Winter is definitely here. It didn’t really seem to hit until January. Every year, after Christmas, the question arises. Will there be snow for the Tip Up Town Festivities in Houghton Lake. This year there was plenty, plus a little dose of sub zero temperatures.
Higgins Lake is frozen. There are some years it is so warm it doesn’t freeze until February. We got our share of snow and sub zero temps this year. Below, are pictures of Higgins Lake on a sunny day. There hasn’t been many sunny days like this so far this winter.
We backlotters have plenty of snow as well. The winter storm started Monday morning 1/28/19. It snowed continually for at least ten hours. It just didn’t want to stop. Frigid sub zero temps accompanied the 12” of snow and two days later it is stil sub zero.
All I know, is that I am ready to get back into the greenhouse and garden and start growing herbs and flowers again. Tell me how your winter has been in your neck of the woods.
Here we are again! Approaching the end of summer is always a sad time for me. We harvest our herbs with love, appreciating the fact that they have brought beauty to us throughout the summer. They have also provided food for the bees. Have you ever seen Mint, Oregano, Lavender, or Thyme, flower. They provide the tiniest flowers ever and the bees just love them. The bees are very important. Without bees, there is no pollination. Without pollination plants don’t produce fruit.
Nature is amazing. When you say “ The Circle Of Life” it is completely accurate. I’ve witnessed it here. Every living thing is dependent on each other. Do your self a favor and grow something.🌱
If you really want to help Mother Nature out, plant a Native Echinacea. The somewhat endangered Monarch Butterfly will love you for it and the dried seed heads provide food for the birds in the fall. We hope to have our new green house up and ready soon. If all goes well ,we will have Echinacea starter plants available in the spring. For now , we will be busy harvesting our herbs, and appreciating the last days of summer.
Wow, what a brutal winter. Believe it or not April was the worst. No “April Showers Bring May Flowers “here. Needless to say all the snow melted and the Lavender bushes looked beautiful, as well as the rest of the herbs. Then it snowed, rained, sleeted etc. recovering and freezing everything. Fast forward to now and they are all struggling. The picture below was taken just one month ago on one of our walks to the lake.
I lost 3 of the twelve lavender bushes I planted last year. They are called Fred Boutin and they are great for making lavender wands from the long stems. Most of the remaining bushes are struggling and one looks magnificent. The Lemon Thyme looks beautiful as well. There is a home and greenhouse full of starters just waiting to get home in the soil. One thing Mother Earth teaches us is patience, and I am so lacking in that category.😉
So if you are lucky enough to be in a warm climate and are in full planting mode, count your Blessings. If your in a Northern Climate hang in there, we are almost there. And as always, take time to “ Get Lost In Nature”
It’s October, Halloween is fast approaching. Before we know it Thanksgiving will be here. Soon we will be gathering our supplies and ingredients for the Big Feast. If you make your own stuffing you most likely will be adding Sage. Well, I’m here to tell you that Sage isn’t only for Thanksgiving. It’s a wonderful, easy to grow garden herb. It has many uses both medicinally, and culinary. If you don’t have this in your garden, plan on planting one next year.
So first of all, Sage has two meanings. It is a plant that has grayish green leaves and is used in cooking. It can also mean a profoundly wise man or having or showing profound wisdom. Either way you look at it Sage is wonderful. In medieval times, it was one of the ingredients in “ four thieves vinegar”. If your not familiar with “ four thieves vinegar”. It was a formula used to ward off the bubonic plague while plundering for treasures. Hence, the word thieves. The ancient Egyptians used Sage as well. Today herbalists use Sage to make teas and syrups for cough, sore throat, and the common cold, to name just a few. Below is a very simple tea recipe using fresh sage and mint leaves. There are no hard and fast rules for this tea. You may add cinnamon and honey, or none at all. Make it to your liking and know that you are drinking a healthy tea.
This is a very simple way to get the benefits of Sage in your diet. Herbalism doesn’t have to be difficult. Yes, there is a lot to learn, and you can continually grow in your knowledge. But sometimes all of the information out there scares us into thinking we aren’t smart enough or that we aren’t doing it right. Start simple, and grow from there. Bring “Herbal Goodness” into your life.
Im about to ask a favor. You see i've been in love with herbs and plant life and natural healing forever. It just seems to be a part of me. Almost as if i was born with this connection to the natural world. Even with this connection. I felt it important to get a formal education. I took a one year study course and became a Certified Herbalist. I am very curious how the rest of the world views natural healing methods, herbal medicine, nature and the natural world. So now to the favor. I would love to hear from you. Please take a moment to answer the questions in this short survey. Place your answers in the comment section below. If your interested in seeing more of the nature of herbs, herbalism, and the natural world, follow me on Instagram @higginslakeherbco.
Wow! September flew by so quickly. The 90 degree weather is strange for this month and it's tricking all the herbs into believing it's summer. The lavender has bloomed again. And speaking of Lavender, I am about to teach you the easiest way to make bath salts even if you aren't an herbalist, or owner of an amazing apothecary or spa. The very easiest way is to take a handful or approximately 1 cup of Epsom Salts and a scoop of lavender buds and throw them in a muslin bag. Hang the bag over your bathtub faucet so the water runs over it. Then toss the muslin bag in the bath water. Squeeze the bag some to release the lavender oil and aroma from the buds. If you love the idea of beautiful lavender buds floating in your bath water as you drink a glass of wine even better, just mix and pour right into the bath water. No need for a muslin bag. There you have it the easiest base formula for bath salts. Now go take a bath!
Today I am picking the last of our Lavender. Its always a bittersweet time of year. The end of the growing season is nearing and fall and winter is on its way. Speaking of Lavender, I promised an informational blog posting on the benefits and properties of this amazing herb. Besides being absolutely stunning to look at, it has qualities beyond compare.
Here are just a few
Wow, pretty amazing, right. I can't say enough about this herb. First of all, it is very easy to grow. Lavender does not need any fancy treatment or soil conditions and will grow just about anywhere. Make sure to plant in an area that has 6 hours of sun and watch it grow.
Lavender aroma is described as being sweet, woody, and floral and promotes a general sense of well being.. Lavender oil is also generally recognized as safe for human consumption by the FDA. The list goes on and on and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Next week I will show you how to make your own Lavender Bath Salts
Lavender, just the word brings to mind beautiful calming images. It is the one plant you must have on your porch, patio, or door step. Every time you pass by, run your hands over it. The aroma will fill the air and your senses, bringing with it a sense of calm and peace.
Lavender is a member of the mint family and when you inhale deeply you will be able to detect a slight camphor note. It is a calming herb and if you let it do its magic it will bring you much joy. Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing ways to bring Lavender into your life. There are so many ways to use Lavender but here are just a few.
Ten ways to use Lavender
1. Simply plant and adore the beauty and aroma
2. Use in flower arrangements
3. Hang to dry and enjoy the scent indoors
4. Make bath salts with Lavender Buds
5. Make sugar scrubs with Lavender Buds
6. Can be used to make infusions.
7. Add to homemade salves
8. Make your own lip balms
9. Create your own oils
10. Make Lavender sugar.
I hope to see you all back here next week when we discuss Lavenders properties and attributes. Have a Lovely Lavender week!
The seasons ebb and flow here in Higgins Lake. It starts with a bang Memorial weekend, builds to a crescendo July fourth and slowly wanes through August as family's head home. The herb farm is no different. We start in May, planting and waiting for the summer sun to warm the soil and our souls. We relish the beauty as nature flourishes and are saddened somewhat as the season ends. This is where we find ourselves now. This year we added a fenced in area to grow the most delectable herbs in. For some reason the deer love them as much as we do. Hmmmm, so do the bears, rabbits, and squirrels.
We are harvesting, drying, and preparing our herbal products this month. They will be available in the store and new product added weekly.
Hello and welcome,
This is our very first blog post and we are so excited. I would like to tell you a little bit about us. We have been living and growing here in Higgins Lake for 23 years. But only recently have we realized our dream of making it official and became a fully licensed company. Lavender is our specialty, but we also grow rosemary and other herbs. Herbs seem to love this land as much as we do. To us there is something magical about this place. Behind every tree you will find something beautiful to look at. Deer and wildlife are abundant here and can sometimes be a challenge. But we enjoy sharing this heavenly space with them. Come along with us and share the journey.