Message from Susun:

Dear Friends of the Green,

“Grebble” is the word I was taught to use to refer to the process of removing leaves from the stalks of herbs. Most culinary herbs are grebbled, since the stalks are unpalatable. Infusion herbs are not grebbled, as the stalk contains important nutrients. (Red clover stalk can be ten times richer in phytoestrogens than the flower.)

And January is a good time to grebble the culinary mints you harvested earlier in the year. Store the leaves in a dark place in a tightly sealed jar to preserve the flavor.

Save the stalks! Really. Don’t throw them away. Mints are good at finding calcium in the soil and concentrating it, especially in the stalks. And I have been surprised at how much aroma remains in the dried stalks.
Some very good vinegars can be made with the “waste” from your grebbling.

Thyme stalk vinegar is delicious and a good ward against colds. Sage stalk vinegar is mind-boggling and superb to counter coughs. Lavender stalk or dried blossom head vinegar is outrageously aromatic and just the thing for calming nerves. Rosemary stalk vinegar makes a vinegar that is almost black in color, heady in smell, and able to stand in for balsamic in any recipe.

To make your dried stalk vinegar, simply cut the stalks into ½ inch pieces and pack them into a jar. Pour pasteurized apple cider vinegar over the herb, filling the jar to the top. Be sure your lid is plastic, glass, or cork. Metal lids corrode. Wait for six weeks and enjoy your tasty, healing vinegar on salads, in soups, or mixed half and half with honey to send colds, coughs, and the flu scuttling away.

Of course, you can also make vinegars from fresh hardy mints like heal all, wild oregano, catnip, wild mint, and thyme. But I do not find it worthwhile to make vinegars from dried mint-family leaves. If you decide to do it anyhow, write and let us know how your experiments turn out. Most people report that they are pale imitations of the “real” thing.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor, or just fantasize about doing it. It turns out the daydreaming is an important way for the brain to consolidate memories.

Look outside. It is true: Winter is fading and spring is around the corner.

Green blessings to you all.

Susun Weed

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Susun Weed is the voice of the Wise Woman Tradition, where healing comes from nourishment. She is known internationally as an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopedic knowledge of herbs and health. Ms. Weed restores herbs as common medicine, and empowers us all to care for ourselves. For free ezine, on demand radio, recipes, resources, online courses and much more, go to:

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Susun Weed is the author of the Wise Woman Herbal series, including: Healing Wise, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, New Menopausal Years, Breast Cancer? Breast Health, and Down There Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way. Learn more at site includes hundreds of books, CD’s DVD’s digital downloads, and educational opportunities.

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