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Herbs, Gardens and Yards

If you have a garden, be careful to raise herbs, both for cooking and to use in sickness. Parsley, thyme, sage and sweet marjoram occupy very little room in a garden, and cannot very well be dispensed with for kitchen use; and every family should have a bunch of wormwood; it is a fine tonic, either made while fresh, cut fine, with cold water, or after it has been dried, made with boiling water. Tansey is also a useful herb. Hoarhound is excellent for coughs, and is particularly useful in consumptive complaints, either as a syrup or made into candy. Balm is a cooling drink in a fever. Catnip tea is useful when you have a cold, and wish to produce a perspiration, and is good for infants that have the colic. Garlic is good for colds, and for children that have the croup; you should have some taken up in the fall to use through the winter. The root of elecampane gathered in the fall, scraped, sliced, and strung with a needle and thread to dry, will keep its strength for several years, and is useful for a cough with hoarhound. Rue is a valuable herb, a tea made of it and sweetened is good for worms.

It is not expected that persons living in a town should have room in their garden for herbs, but they are generally to be purchased at market, and should always be kept in the house, as sometimes in the winter they are much needed when it is difficult to find them.

Herbs should be spread out on a cloth to dry; turn them every day; when dry, put them in thick paper bags, and close up the top, so as to exclude the air. They can be kept hanging up, or laid on the shelf of a closet, where they will not be affected by damp.

Such herbs as sage, thyme and sweet marjoram, when thoroughly dry, should be pounded, sifted, and corked in bottles. Parsley should be cut fine with a pair of scissors, dried, and put in bottles; it is nearly as good this way as when fresh; keep it in a dark closet.

Where you have a garden, do not throw away the soap-suds that are left from washing, as they are very good to water herbs and flowers.

It is very important to have early vegetables. A garden that is spaded, or ploughed in the winter, is ready to plant much earlier. There are many things that will bear the spring frosts without injury, and if planted early will be ready to grow when the fine weather comes. Tomatoes should be sowed in boxes or a hot-bed to be ready to transplant.

The scrapings of a cellar are good to put in the garden to enrich it. Ashes sprinkled on a yard, or grass plat, will keep down the coarse grass, and produce white clover.

The grass should be cut out of a brick pavement with a knife, and boiling ley poured on to kill the roots.

Seeds should be saved as they ripen, from the finest plants; they should be kept in a box with a tight lid to keep them from mice.


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Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers.

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