3 Dec


first plantings of the herb spiral

This green street bug has grown legs and started running. I am now eyeing up any spare parts of our section and wondering what I could plant there. Donations of plants have been greatly received and I have even tried my hand at seed raising. Not too successful but learning as I go and wanting to perservere. I tossed pumpkin seeds around the garden and I think I ended up with 13 pumpkins but as I shifted these alot have died off, I have 7 remaining that I can think of. I have now started taking cuttings of any plants that I like the look of when I go to visit people. Soon I will carry secatauers around in the car along with newspaper and a bottle of water! I have preserved lemons and made lemon curd and marmalade. I’ll be making more for christmas pressies. I have uploaded photos of the herb spiral as it has evolved. Gwen

ps. Does anyone know what to do with rhubarb leaves and does anyone want rhubarb crowns?



  1. Diane December 3, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    Other uses for Rhubarb

    Rhubarb has many uses. The most common is medicinal. Rhubarb has been used in medicines and folk healing for centuries.
    Cleaning pots and pans

    Use Rhubarb to clean your pots and pans (no joke!) If your pots and pans are burnt, fear not! An application of rhubarb over the afflicted area will bring back the shine in next to no time. Environmentally friendly too!
    Hair Color

    This is a fairly strong dye that can create a more golden hair color for persons whose hair is blond or light brown. Simmer 3 tbsp. of rhubarb root in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, set aside overnight, and strain. Test on a few strands to determine the effect, then pour through the hair for a rinse.

    Rhubarb leaves can be used to make an effective organic insecticide for any of the leaf eating insects (cabbage caterpillars, aphids, peach and cherry slug etc).
    Recipe 1

    * Basically you boil up a few pounds of rhubarb leaves in a few pints of water for about 15 or 20 minutes,
    * allow to cool,
    * then strain the liquid into a suitable container.
    * Dissolve some soap flakes in this liquid and use it to spray against aphids.

    So, next time you pick some rhubarb stems to eat, you can put the leaves to good use rather than just composting them (which isn’t in itself such a bad use, I guess).
    Recipe 2

    * Shred 1.5 kg (3 lbs.) rhubarb leaves
    * and boil in 3.5 liters (1 gallon) of water for 30 minutes.
    * Allow to cool and then strain. (use old utensils if you can – the rhubarb will stain most things and poison the rest.
    * In a small saucepan heat to boiling point 2.5 litters (2.5 quarts) of water and mix in 125 g (4 oz) of softened soap ends (any bits of soap left in the shower).
    * Allow to cool (stirring regularly to make sure all the soap is dissolved).
    * Add to the strained leaf mixture, stir vigorously, and the spray directly onto infested leaves.

    The unused spray can be kept for a day or two, but keep your kids away its still quite harmful.

    Rhubarb Limericks

    Rhubarb when raw is so tough
    And its leaves contain poisonous stuff,
    But when cleaned and de-soiled
    Dipped in sugar and boiled
    Then the stalks are quite tasty enough.

    Rhubarb is much better in pies
    Sweet, sour and attracting flies
    It’s good as gooseberry
    And tasty as cherry
    Please, have a slice — do not be shy!

    We would just wipe it off and chew
    Then watch each other’s mouth go askew
    So sour yet so good
    That was in my boyhood
    Things were tastier circa 1942.

    “Your rhubarb, I’ve noticed it grows
    By the outhouse where everyone goes!”
    Grandad said, “Lad,
    It isn’t so bad…
    They’re family! Just people we knows!”
    CFC control

    The January 19 issue of SCIENCE Magazine reported that scientists have discovered a way to convert environmentally damaging chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) such as Freon into four harmless components: sodium chloride (table salt), sodium fluoride (an ingredient used in toothpaste), carbon, and carbon dioxide. CFCs have been historically hard to destroy, because they are relatively inert. Professor Robert Crabtree and graduate student Juan Burdeniuc used sodium oxalate that is found in rhubarb leaves to destroy CFCs. (The article didn’t mention if the researches actually got the sodium oxalate from rhubarb leaves or not but did mention that is where it is found).

    Rhubarb Paper

    Apparently the fiber in rhubarb is a nice additive to handmade papers. I have found several craft-folk selling or mentioning rhubarb-paper.

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