Fourth graders studying the Spanish Colonial period planted herbs that were grown in the California Missions. Now that the herbs have grown, Ms. Kuhl’s and Ms. Adams classes used their herbs to make a variety of products.
- Culinary Herb Mix: Leaves of basil, oregano, and garlic were taken from their stems and mixed together for students to take home for cooking.
- Mint leaves and lavender stems were steeped in boiling water to make a mint/lavender tea once thought to be useful for stomach ailments.
- Using a recipe supplied by our Master Gardener and said to be hundreds of years old, students cooked mint leaves in Crisco (the recipe called for lard!) until the oil turned green. Then the mint was strained from the oil and the green oil was beaten with grated beeswax until it was the consistency of frosting or chapstick. (We thought of this as f a Burt’s Bees meets Betty Crocker sort of concoction.) The resulting poltice was once used to soothe burns. Most students, however, thought it would make a good Mothers’ Day gift for soothing their mothers’ rough and tired feet!
- Lavender sachets — students peeled lavender blossoms from their stems and crushed them to release their fragrance. Then they wrapped the crushed blossoms up in cloth and tied it with a ribbon as a Mother’s Day gift.