...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Novice Gardener, if you read Sunday's post, then more than likely you have spent the last couple of days reflecting on whether gardening, as a lifestyle, is for you. The active season's finish is the first stopping place for such reflection, but not the final one. Know that the final answer doesn't present itself until you've over-wintered, sustained on many levels by the fruits of your labor. In short, for some, gardening is the mountain that fits the eagle-self, but for others, it is the barnyard. Either way, be at peace with your discovery.

So what is the best way to celebrate the advent of this new season-- a season for soothing the weary body and answering the questioning soul? Why with a bath, of course!

Earlier in the season, I picked up some wonderful bath salts at the local farmer's market, but now that the growing season is over, I have the ingredients to make some of my own as my purchased salts are finished. The following "recipes" for herbal bath treatments come from Rodale's Successful Organic Gardening Series, from the book on Herbs.

Creating your own herb bath can be as simple as heaping 1/2 cup of dried herbs on an 8-inch square of muslin or cheesecloth, tying it up with a string and floating it in the bath. Lemon balm, lavendar, rose petals...all are obvious choices. For more specific guidance on which herbs to add or how to make a decoction for your bath, check out this website: http://www.frontiercoop.com/learn/herbsavvy11.php Adding a few teaspoons of powdered milk or oatmeal will soften the water even more.

To make a bath oil, mix 1 part essential herb oil (find these at a local craft store) to three parts light vegetable oil. Store in a glass bottle away from light. Then simply shake the bottle and use a tablespoon per bath. To convert this to a massage oil, use 1/2 teaspoon of the essential herb oil with 1/2 cup of sweet almond oil and store similarly.

The Country Store offers the following recipe
for a bath oil promised to be a "therapeutic treat." In a decorative bottle, mix 3 tbsp sweet almond oil, 5 drops grapefruit oil and 5 drops orange oil. One teaspoon in the bath will prove highly refreshing, but add it after the bath finishes running if you want to keep the essential oils from evaporating before you get to enjoy them!

Finally, here's a website full of tips and techniques for creating more homemade goods. This particular page, for instance, tells you how to make your own lip balm!
Sign off today is, of course:
Happy relaxing!

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