Ava's Thoughts - A Tour Of My Victory Garden

April 15, 2020

Dear Diary,  

 

     Last time I wrote in here, I was talking about victory gardens, and I would like to expand on that topic. The Coronavirus is a horrifying respiratory disease that has no rhyme or reason to those it executes. The pandemic has killed over twenty-six thousand people in the last few months, and even though President Trump says it will be over by Easter, but there is a possibility that it won't end until June or even August. If it goes until the end of the summer, it may stop the flow of food, and the government might have to start rationing food. Fresh vegetables are a blessing and a luxury, none being grown in America, which might begin to cause problems. But my family and I will be prepared. 

     Recently, I started a victory garden made up of eighteen different plants. Three of the eighteen plants are flowers, but they're useful and beneficial to my family. I planted sixty seeds, maybe even more, to get my garden ready. So far, I've grown five sprouts, and I'm hoping more will pop up soon. Are you wondering what plants I'm growing and how they'll help my family? Okay, let's go!

 Amaranthus Leucocarpus, Love-Lies-Bleeding, Pilewort, and Prince's Feather, Amaranth goes by many names. It is used to make medicines for ulcers, diarrhea, swollen mouth, throat, and high cholesterol. When it's used in food, it's a cereal grain.

 Large Leaf Basil and Thai Basil is used in pesto, dried for soups, pasta, and tomato dishes. It brings a new flavor to every dish it's in and is an essential spice to have around the house. 

     Borage is so amazingly useful that I could sing praises about the beautiful purple flower. The borage seeds contain an oil that has an acid called gamma-linolenic acid in it, which has anti-inflammatory effects. It is is used for skin disorders, fever, cough, depression, and hormone deficiency such as adrenal insufficiency. When used in foods, borage is eaten in salads, soups, and is frozen in ice cubes to make water taste like cucumbers. 

     Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, mildly astringent, and healing medicine. When drunk, Chamomile is used as a mild sedative to calm nerves, reduce anxiety, treat hysteria, nightmares, insomnia and other sleep problems

     Sometimes used as a whole seed or ground, cumin is a staple ingredient in most curry powders and many spice blends. Used for savory recipes, like chili, stews, meat, fish, and vegetables, I think cumin is an essential spice to have around.

     When cooked, dill is fabulous on cold soups with beets, cucumbers, yogurt, or on tzatziki, a traditional cucumber yogurt salad; the weed pairs exceptionally well with all types of seafood.

 The only downside to this plant is that it can grow to be a foot and five inches taller than me. Besides that, dragon lilies are an exotic and beautiful plant to have around. The fruits, seeds, and tubers of the plant have been used in Turkey to heal hemorrhoids and rheumatism

     Echinacea Pallida is useful for many things, including the flu, tonsillitis, typhoid, urinary tract infection, and vaginal yeast infections. Even though it's a beneficial plant, Echinacea Pallida comes with a dire warning; some Echinacea products were tested and had been found to have no echinacea in them. The medicinal products were mislabeled medicines that had been tainted with arsenic, lead, or selenium.

     Hyssop is used for many different things, such as cosmetics, medicinal products, and flavoring in food. As a cosmetic, manufacturers use hyssop as a fragrance to make soaps, and different makeup items smell good. When used in food, it is a flavorful addition to a dish, one that brings the 'Je ne sais quoi' out of the plate. 

     Generally associated with its fragrance and bright purple color, but you might not know lavender is a medicinal herb that has been used for thousands of years. Dating back to the ancient Egyptians, lavender has been used to help mental health issues, including anxiety, insomnia, and depression. It also helps with hair loss, nausea, cancer, and acne, among other things. 

     Lemon Balm, Bee Balm, Honey plant, Sweet balm, Sweet Mary, Toronjil, or Xiang Feng Cao, as it's called in traditional Chinese, is a helpful herb to have around. It eases stress, anxiety, treats insomnia, cold sores, high cholesterol, genital herpes, heartburn, and indigestion. Also used in tea, lemon balm soothes the nerves and tranquilizes the mind. 

     Lemon Grass has antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of cancer, promote healthy digestion, and relieve symptoms of PMS. A seemingly good herb to have in the house, lemon grass is useful and serviceable to those with high cholesterol, high systolic blood pressure, or weight issues. 

     Just a flower? Hah. Marigolds are a beneficial and fun additive to the kitchen. An edible flower that adds color to teas and makes many different tasty treats look just as yummy as they taste. They're protection against nematodes and Japanese beetles, healthy chicken fees, a good substitute for saffron, and a fantastic rabbit repellant. 

     Oregano, like basil, is a marvelous addition to any food it spices up. There's nothing to it, except the fact that there are so many different recipes oregano can be used in like pasta sauce or pizza.

     I always thought sage was just some weird spice that my mom kept in the pantry, but no! Sage is one of the most amazing herbs ever! High in several nutrients and loaded with antioxidants, sage is an excellent addition to your diet or everyday meals. It supports oral health, eases menopause symptoms, reduces blood sugar levels, and supports memory & brain health. 

     As a certified flavoring agent, germ-killer, perfume scent, and medicinal product, thyme is a remarkable go-to herb. In food, thyme is used to flavor different dishes, but as a perfume, red thyme oil makes people smell pretty. It also helps with bronchitis, whooping cough, sore throat, hoarseness, swollen tonsils, baldness, and bacterial/fungal infections

     Do I have to come up with reasons why watermelon is one of the most amazing fruits of all? Along with being the sweetest, juiciest, and most delicious fruits ever, watermelon contains beneficial plant compounds, has cancer-preventing components, and is excellent for skin and hair.

     In conclusion, our victory garden is going to be amazing- you should try to plant one!

 

          Until next time,

               Ava 

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