For those who live in urban or suburban areas, it can be difficult to imagine life on a farm. But we all benefit from a connection with nature, and some simple activities can help bring nature into even the most urban life setting. For instance, growing herbs in small yard containers or windowsill pots requires very little space and can provide a lot of joy. There is something so sweet and satisfying about consuming the bounty of a plant you’ve tended and grown. Whether it’s a small potted fruit tree or containers of herbs, when you eat of that which you’ve helped nurture, it can incredibly nourishing when you have that connection to it.
There are many varieties of sage that can be used to enhance culinary projects, and all are a delight in the garden. Sage attracts pollinators when it’s blooming and its fragrant, leathery leaves are useful year round.
Mraz Family Farms has patches of sage growing in a number of places, and this year we made Sage Honey. We harvested leaves from the sage, cut it up into small strips and filled a glass jar up to the very top with the fresh cut plant material. Then we covered the sage with honey, filling it to the top and patiently pushing down the leaves with a chopstick to make more space. We topped it off, put a tight lid on it and labeled it with a sticker showing the date and contents, then set it in a cupboard to sit for at least six weeks.
After six weeks, the sage honey is ready for use. We make a tea using a heaping spoonful of the honey, leaves and all, put in a mug and covered with boiling water. After a few minutes, the leaves that float at the top can be easily skimmed off, and you have a soothing, fragrant, delicious healing tea. This tea is especially good for times when the throat feels a tickle or when struck with a cold or flu.
We went through this honey so quickly that we can’t wait to make more! The nourishment provided by both the medicinal quality of the honey-sage extraction plus the beauty of having prepared it oneself, is beyond compare. A relationship with plants and nature can’t be bought in the grocery store, but it can be nurtured by spending time working with these beneficial herbs.
When looking around the yard or living space, consider including plants with useful qualities, like sage. In our experience, the plants seem to flourish when used, as if they know they are needed and grow even more robustly.