Sunday, November 4, 2012

Harvesting Herbs and Making Smudge Sticks

Bundles of catnip, sage and rosemary, hanging to dry

Yesterday we harvested the last of our herbs for the season. Our house is now filled with little bundles of herbs, hung up to dry for use over the winter. We have catnip for the kitties, mint and lemon balm for teas, plus lavender, sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme.  Our herbs grew very well this year, so in addition to all we have drying for our own culinary use, we also gave some to the neighbors and set some aside for making smudge sticks, wreaths and other crafts.

So after we hung up our bundles of herbs to dry, Ladybug and I set to work on making smudge sticks. Smudge sticks are bundles of herbs which are burned to make fragrant smoke. Smudge sticks are used to “cleanse” your space of negative energy, and also they make your home smell nice! Traditionally, smudge sticks are made from white sage and cedar, but you can use other herbs, as well. We made ours with sage and lavender.

To make, start by gathering a few sticks of your herbs, roughly 4-6 inches long, into a bundle. We started with lavender in the middle, then added sage around the outside. Tie one end of the bundle together very tightly with cotton string. Next, wrap the string tightly around the whole bundle, all the way down to the other end. Tie off the end with a knot. Let your smudge sticks sit for a week or so before using, to dry out a bit.
Finished Smudge Sticks!

Today, we’ll be using more of the herbs to make a fragrant wreath for our front door. We plan to use rosemary, sage and lavender. Pics to follow, tomorrow!

But first, we are going to take some time on this crisp, fall day to go for a family hike at a local reservation.  We are looking forward to spending some much-needed time in nature!

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