The Sweet Life Gardener Rosemary

By Alisa Murray

Hey Sweet Lifers! By now all of you should have gotten beds prepped and made some decisions about what you’d like to grow in your own gardens. I have been busy as well getting seedlings hardened off and ready to go into the main beds they were planned for. I have in the cutting garden Gladiolus popping through, as well as Zinnias, Cosmos, Sunflowers and Dahlias.

While the vegetable garden is a bountiful resource for feeding your family, it is perhaps the herb garden that plays a vital role in keeping your family healthy and your meals tasting delicious. The herb garden at it’s most basic should include the following: Basil, Rosemary, Mint, Spearmint, Thyme, Sage, Chives and Parsley. However, if you’re thinking you’d really enjoy the ability to walk outside and have a natural pharmacy at your fingertips, you’ll want to also add Aloe, Calendula, Camomile, Lemon Balm, Lavender and Ginger just to name a few. There are countless tonics, teas and tinctures, oils and vinegars that you can readily make to have on ready when you need remedies for simple ailments. You might be surprised in learning the history of some go back thousands of years and offer much more than a little seasoning for your supper!

Rosemary is such an herb that delivers a beautiful aromatic to fish, chicken, potatoes and more. As a member of the mint family, it should be kept away from a bed and best kept in a container so it does not spread. It is said that Rosemary had a white flower and when The Ever Blessed Virgin Mary placed her robe over it, it’s flowers turned blue. Rosemary also has a long history in the making of love potions and has been used for centuries in wedding flowers. Probably the most intriguing tidbit about this herb has to do with men pulling it up out of their gardens in the 16th century. It was believed that homes that had Rosemary growing in the garden were ruled by women!

Rosemary, when used as Apothecary, is very helpful with brain function, particularly in getting focused and relieving stress. Used as a tonic or tincture, it will soothe your nerves when stressed, assist in combatting mild depression and because it stimulates the adrenal glands, it also  helps with blood flow. It does have some counter indications for those who are pregnant, anyone with  kidney issues and allergies to aspirin should avoid it. As with all uses of herbs, if you don’t know without certainty about a plant, it is always best to research it and even consult your physician prior to using it.

Rosemary is safe when used as a culinary herb. Although it does tend to be quite strong, because of this, use it sparingly. It can be dried and cut and kept in an air tight container in your pantry, as well as pulled off the stem fresh and chopped for direct use. I love placing the entire stem under the skin of my chickens with lemons, while stuffing the inside with carrots, celery, onions and garlic. You’ll find the stock made from such a roasted chicken is delightful and so much more delicious than without them.

Gardening can be so much more than a patch with veggies. I hope you’ll plant a few herbs both to enrich your life naturally and add some extra delight to your dishes!

Keep on Growing!