Thursday, October 22, 2009

Herbal Essence, Patchouli and Stevia

Once in a while, and more often as my kids grow, i get to nourish my own spirit. When i turned 50 we were in California and i went to a spa retreat (enough with the "over the hill" parties). I hiked, did pilates, hot tub, yummy food, all by myself. It was deeelightful. Maybe im strange (yeah, yeah) but I frequently prefer my own company.

Anyway, i took a herb growing class last week to facilitate my gardening hobby. Did you know that patchouli is a plant? You know, that nostalgic scent from the 60's that hippies wore to disguise the smell of pot. You either love it or hate it. It smells very musky, like wet dirt or your grandmothers attic, or a Grateful Dead concert. Anyway, i was thrilled that i can grow it in my yard! And i bought a piece of ginger root and planted it for cultivation, along with some garlic. I also now have a stevia plant which is a natural sugar substitute. Freakin' amazing. The leaves actually taste v sweet. I can pick some limes from my key lime tree, slice them in a glass of water and add a few stevia leaves. Voila! simple pleasures.

Oh yeah, and here are a couple other extraordinary horticultural treasures i happened upon lately:

Dragon fruit (left) grows on a
cactus like tree. Mild taste, v juicy.

Cashews (left) are really strange. The tree bears bright red fruit and ONE cashew grows from the bottom of each one.

My other escapes are seabeaning (, hiking, photography, (to be continued...)