Oh yes. That's going to be me very soon. In fact, I've already started. Lately I've been mixing up dough and baking fresh bread at home. There's nothing quite like a fresh loaf, warm out of the oven with a bit of butter. And even better with a homemade herbal brew - like sage and peppermint tea. Which has all lead me down the path of DIY herbology and aromatherapy...
Over the past few weeks I've been picking up fresh herbs when I see them in the fruit shop and gradually stockpiling some other ingredients. Slowly building up the bits and pieces needed to make my own herbal teas and incense. In my (new) room I've got an old fireplace, which is the perfect spot for making incense and drying herbs. I've got lavender, mint, sage, thyme and rosemary hanging from twine with mini wooden pegs over the fireplace. I've been hording all the leftover glass jars from the kitchen and storing my dried rose buds, cedar tips, resins, citrus fruit peels and cinnamon sticks. It's all very twee and gyspy I must say.
Today I made my first incense. I really loved the idea of combining resins and dried herbs together in a pestle and mortar - the hands-on thing is more up my alley than pouring essential oils. But I was a little hesitant in one respect because I find incense so heavy and dusty. However! I have learnt that homemade loose incense is lighter and fresher than store bought! Most commercial incenses use a combustible (like charcoal) so that the cones/sticks continue burning by themselves. Hence the acrid smell. Loose incense requires slow heating, so I just put a little into a left over tea light cup and pop that on the top of my oil burner.
My first blend is a warm and cosy mix, with just a hint of spring. Perfect for this time of year as we start to see warmer days ahead:
- Cedar (tips, dried)
- Frankincense (resin)
- Cinnamon (sticks, dried)
- Orange Peel (dried)
- Pine (resin)
- Rosebuds (dried)
Outside I'll be using two old wooden pallets left over at my parent's place to make a herb garden and outdoor bench. Throw some large (lockable) castor wheels on the bottom of one, a large outdoor cushion on top, with blankets and cushions for comfort. Much better than the two fold up plastic chairs out there at the moment. I am envisioning lazy summer afternoons sipping sangrias.
I thought originally to make the herb garden within the pallet like I've seen elsewhere. But considering the sun moves around lot, and different herbs need different sun/water/temperatures, it will be easier if it's all flexible and changeable. So I'm thinking some Ikea mini steel tubs, hanging from hooks on the other pallet (leaning against the wall). So the herbs sensitive to the cold can be easily brought inside for winter, and those that need lots of sun can be moved wherever the sun is hitting.
All I need now is to take some decent photos of my own to prove I've done it. (Actually, the photo of the bread was me.) Stay tuned...