History, Identification, & Uses of Lavender

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Lavender is one of the most popular scents as well as one of the most popular herbs used in natural medicine. It has a long history and a wonderful smell with many benefits.


Lavender is a species of the mint family that is native to the Mediterranean. Today, it is grown and used around the world. Lavandula angustifolia, or English Lavender, is the most commonly used lavender for culinary and medicinal purposes but there are many different types of lavender.

Lavender was first farmed by the Arabs. They were also the first ones to make distilleries for making lavender essential oils. Arabian physicians cherished lavender for its ability to clean wounds and heal. They also used lavender to treat the nervous system, stress, insomnia, and to kill germs.

The Greeks and Romans also used lavender much in the same way that the Arabs did. They sold and traded lavender and lavender oil along the spice trail and eventually took it all the way to England. For the Egyptians, it was used in their mummification process and as a perfume. It is said that Cleopatra used lavender to seduce men and that lavender was found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen.Continue reading →

Summer Solstice Lavender Festival 2017

Did you know that there are lavender farms in Ohio? Not only is it possible to grow lavender in Ohio, but there are actually quite a few lavender farms in Ohio.

Ohio Lavender Festival 2017

9th Annual Summer Solstice Lavender Festival

Where: Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm, 2387 Martinsville Rd Martinsville, Ohio
When: June 17-18, 2017; 10am-6pm & 11am-4pm, Open rain or shine!
Entrance Cost: FREE
Dog-Friendly: Yes
Family Friendly: Yes


There was parking available on the farm itself. It was a $2 minimum donation to Good Shepherd Ministries, an interdenominational Christian agency, which helps restore the lives of people with histories of incarceration, drug, and alcohol abuse. Many of the volunteers there who were helping with parking were from this program.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Calendula

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Calendula is well known for being a healing herb as well as a commonly used herb in culinary recipes. Often planted in gardens for its beauty, Calendula has many useful properties.


Calendula has been used since the 12th century but its origins are a bit disputed. It is believed to have originated somewhere in the Mediterranean but no one is quite sure where exactly.

The word Calendula comes from the Latin word calendae, meaning the first day of the month. The Romans loved calendula and it was a symbol of joy and happiness. Both the Romans and the Greeks used the flower in their rituals and ceremonies.

Calendula has been used in many cultures around the world. It was commonly used in pots and stews, possibly giving it its other common name, Pot Marigold. It’s a sacred flower in India and has been used in weddings and religious rituals. The Aztecs and Mayans used the flowers during their ceremonies, and today they are used on altars on the Day of the Dead in Mexico and Central America. The Egyptians loved to use calendula for skin rejuvenation.Continue reading →

How to Identify Plants: Leaves Part II

If you haven’t already, check out Part I to learn about leaf parts and arrangements.

Identifying plants- part II

Here we are going to discuss leaf margins and their shapes.



The margin of a leaf is the edge of the leaf. You’ll have to be close to a leaf to be able to see the margin. It’s one of the fine details that can differ leaves from one another.



An entire margin is smooth throughout and toothless.Continue reading →

How to Choose Quality Supplements

There are over 29,000 different herbal products sold throughout North America. Over $5 billion is spent on herbal supplements every year in the U.S. but not all supplements contain what they market.

How to Choose Quality Supplements (1)

Supplements and the FDA

Herbal supplements are considered to be dietary supplements and are not regulated by the FDA. The FDA isn’t even “authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed.” It’s the responsibility of the manufacturer and distributors to make sure their products are safe, aren’t false or misleading, and that they comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations.Continue reading →

History, Identification, & Uses of Ginkgo

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You have probably seen these trees lining streets and neighborhoods. The ginkgo is commonly planted as an ornamental tree.


The ginkgo is well known for being a “living fossil.” It is considered one of the oldest tree species in the world and has not changed much from it’s 200 million-year-old ancestor.

There are both male and female ginkgo trees but nurseries usually only sell male trees. The female tree produced a fruit that has an awful smell to it. Female trees are often avoided in cities and neighborhoods because of the smell. A branch from a male tree that is grafted onto a female tree will cause the female to produce fruit.Continue reading →

The Running of the Goats-Covington, KY 2017

Who doesn’t like goats? They’re cute, adorable, and hilarious to watch. This year was Covington, Kentucky’s Second Annual Running of the Goats. However, it’s not quite what it would seem.running of the goats 2017


This year I went with a bunch of friends down to Covington to this small festival to enjoy local shops and goats. The event took place April 23, 2017, in downtown Covington from 1pm-6pm. There were quite a few vendors, beer, local bands, and well, goats.

It was an overcast day but there were a lot of people there. Parking wasn’t too bad for the number of people who showed up. The event was completely free and was dog-friendly.


Continue reading →

Natural Does Not Mean Safe

Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, no it’s safe! It’s natural!” when talking about some new plant fad they are partaking in? Just because it is natural, does not mean it’s safe.

Natural does not mean safe

When it comes to working with plants, whether it’s gardening or herbalism, it is important to understand that naturally occurring things are not always safe.

Poison ivy, arsenic, and formaldehyde all occur naturally but these are things that you do not want to consume or put on your body! So why do we have this idea that natural is always safe?Continue reading →

How to Make Soap Nut Liquid

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What are soap nuts? They are berries that contain natural saponins and are popular today as a natural soap replacement. You can read more about them here.

how to make soap nut liquid

You can throw whole soap nuts into your laundry or dishwasher, but sometimes it can be easier to use soap nut liquid. Soap nut liquid is also used as a base for many different things that can be used around the house.

You can use the liquid as is or add it to other recipes. Soap nut liquid can be used in:Continue reading →