First Time Medicinal Herb Garden

Simple success with just one herb is a great inroad.  Start by planting some seeds of at least one of these easy medicinals in a pot on the windowsill or in a prepared bed in the garden. Richo Cech Easy not Peasy Why is this introductory collection of herb seeds needed?  A little bird told me that new growers…

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Beyond Seed Cleaning Screens

Stainless steel seed cleaning screens

The screen used is industrial grade stainless steel, and we have chosen the most robust stock. The wood used is clear grade Port Orford Cedar, which is bioregional to us, is the hardest of all Cedar species, has a hardwood-like pattern of grain, and emits a delightful aroma, especially when newly worked.  The wood itself is antiseptic, repels bugs…

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Extremely simple seed planting techniques


Learn from the plants.  Do it. . . for the plants.   — Richo Cech For those of you who simply cannot get a medicinal or culinary herb seed to germinate, despite your best efforts, here is something that may help. Choose the very easiest germinators that are also the most useful:  Genovese basil, Calendula, Chinese balsam, nettles, Echinacea purpurea,…

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Pressing Herbal Tinctures—Lessons Learned and Questions Answered

Red Tincture Press

Early disasters.  Pressing tinctures was my first herbal job, and I approached it quite enthusiastically, but soon realized the benefits of—finesse.  The press was a handmade affair, bolted to the wall, fitted out with open pans that could be jacked together to squish a large, loaf-shaped object that was actually the macerating tincture surrounded by a carefully folded-over pressing…

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How to Make Elderberry Syrup


According to herbalists, Elderberry syrup is a great preventive for colds and flus, an antiviral (helps prevent viruses from replicating) and immune stimulant. European Black Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) are the best type to use.  Here is a simple recipe for making the syrup at home:  1) Use one cup (appx 100g) of dried black elderberries. 2) Place the dried…

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