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Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 135

Herbs

 

Hello Everyone

 

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Bill and Bob asked me the other day what the difference was between a herb and a plant.

 

l told them that basically a herb is a plant with special uses. lts leaves are used to flavour food or make medicines or perfumes.

 

A spice, by the way, also flavours food but is made from bark, roots, fruits, seeds or berries.

 

Throughout history, herbs were used to make medicines when there were no man-made drugs made in factories like there are today.

 

People who lived near water often got rheumatism (aching joints) and found that chewing on willow bark helped to ease the pain. This bark was the basis for what we now call aspirin.

 

Some herbs are good for you in small doses. Drinking sage tea can sooth a sore throat but sage can be poisonous if taken in very large doses.

 

Some very poisonous plants were used by monks in small doses many hundreds of years ago very successfully to make anaesthetic when they wanted to perform operations. Monks often helped people who were ill before there were doctors. (But we don’t know how many people they killed before they got the dosage right!)

 

ln ancient times before that, people would go to the ‘wise woman’ or ‘healer’ in the village to get medicines because she would have ancient knowledge of which herbs would help which ailments. These women were called ‘wise women’ or ‘witches’ and their ability to find cures seemed almost magical.

 

ln the Mediaeval Era, monks and nuns acquired this knowledge and also grew herbs in gardens. They began to call the wise women or witches evil because they wanted to discredit them (give them a bad name) and take their place in dealing with people who had problems. Some of the witches used their knowledge for good and some didn’t.

 

These gardens became known as physic gardens in mediaeval and Tudor times. They later developed into botanical gardens. Botanical gardens are gardens that have a huge variety of plants which are labelled so that visitors can see what they are – like Kew Gardens in West London for example.

 

Herb gardens didn’t just provide food and medicine though. Herbs were used to get rid of bad smells in the house, repel or kill insects such as flies and they could also be used to make substances to clean the house. ln fact, the plant called soapwort will lather up in water and can be used as a soap to wash skin, and it is said that sage will repel mosquitoes.

 

Auntie Alice grows a lot of herbs in her garden. She says that dried herbs are just not the same as fresh ones when you want to cook with them. She brings some of them inside for the winter because they would not survive the cold weather. She puts her bay tree in the green house and her basil on the kitchen window sill.

 

Actually, even people in flats (or lighthouses smile1 (2)) who don’t have a garden can grow herbs on their kitchen window sills.

 

Auntie Alice grows her mint in an old bucket (with a hole in the bottom) sunk into the ground. She says that if she doesn’t contain its roots, it will want to take over the whole garden. Some herbs are easier to grow than others!

 

ln the Second World War, people used to grow a lot of vegetables and also herbs for home remedies in their back gardens instead of grass and flowers. They called these ‘victory gardens’. Even the parks in the centre of towns and cities were dug up to grow corn and potatoes.

 

This was because during the war it was difficult and dangerous to import food from abroad on ships whilst the seas were full of mines (bombs in the sea that would explode if a ship ran into them); so as much food as possible had to be grown on every bit of land available.

 

ln recent years, growing fruit and vegetables in back gardens and on allotments has become very popular again as people want to eat fresh food and save money.

 

Some people are allowed to keep bees on their allotments and these bees help to pollinate the crops as well as provide honey for people to eat.

 

Sometimes people have to wait years before they can get an allotment, so they decide to turn inner city wasteland into community gardens. They are useful as well as beautiful.

 

Growing herbs outside the back door can be done even if you don’t have much space. They can be grown in pots and window boxes in yards or on balconies.

 

Bill and Bob have now decided to grow some more herbs in their vegetable patch.

 

 

Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

 

Love and kisses

 

Salty Sam

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www.christina-sinclair.com

 

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Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke

 

Bill: What did one bee say to her nosey neighbour?

 

Bob: l don’t know. What did one bee say to her nosey neighbour?

 

Bill: Mind your own bees nest!

 

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Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com

 

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Picture Gallery

 

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Basil – a lot of the herbs that we grow come from Mediterranean regions and like free drainage-

but basil comes from the Far East and likes warm, wet weather

 

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Parsley

 

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Mint

 

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Crack willows do well by rivers – they were often planted to stabilize river banks

 

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Every available piece of ground during World War II was used to grow food

 

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A Tudor herb garden at Hampton Court Palace

 

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A knot garden (late Elizabethan style)

 

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A 17th century fuming pot would hold herbs

The pot was designed to perfume a room or repel mice or fleas or ‘neutralise sick air’

People didn’t understand at that time how disease spread through lack of hygiene

and thought disease came from ‘bad air’

 

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A 17th century lavender pot

 

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Hyssop could be used to relieve coughs

 

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Rosemary is said to improve the memory – it is used a lot in cooking

 

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Pineapple sage – yes the leaves do smell of pineapple

It comes from Mexico originally

 

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Chives are the smallest type of edible onion

 

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Borage, also known as the starflower was used to treat a lot of different illnesses

 

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Santolina is also called cotton lavender

It can be dried to be put in pot pourri and the yellow flowers can be used to make a bright yellow dye

 

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In a botanical garden a lot of the plants are labelled

 

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Japonica means native to Japan

 

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Labels are nailed on, hanging on or in the soil next to the plant

 

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This is what ginger looks like when it is growing

 

 

 

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   desk  THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESKdesk

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Bill and Bob were watching old children’s television programmes on You Tube the other day and they found one they liked called The Herbs.

 

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These are the main characters can you guess who they are?

 

P_r_l_y    _h_    L_o_

D_l_    t_e    _o_

B_y_e_f   _h_    G_r_e_e_

S_g_   t_e   _w_

M_    O_i_n   _h_   _e_c_e_

T_e    _h_v_s    (_i_    p_p_l_)

L_d_    R_s_m_r_

S_r    _a_i_

C_n_t_b_e    _n_p_e_d

T_r_a_o_    t_e    _r_g_n

 

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Recipe Spot

 

 

This is a recipe for a broad bean salad.

 

A lot of people don’t like broad beans because they find them dry and bitter, but this salad is tasty and sweet. You don’t need to go to the trouble of taking the skins off the beans; just use them as they come in the tin or take them out of their pods if you have grown them.

 

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For each person mix together in a bowl:-

 

½ cup cooked, drained and cooled broad beans

4 cherry tomatoes cut in half

½ a spring onion chopped

20g cheddar cheese cut into cubes

1 teaspoon Baco croutons (optional)

1 tablespoon chopped herbs (e.g. parsley or basil)

1 heaped tablespoon of mayonnaise

 

Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce

 

Sprinkle some paprika over the top

 

(You can also add a clove of garlic into the mayonnaise as well for an extra kick if you like it.)

 

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You could also add:

A tablespoon of sweet red pepper cut into tiny cubes

Avocado cubes

A few twists of pasta

A small handful of bean sprouts (Blog Post 79)

 

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lf you are just beginning on your path as a vegetable gardener, broad beans are one of the easiest crops to grow as long as the soil they are growing in is not water-logged. You just push the seeds into the ground when the soil is warm enough in the spring and they will do the rest. They tolerate (put up with) most soils and weather conditions. The only thing you will need to do is stake them if they become quite tall (this means tie them to sticks so that they don’t flop over).

 

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*Don’t forget to cover the tips of the sticks with film canisters or yoghurt pots filled with scrunched up newspaper for safety reasons – you don’t want to jab yourself with the top of the stick when you lean over.

 

 

 

BLOW MY FOGHORN!!! 

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weekend

 

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lt’s the Weekend!

 

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HOW TO MAKE A CHEF SET FOR YOUR TWELVE lNCH DOLL

 

SKIRT (KNIT ONE)

Using 3¼mm and red 4 ply yarn cast on 32 stitches

Knit 1 row, knit 1 row, knit 1 row, purl 1 row, purl 1 row, knit 1 row

Repeat these last 6 rows twice

Stocking stitch 18 rows

Continuing in stocking stitch decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 2 rows (30 stitches)

Continue to knit in 1 x 1 rib

Knit 2 together each end of the next 2 rows (26 stitches)

Knit 2 rows of rib

Cast off

 

TO MAKE UP

Over-sew the back seam right sides together.

 

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SWEATER FRONT AND BACK (KNIT TWO)

Using 3¼mm knitting needles and white 4 ply yarn cast on 20 stitches

Knit 1 row, knit 1 row

 

Sl1 k2 p2 k2 p2 k2 p2 k2 p2 k2 k1

Sl1 p2 k2 p2 k2 p2 k2 p2 k2 p2 k1

Sl1 p2 k2 p2 k2 p2 k2 p2 k2 p2 k1

Sl1 k2 p2 k2 p2 k2 p2 k2 p2 k2 k1

 

Repeat the last 4 rows 5 times

Garter stitch 12 rows (continue to slip 1 stitch at the beginning of each row)

Cast off

 

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SWEATER SLEEVES (KNIT TWO)

Using 3¼mm knitting needles and 4 ply yarn cast on 14 stitches

Garter stitch 4 rows

Stocking stitch 26 rows

 

Cast off loosely

 

TO MAKE UP

Use over sew stitches along the seams.

Sew the shoulders only 1cm/½ inch in from the outer edge.

Attach the tops of the sleeves to the front and back making sure that they stretch to the full extent of the garter stitch yoke (the arm holes have to be big enough to get the sweater on the doll).

Then sew up the under arm and side seams.

Neaten all loose ends.

 

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OVEN MITTS (KNIT TWO)

Using 3¼mm knitting needles and white 4 ply yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 6 rows of garter stitch

Change to red 4ply yarn

Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 2 together each end of the next 2 rows of stocking stitch (6sts)

Cut off yarn with a length for sewing up

Thread the yarn through the stitches and sew up the side seam

*Of course you can use any colour yarn you like.

 

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APRON

  1. Cut 2 pieces of fabric 13cm/5¼ inches by 6½cm/2½ inches.
  2. Attach the ends of 2 pieces of very narrow ribbon 21cm/8½ inches long 5cm/2 inches down from the top to the sides of one of the fabric pieces on the right side of the fabric.
  3. Sew the two pieces of fabric right sides together bottom and side seams only sandwiching the ribbon between using ½cm seams.
  4. Cut the bottom corners (to create a sharp pointed corner) and turn apron right side out.
  5. Turn the top down ½cm into the inside and incorporating the ends of a 12cm/5 inch length of ribbon inside the top corners sew across the top of the apron.

 

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HAT

  1. Cut a piece of fabric 13cm/5¼ inches by 7cm/2¾ inches and a circle of fabric 14cm/5½ inches in diameter.
  2. Sew a line of running stitch around the top of the circle just in from the edge leaving the two ends of thread free.
  3. Fold the rectangle in half putting the two 7cm ends right sides together then sew a ½cm seam along the 7cm edge.
  4. Gather the circle up and ease the size to fit into the band then sew together using over sew stitches (make sure both pieces of fabric match right side to right side).
  5. Then pull the headband up to meet this seam and secure in place covering the raw edges – you can use the ends of the gathering thread to anchor the top of the band into place.
  6. Turn the hat the right way out.

 

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COOKERY BOOK

Cut a piece of thin card 4cm by 6cm and fold in half then glue a small rectangle of white felt to represent the pages onto the back cover of the book.

 

SAUCEPAN AND BEAKER

The saucepan is a small measuring cup covered in silver paint, the beaker is just a bottle top and the tray is a plastic box top covered in silver paint.

 

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Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand

 

 

ANSWERS TO LAST WEEK’S WORKSEARCH

 

 

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Answers to the News Desk Quiz

 

Parsley the Lion

Dill the Dog

Bayleaf the Gardener

Sage the Owl

Mr Onion the Teacher

The Chives (his pupils)

Lady Rosemary

Sir Basil

Constable Knapweed

Tarragon the Dragon

 

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Lady Rosemary and Sir Basil

Dill is a dog, Sage is an owl and Parsley is a lion

 

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The Herbs created out of plants by the Bath’s Parks and Green Spaces Team in Somerset and displayed at the Chelsea Flower Show 2014

 

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