Monday, August 21, 2017

Great American Eclipse

      Many people are gathering today to witness this astronomical alignment! I have heard of so many different ways that people are going to spend their time during the eclipse. Some are gathering to meditate and focus positive energies and others will spend their time in prayer and reflection. All while one of the largest citizen science experiments is going to be conducted tracking the moons shadow as it races across the country creating an awesome collaborated record of the eclipse! This is sure to be the event of the century!
Photo By: Mary Willoughby 8/21/17
     Hope yall are ready for today's solar eclipse! I know everyone here at Hidden Realms is excited to see the event. Make sure that you stay safe and protect your eyes😎

And don't for get to ck out Hidden Realms shop!
~Shine Boldly~
🦋Mary

Thursday, July 27, 2017

~Blissful Basil~

     Basil ~ Ocimum basilicum, from the Lamiaceae family, also called great basil, Saint-Joseph's-wort, the king of herbs, and the royal herb.
     Basil is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and more. This fragrant herb is used in a great number of dishes from the well known Pesto to Pizza!

Photo By: Mary Willoughby

There are many types of Basil
Including~

Cinnamon basil ~ Also called Mexican spice basil, with a strong scent of cinnamate, the same chemical as in cinnamon. Has purple flowers.

Sweet basil ~  the most commonly grown type has a strong clove scent when fresh.

Lettuce leaf basil~  Has leaves so large they are sometimes used in salads

Red Rubin basil ~ Strong magenta color, similar flavor to sweet basil, also called Opal basil.

Boxwood basil ~ Grows tightly like boxwood, very small leaves, strong flavor, great for pesto.

Purple Ruffles basil ~ Solid purple, rich and spicy 

Spicy globe basil ~ Grows in a bush form, very small leaves, strong flavor.

Lemon basil ~  Contains citral and limonene, therefore actually does smell very lemony, tastes sweeter. Originally, and sometimes still, called "hoary basil".

Holy Basil~Lavender flowers with coarse gray green foliage. Sweet fragrance and very ornamental. Not used in cooking

Plus many more!!

Photo By: Mary Willoughby
How to grow~
     Cover sown seeds in 1/4 in of soil in a Sunny location. Pick a spot in your garden that receives 6 to 8 hrs of light daily. You may also choose to grow your basil in a container on your patio or in the window of your kitchen. Make sure you have good drainage in your container. Once your plants have 2-3 leaves sprouted thin your Basil plants 6 to 12 inches apart.
Water every 7-10 days, depending on the region you live in you may need to water more or less to keep soil moist.

Tip ~ Always water your herbs the night before you harvest them~💦

Harvesting~🌿
    The best time to harvest is in the early morning after the dew, and before the leaves are warmed by the sun, this is when the oils in the leaf is at the highest.
Cut or pinch stems right above a leaf pair, and as with most all herbs don't harvest more than 1/3 of the plant height at a time. Harvesting/pruning your plant every two to three weeks will promote growth! Pinch flowers as the appear to promote flavor and growth in your leaves. Allow flowers to grow once you want to get seeds from your plant. Grows well with jalapenos and tomatoes!

Parts Used ~ Leafs🍃
    To preserve fresh cuttings place Basil, stems in water, near a window, change the water daily. Basil can be hung to dry, infused with oils and vinegar's or chopped and frozen in butter cubes for later use.

Saving Seeds~🌱
    The seeds are contained in the blooms of the Basil Plant. Once the flower is spent and brown clip them off to harvest the tiny black seeds.
Photo By: Mary Willoughby
To extract the seeds from the husks rub them in a fine colander over a plate or bowl and they will begin to fall through.

Meta uses ~🔮
     Basil has been used by many cultures in many different ways over the centuries. including for healing, protection, love and bliss, purification, peace, money, and luck!
Whether you use it in oil form fresh or dried herbs it can be utilized in cooking, bathes, sachets, sprays, washes, charms and more!!

Other aromatic herbs that are also part of the Lamiaceae family!
oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and Mint.

~Shine Boldly~
🦋Mary