Well, freshly picked culinary sage anyway, if not wisdom. My hands and my kitchen smell like fresh sage right now. I have just come inside (it's getting dark out there already!) from harvesting a whole basket full of fresh culinary sage, salvia officinalis,also known as common sage.
It is a perennial herb that I planted several years ago in one of my herb gardens. I do cover it with a cold frame in winter, as we get snow and cold temperatures here in the foothills, but it survives just fine and comes back to its bushy self each spring and summer. It has purple flowers on tall spikes when I allow it to flower. I've read that it's not a good idea to let your leafy herbs flower as the flowering process takes the energy and nutrition away from the leaves.
I don't use sage as an herb in my cooking very often, as its strong taste is a bit overpowering for me in the foods I eat. Some people like it paired with chicken or in poultry stuffing. I do like it mixed with other herbs in soft goat cheese. I also use it as an ingredient in an herb tea mixture that I create this time of year to have on hand for cold and flu season. Mixed with catnip and some other sweeter tasting herbs and spices like cinnamon sticks, licorice root and citrus peel, it makes a wonderful decongestant and astringent tea. Steep it with boiling water and drink it as hot as you can stand it.
Sage, although not usually culinary sage, is also burned as incense. Some people use the burning sage "smudge" to clear the air, a room or a building of negative energy or evil spirits. I think that another type of sage is generally used for this purpose, but I have been known to burn my common sage from time to time. It does freshen the air, once the smoke clears!
I grow all of my herbs organically without chemicals or pesticides. These perennial herbs are very easy to grow and resist pests naturally.
This bunch of fresh sage will get tied into small bundles and hung to dry on my high tech herb drying line that I showed you this past August as part of my Garden Art post. I will likely use the dried sage in tea as well as in some new herbal bath products that I am thinking of creating for sale around the holidays.
Any of you have more suggestions for how to use a bunch of sage, dried or fresh?
Farmer, gardener, baker, cook, massage therapist, cat & chicken Mom, partner & business owner. Sells earth friendly products for you and your home, including natural soap, candles, body balms, cat toys, cat beds & many other handmade crafts.
This Harvest Basket is a collection from mountain rural life, the everyday wonders of nature and the forest, my vegetable & herb gardens, fruit & nut trees, chickens, kitty cats & my loving partners. My endeavor to live a natural, healthy and peaceful life on my 3 acres in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills also includes home cooking, baking, canning & crafts. Join me on my journey of learning and growing each day. I will share my Mountain Harvest with you.