening Project

(Jasper, AL) April 28th, 2013 – Top authors from across the world will come together on Facebook this Saturday to raise funds for a gardening project for students at Curry Middle School located in Jasper, AL. The project is Sponsored and coordinated by Bea Kunz of Sage Hill Farms.

“The project will be ongoing from year to year with different students and teachers participating,” states Kunz. She goes on to say, “I am thrilled to be a part of any project that enlightens or peaks an interest in better foods for better health.”

Kim Mutch Emerson, owner of Master Koda Select Publishing, LLC got wind of the project and gathered authors together from around the globe who were excited to offer the proceeds of their sales on Saturday, April 27th to this worthwhile project. For a preview of the books being offered you can visit this blog: http://dragontargeseries.blogspot.com/2013/04/charity-event-one-day-host-of-authors.html

The benefit event will include games and contests for the attendees and takes place on Facebook this coming Saturday, April 27th from 10:00am to 3:00pm Eastern time. The public is welcome. Proceeds from the book sales will go to the Curry Middle School Organic Gardening Project. To join this worthwhile event, simply go to this link and click join: https://www.facebook.com/events/485963738123325/

For more information or to donate to this non-profit project contact Bea Kunz on her website at http://www.sagehillgardens.com/ or Dr. Thomas Kyzer, Assistant Principal at Curry Middle School, Jasper, AL.

Sustainable Agriculture

The Concept of Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals: Environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.

Sustainable promotes the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable means to be constantly aware of our actions toward the soil, water, air, energy, and the human connection to all of these concerns.

For far too many years we have been depleting our major resources and replacing nothing.

Giving back, putting back, better than what we take is the only way to ensure that next year or in ten years or 100 years, the earth will still be caring for us as it has for all of time.

Happy growing!

Bea Kunz

NOTICE: You may reprint this article by giving credit back to the author and by using it as written.

Bay

Bay/Sweet Bay/Laural…Lauraceae

The bay tree was sacred to Apollo, the Greek god of prophecy, poetry and healing.

baytreeThe Latin laurus means “laurel” and nobilis “renowned”; laurate means “crowned with laurels,” hence poet laureate and baccalaureate.

Bay was also dedicated to Apollo’s son, Aesculapius, the Greek god of medicine, and it has been used against disease, especially plague, for many centuries.

Bay is an evergreen and will grow to 23 feet.

Culinary uses are many, it is one of the ingredients in bouquet garni for stews, soups, stock, stuffing, pate’, and meats and fish.

Boil in milk to flavor custards and rice puddings.

You can flavor rice by placing a bay leaf into your rice jar or storage container.

NOTE: All laurels except sweet bay are poisonous.

Happy growing!

Bea Kunz

NOTICE: You may reprint this article by giving credit back to the author and by using it as written.