When I’m not in the garden, I’m in the studio crafting vegan bodycare with herbs and veggies. Here’s my latest: ‘Lettuce & Lavender’ cocoa butter soap with poppy seeds for a little scrub and lavender, fennel, and marjoram essential oils for an intriguingly herbal scent. One of seven new blends coming soon!
Gentle, creamy, softly aromatic, handmade with natural ingredients. And palm oil-free. My idea of a good soap.
It’s the middle of October, so a killing frost is just around the corner. I’m spending as much time as I can in the garden, soaking up the beauty of the last flowers before they are gone for the year….
It’s actually almost embarrassing how in love with Lettuce I am….
One of the first things I can eat out of my garden in the Spring, Lettuce’s amazing variety of colors, textures, and flavors is enough to put me into a swoon.
And more than just a pretty face, Lettuce is rich in vitamin A and potassium plus has some vitamin C, calcium, iron, and copper.
(*except Iceberg Lettuce, which is very low in nutritional value)
Lettuce fits into my small-space garden rule which requires plants to do double-duty: Besides eating it, you can wear it 😉
A lettuce face mask helps restore skin’s natural pH, soothes rough skin, and can help heal pimples.
Put lettuce in a blender to pulp, then massage onto skin. For a fancier version, add a little olive oil and lemon juice. Olive oil is a great moisturizer, and lemon juice a gentle astringent that cleans and refines pores.
Here’s Hawkeye with fresh-picked lettuce and arugula from the cold frame on December 23rd. This is what I call living large! (Okay, the tattered basket might not qualify as “large”. New baskets are on the list!)
We’ve had snow since then and wouldn’t be getting anymore growth from the plants anyway, so that’s it for us for the rest of the Winter. Lettuce should be ready again by mid-March.
Beets, carrots and scallions are planted in the cold frame too, but this is our first try at over-wintering them so I’ve no idea what to expect.
These peppers are a standard in Caribbean cooking having what’s described as “shocking” heat with a fruity flavor. I had a taste of their amazingly delicious hot sauce when Hawk’s folks gave us a bottle they bought in the Bahamas. I’m really excited to add them to the hot pepper collection we’ve got going: Ho Chi Minh, Maule’s Red Hot, and Fish.
I’m needing some herb seed too, but I haven’t got my list for Horizon Herbs ready yet (Horizon also has a nice selection of organic vegetable seed, but I’m trying to not go too crazy!).
This year, I’ll be integrating herbs into our off-site vegetable garden. Adding a variety of herbs and flowers is a great thing to do to attract pollinators to the veggie garden, and can also help with soil health. If I get to harvest them for food or medicine, that’s a bonus 😉
Paradise City Micro-Farm Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.