In Basket: November 2010

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Dear Herb Companion,

IT WAS FUN to see the recipe for Berry Freezer Jam in the September 2010 article “Healing By Way of Berries.” My grandmother always called this Bumbleberry Jam. Her reason was that these berry bushes were frequented by bumblebees, not honeybees. Thanks for the memory! I continue to make this from the fruit on my bushes. You can even substitute seasonal berries. 

—Mary Lynne Farrell, Elk Rapids, Michigan


I AM SURE WHEN you receive an envelope, it is more often than not a query letter or submission. However, in recognition of National Poetry Month, I would like to share this little poem with you, no strings attached:

Hummingbird’s Wings
If we could move our souls
to forgiveness
like the hummingbird’s wings,
hate would disappear,
evaporate like a morning mist.

—Loretta Walker, Odessa, Texas


WHEN SENDING OUT greeting cards for all occasions, such as birthdays, get well, sympathy, thinking of you, etc., I place a leaf of a scented geranium and small greenery with a narrow bow attached. A dab of craft glue holds all in place. I grow many scented geraniums of various fragrances, and overwinter a few for this purpose especially. These fragrant cards are always well received, and remembered for their thoughtfulness.

—Frances Zigmont, Binghamton, New York


I WAS READING ABOUT caraway seed and its beneficial properties in your September 2010 article “Stealth Health with Culinary Herbs.” I have been drinking caraway seed tea since I was a child and find it rather tasty. We brewed it just as any other tea and sweetened it to taste. I prefer to add a bag of natural black, green or white tea for the extra jolt I get from the tannins. Otherwise, the seeds are steamed in hot water just like any other tea. It’s that simple.

—Christine Villarino, Mojave, California


YOUR TIPS FOR naturally controlling fleas and ticks in the July 2010 article “Repel Pests Naturally” are great. Not only are your tips helpful, they cut the chances of your pet being harmed by the chemicals found in common methods of pest control. And, most of the herbs mentioned are easily obtained.

—Jennifer Perez, Redmond, Oregon


I JUST SUBSCRIBED to your wonderful magazine at the 2010 Wisconsin Renewable Energy fair. I was delighted to finally find a magazine devoted to one of my favorite things—herbs! I truly enjoyed reading all of the interesting articles in the July 2010 issue. Thank you so much for putting out such a wonderful publication. I am looking forward to receiving the next issue.

—Rachel Bechtel, Hubertus, Wisconsin


CORRECTION: In “Get Gorgeous with Honey for Healthy Skin” (September 2010), we mistakenly used the word “bumblebee” in place of the word “honeybee.” We regret the error. —Eds.


Reader Carolyn Williams from Spokane, Washington, submitted this picture on our Facebook page. She says, “I love the look and smell of my sage; it smells so good and makes great dried arrangements. I also like the band Riders of the Purple Sage and Zane Grey’s book of the same name.” Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theherbcompanion .