the rest of the list article from the Jan/Feb '06 issue of The Essential Herbal:
When I've had enough of New York snow and I'm craving green things, I like to plant a handful of wheatgrass seeds in a large flowerpot. As the grass grows at an amazing pace, I enjoy "mowing" this lawn with scissors. It feels like summertime in my window. And hey, the wheatgrass clippings are nutritious, too!
Keeping the winter blues away is not always an easy thing for me. My husband has always worked a night shift, and although I have a child at home, there is nothing like having another adult to talk to in the evenings. So, I try to make it a point to get together with a friend one evening, at least every other week, and I love to sit and chat and drink herbal tea. One of my favorite teas is Citrus Green Tea, which is high in Vitamin C and antioxidants.
1 cup green rooibus tea (no caffeine!)
1 T. each elderberries, rosehips, lemon, and orange peel
Mix together and store in a glass jar. Use 1 tea ball per cup of tea.
I do a lot of crocheting in the winter. Last year I made 2 afghans. It's my slow time. I like to rethink my business, experiment with new ideas, and get ready for upcoming summer shows... and get those taxes done. Seems like I have very little time for the blues. I seem to be just as busy in the winter as in the summer. I need to find time to relax, rather than have too much time on my hands. The snow doesn't effect me like others. It is very beautiful. I just don't like the cold. We feed the birds in the winter, and I like watching them at the feeder. As for herbs, I cook with them, have a cup or 2 of herb tea in the evening and use them in my products.
My winter blues solutions aren't even remotely original - I just hide under warm blankets, snuggle with my cats, watch movies, read books, and bake and cook and drink lots of warm drinks. And while I do like to make and use my own tea blends, I also like to purchase ones from the store too - they always tempt me! So here are a couple of my own hot drink inventions using store-bought teas:
Quickie Mulled Cider Tea
1 cup Apple Cider (this recipe is extra good with cranberry/apple cider or raspberry/apple cider)
1 bag Cardamom Cinnamon tea from Republic of Tea (or any good chai blend)
honey to taste
Microwave cider with teabag in it. Let steep for a few minutes, and add honey to taste. If you can find it, a cinnamon-flavored honey is divine in this!
Super Sleepy Tea
1 bag Tazo "Calm" tea (perfect for those of us who want to relax but don't like the taste of chamomile)
1/2 tsp. lemon balm hydrosol
honey to taste
Brew tea to your liking. Add 1/2 tsp. lemon balm hydrosol, and honey to taste. Very mellow and relaxing.
My winter blues chaser will be much different this year than in years past. During the past 5 years the greenhouses were always empty of plants until about Feb or March, so there wasn't much to be done. I would usually grow a few plants or start seeds under grow lights in January just to have something "green" to do. This year however, it is going to be much different. Both greenhouses are full of plants that will have to be nurtured and groomed all winter. Heaters and water pipes will have to be maintained along with seedlings and baby plants. Nothing like spending a cold January day in a warm and toasty greenhouse full of herbs and scented geraniums!
There are a couple more I'll add tomorrow. We get such great ideas from the readers and writers of the magazine!