Growing, Harvesting & Propogating Basil

Growing, Harvesting & Propogating Basil

This is a picture of what my Basil and Rosemary looked like after cutting and placing into small plastic bottles and glass jars to begin growing their roots.

Growing, Harvesting & Propogating Basil


Basil, Week 2


Ocimum basilicum, is a popular sweet herb of the Mint FamilyBasil grown indoors requires at least six hours of sunlight

Grows easily from seed ~ Basil loves well drained soil

I use organic soil & peat pots to grow the babies.  In the fall, I cover the way back of my yard with the leaves and every two years, I use that beautiful soil in my gardening.

Basil, Week 3


Starting Basil indoors: 
Place peat pots in a flat; cover with a plastic dome.  Rotate flat each morning to provide equal sun on both sides.Lift dome & gently spray the pots with water every other day or as needed; replace dome top.  You are checking to see if the soil is moist.

Seed Germination Period is 5 to 10 days.  See pics on this page showing the progress.

Basil, Week 5


Once the seedlings have developed two (2) pairs of true leaves, then you can thin out the weakest seedlings in each peat pot.  This is when you can begin to use organic fertilizer.
Think of a newborn baby.  The baby needs food and to be kept directly out of the sun or the baby will get sunburned, right?  As you grow your basil, think of your seedlings as babies.  Treat them as such.

Allow adequate drainage ~ after transplanting to a pot, line the base of the pot with dime sized rocks

Hang bunches of stems up to air dry.  We also keep basil cuttings in water in a little gatorade bottle on our dinner table for easy access – whatever works

Basil is easily propagated through herbaceous stem cuttings. Place cuttings in water to root.  You’ll see roots shortly.  It’s amazing to see – get your kids involved

Basil outdoors in the garden


Mother nature provides most of what Basil needs naturally! Basil is an annual plant, and loves the sun!  

Plant basil outdoors after the last spring frost.  

Plant in well drained soil; basil will grow in soils ranging in acidity.  

Companion gardening with Basil


Plant Basil near tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil also does well with peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. 

Basil can be helpful in repelling thrips. 

Basil is said to repel flies and mosquitoes. 

Do not plant Basil near Sage. 

Basil in my garden!   


Leaf production slows or stops on any stem which flowers, so you should pinch off any flower stems to keep the plant in production ~ SAVE THOSE SEEDS FOR FUTURE PLANTING    Or if you know that you want your Basil to return, pick the flowers and let them drop to the ground!

After your Basil is done for the season, the leaves are beginning to yellow or wilt, it is time to cut. 

Propagating Basil


Basil propagation from cuttings is easy!  Share your basil!  Take new plantings and give them as gifts!  Swap herbs with others!  It’s free!Take a four to five (4-5) inch basil cutting right below a leaf node. Remove the leaves off the bottom; approx. two inches from the end making sure that this cutting hasn’t flowered yet.

Place the cutting in a glass of water and put it where it can get good sunlight. Use a clear container so you can watch your basil propagation grow root!  I use little gatorade bottles or cleaned out jelly and sauce jars 🙂

Change the water every few days until you see root growth. Once the roots on your basil cutting are two inches or longer, you can plant the cutting in a pot indoors. Make sure you put the planter in a place where the plant will get sunlight.

Keep the basil on hand for cooking and for adding to your food after it’s prepared!

All of the pictures here are of my basil, from different years.  I have grown to love this herb; in cooking, while growing, the smell of it on my fingertips…
Give it a try!  You’ve got nothing to lose 🙂
Thank you!

Chakra Essential Oil Blends & Candles


Chakra Essential Oil Blends


There are seven major chakras or energy points located within our physical bodies. These are commonly referred to as the base, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown.

The chakras run vertically along our spinal column. Each point is a spinning vortex that has its own field of energy and influence on the body.

These chakra essential oil blends are highly concentrated and must always be mixed with a carrier oil before using on the body.

The chakra blends can be used in the bath (5-6 drops per full tub), in massage oils, diffused in a burner, blended into a room spray or simply dotted onto a tissue and carried with you throughout your day for inhalation when necessary.

Chakra Essential Oil Blends


I Manifest Wealth, Prosperity and Anything I need to feel nurtured in the physical world.

1st Chakra Blend – Root
A pure essential oil blend of Amyris, Marjoram, Sage, Tea tree and Vetivert for the first chakra.

It is located at the base of the spine, between the anus and the genitals and is linked with basic survival and with the adrenal glands.

It is associated with material security, grounding, satisfaction, power to achieve goals, stability and courage.

It is connected to the earth element, the color red, and the sense of smell.

Some crystals associated with this chakra are agate, bloodstone, tiger’s eye, garnet, ruby hematite, onyx, and rose quartz. The life’s lesson for this chakra is learning how to stand up for oneself.


I Attract people who make me feel unconditionally loved and supported. 

2nd Chakra Blend – Sacral
A pure essential oil blend of Clary sage, Patchouli, Rose absolute, and Ylang ylang for the second chakra.

The location of this chakra is thought to reside about 1″ down from the naval. It governs the sexual organs, kiney and bladder. It is associated with primal feelings, sexuality, family life, all relationships, openness to others and personal creativity.

It is associated with the color orange, with the element of water, and the sense of taste. Some crystals associated with the sacral chakra are citrine, carnelian and golden topaz.

I Break through all my limitations and obstacles. I effortlessly flow with All.

3rd Chakra Blend – Solar Plexus
A pure essential oil blend of Clove, Fennel, Patchouli and Peppermint for the third chakra, located between the naval and base of the sternum.

Governs the pancreas, liver, digestive system, spleen, gall bladder, muscles and lower back. It is associated with personal power, self-control, willpower, inner harmony, acceptance of self and strength.

It is connected to the fire element, the colour yellow and the sense of sight. Some crystals associated with this chakra are yellow citrine, topaz, aventurine quarts and sunstone.

I Heal myself and others with the Love Force that continually flows through me.

4th Chakra Blend – Heart
A pure essential oil blend of Geranium, Lavender, Mandarin and Ylang Ylang for the fourth chakra. 

The fourth chakra is associated with the heart and the immune system and is believed to be the seat of love and compassion. It is associated with the color green, the air element and the sense of touch.

Some of the crystals associated with the heart chakra are: watermelon tourmaline, rose quartz, emerald, green calcite, jade malachite and moonstones. The life lesson for this chakra is forgiveness and compassion for yourself and others.

I Speak my truth with honesty and strength.

5th Chakra Blend – Throat
A pure essential oil blend of Cedarwood, Ginger and Lemon for the fifth chakra, located centrally, at the base of the throat.
It governs the thyroid, jaw, nexk, voice, upper lungs and arms. It is associated with communication, creative self-expression, integrity, wisdom, and truth. It is connected to the ethers, the color blue and the sense of hearing.

The life lesson for this chakra is the power of choice and some of the crystals associated with it are turquoise, lapis lazuli, aquamarine, sodalite and sapphire.

I See the true nature of things and people with my inner vision.

6th Chakra Blend – Third Eye
A pure essential oil blend of Amyris, Basil and Benzoin for the sixth chakra, located above and between the eyebrows. 

It governs the pituitary gland, endocrine system, sinuses and nose. It is associated with inner vision, intuition, imagination, idealism, concentration and peace of mind. It is connected to the color indigo, and all the 6 senses.

The life lesson of this chakra is emotional intelligence and some of the crystals associated with this chakra are amethyst, purple apatite, calcite, sapphire and lapis lazuli.

I Receive Help, Guidance and Protection from Spirit at all times.

7th Chakra Blend – Crown
A pure essential oil blend of Chamomile, Geranium, Orange and Palmarosa for the seventh chakra, located at the top of the skull. 

It governs the pineal gland, central nervous system, depression and migraines. It is associated with elevated spiritual consciousness (perfection, integration/unity, divine wisdom and purpose, bliss, understanding and enlightenment. It is connected to the color violet and the thought process.

Some crystals associated with this chakra are clear quartz, amythyst, white tourmaline, snowy quartz and the herkimer diamond.

Chakra Essential Oil Blends

Chakra Candles


$9.50 each
Hand poured

Chakra Candles

Hand poured candles made with 100% pure essential oils!

These are pillar candles, measuring approximately 2×3 inches tall and burn 40-60 hours.

Empower your energy centers! These are highly scented energy candles combining rich color, power symbols, 100% pure essential oils with positive, affirmative, inspirational messages.

Geared toward stimulating the healing journey of the mind/body and its connection to our Chakra centers. 

Root Chakra (Muladhara) – Red – Grounding – “I Manifest wealth, prosperity and anything I need to feel nurtured in the physical world.” Essential oil of cedarwood.

Sacral/Spleen Chakra (Svadisthana) – Orange – Creativity – “I Attract people who make me feel unconditionally loved and supported.” Essential oil of mint.

Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) – Yellow – Purpose – “I Break through all my limitations and obstacles. I effortlessly flow with All.” Essential oil of spruce.

Heart Chakra (Anahata) – Green – Love – “Heal myself and others with the Love Force that continually flows through me.” Essential oils of amber and lemongrass.

Throat Chakra (Vishuddha) – Blue – Expression – “I Speak my truth with honesty and strength.” Essential oil of lavender.

Third Eye Chakra (Ajna) – Purple – Intuition – “I See the true nature of things and people with my inner vision.” Essential oil of lemon.

Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) – Magenta – Bliss – “I Receive help, guidance and protection from Spirit at all times.” Essential oil of eucalyptus.

Halloween Classroom Activities – Witch’s Brew & Halloween BINGO

Two Classroom Festivities that I’ve done before that were hits!  I have not and do not dare try this is middle school (7th grade and up).  I think that my daughter would be mortified.  No, I KNOW she would be.  But I can say that up until 6th grade, all the kids loved the brew and bingo!

Halloween BINGO: Play a few rounds of Halloween BINGO with prizes for the lucky winners!  The favorite prizes were not candy; the kids like sticky, oozing, gooey goop, slime and other things like that.  (Eww)  In lieu of numbers, I made bingo cards with pictures of witches, pumpkins, ghosts, candy corn, etc.  I printed out the pictures to use in the classroom to call from and printed out the bingo sheets for the kids to play on.  We use candy corn as markers. Pour the candy corn in little cups OR before arriving at school, place one bingo card and some candy corn in a Halloween decorated plastic ziploc, so it’s easier to hand out and takes less time to start the game.  Buy at least three bags of candy corn, because most of the candy corn is eaten! Yummy

Witches Brew: Sent a letter to all of the parents through the teacher.  Ask one parent to arrive to the classroom dressed as a friendly witch, who will help the class make the special Witches Brew.  Each child is asked to bring an ingredient for the brew to the party.  With the witch’s help, they add their ingredient into the cauldron one by one and as the witch stirs the cauldron, they all help make the Witches Brew.   A little cooperation + taking turns = Halloween fun!!  Also ask for additional items, like plastic baggies because after they snack, there will be leftovers to be brought home.  See below.

Sample letter:

Witches Brew: A friendly witch will help us make the special Witches Brew.  Each child has been asked to bring an ingredient for the brew to the party.  With the witch’s help, they will add their ingredient into the cauldron, as she stirs, to help make the Witches Brew.   A little cooperation + taking turns = Halloween fun!!

Please find your child’s name and their ingredient to bring into class below:

Child’s Name – Bat Brains (Smartfood Popcorn)

Child’s Name – Witches’ Warts (Milk Chocolate Chips)

Child’s Name – Bloated Ants (Raisins)

Child’s Name – Ghost Guts (Mini Marshmallows)

Child’s Name – Plops of Pigeon Poop (White Chocolate Chips)

Child’s Name – Cheesy Owl Eyes (Puffed Cheese Balls)

Child’s Name – Boiled Lady Bugs (Red Jelly Beans)

Child’s Name – Candied Spider Eggs (Gum Drops)

Child’s Name – Goblin’s Belly Button Lint Balls (M&Ms, Any Style)

Child’s Name – Wolf Toenails (Candy Corn)

Child’s Name – Earthworm Knots (Miniature Pretzel Twists)

Child’s Name – Dehydrated Dragon’s Wings (Doritos)

Child’s Name – Splintered Turkey Bones (Shoestrings Potato Chips)

Child’s Name – Compressed Cobwebs (Chex Brand or Similar Cereal)

Child’s Name – Crumbled Bat Wings (Smartfood Popcorn)

Child’s Name – Cheesy Owl Eyes (Puffed Cheese Balls)

Child’s Name – Chocolate-Dipped Houseflies (Chocolate-Covered Raisins)

Child’s Name – Flattened Slugs (Sour Patch or similar type Earthworms)

Please email, text or call if you can send in any of these additional items:

~ Plates             ~ Napkins

~ Cups        ~ Goodie Bags

~ Ziploc Bags ~ Juice boxes or pouches

We are shooting for smiles, fun, laughter, good times and happy memories!!

I hope you can use this!  I love Halloween!!  If you do, let me know how it went!  If you have any questions, email me at  ~ Vanessa

How To Grow, Use & Harvest Lemon Balm

How To Grow, Use & Harvest Lemon Balm

One of the easiest (in my experience) to grow from seed, rooted cuttings, or by root division

Adds a lemon aroma wherever it is planted

Lemon Balm is relaxing and soothing for the nerves

It calms anxiety & also acts to restore depleted energy and revitalize us

Said to act as a decongestant and antihistamine,  helping with chronic problems like asthma or allergies

Balm prefers loose, somewhat fertile soil

Thrives in full sun but likes some shade  during the hot part of the day or it will wilt slightly

Lemon balm that is shaded during the hottest part of the day will have deep green leaves and a  stronger aroma. In full sun, or poor soil, lemon balm leaves become yellow and  loses it’s strong scent

Balm does not send runners (like mint) ~ it’s self seeding

Plant next to other vigorous growers (perennials) because  balm competes for space

Sweet yet invasive herb

Grows from 2 to 2-1/2 feet tall, bushes out laterally, so give them some side space

Trim plants to maintain bushy appearance

Clip back when it flowers

Mulch so it’s root system will survive the coldest winters

Drought tolerant ~ I rarely water (doesn’t like wet feet)

Harvest and it comes back with vigor everytime. Leave several leaves on the plant to prevent it from dying

If you keep it harvested and  don’t allow it to go to seed it stays under control

To harvest ~ cut the whole stems 3-4″ from the base of the plant, gather into groups of 5-6 stems,  tie and hang in a warm, airy location.

When dry, strip off the leaves,  store in a covered container and use as needed

Or wash some after harvesting to use fresh

Divide in the spring or fall

Take cuttings in midsummer to bring in for the winter

Grow from seed ~ start indoors in late winter & transplant

Lemon Balm Uses

Lemon Balm, week 2


Lemon Balm Astringent 

1 Tbsp. fresh Lemon Balm
1 cup witch hazel
Combine the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Allow to steep for 1 week. Strain. Use 1 teaspoon per application with a cotton ball. Refrigerate if you wish.

Lemon Balm, week 3


Lemon Balm Herbal Oil Infusion

Chop the Lemon Balm and place it in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
Cover the Lemon Balm completely with olive oil or other oil.

Allow the Lemon Balm to infuse into the oil for at least 2 weeks ~ shaking it daily.

At the end of two weeks strain the Lemon Balm from the oil infusion to prevent mold.

Label the Lemon Balm infusion and store it in a cool, dark area.

Lemon Balm, week 4


Add a handful of Lemon Balm to a hot bath to help skin ailmentsLemon balm aids in cleansing by opening the pores

Use Lemon Balm with seafood or vegetables.

Combine Lemon Balm with mint in cooking to enhance the flavors of both herbs

Lemon Balm makes a good substitute for the flavor of lemon in recipes when there is no lemon on hand

Add Lemon Balm to foods and beverages that use mint to give them a mild lemon flavor

Add Lemon Balm to hot black tea with mint

Lemon Balm is used as a conditioner for oily hair

Lemon Balm, week 5


Lemon Herb Butter
2 tablespoons
lemon balm, chopped fine
2 tablespoons thyme, chopped fine
1 cup butter, softened
Cream butter and stir in herbs.
Chill for at least 3 hours to allow flavors to blend.Lemon Balm facial
Boil 1/4 cup of lemon balm in a quart of boiling water and then hold your face close to the bowl, using a towel to form a tent around the bowl and trap in steam.

After 10 minutes, rinse your face with warm and then cool water

Hope you enjoyed and learned something new!!  
Come visit me at:

Mind Over Matter

We have the power to create physical health and mental health, simply by paying attention to the tapes running in our minds.

Once we hear ourselves, we have the option to let that tape keep running or to make a new recording.

All we need to do is remember to tend the field of our mind with the attentive and loving hand of a master gardener tending her herb and flower beds, culling out the weeds so that the blossoms may come to fruition.

Mind Body Soul Essentials

Making Fresh Herbal Tea

Stress relief in a cup. 

If you deadhead your flowers and grow your own herb garden, your tea is free.  Simple as that.

In my household, our favorite tea is Peppermint.  Lemon Balm comes in a close second.

Muddling is the process of crushing or simply bruising herbs.  

Mortar & Pestle – go marble. 


Genuine marble is non-porous and keeps odors and oils from penetrating.  A porous material will soak up both the soap from washing and the oils from previous muddling.  You don’t want your peppermint tea to taste like peppermint, soap and chamomile from a previous brew & wash! 

Granite is considered fairly non-porous.  It is possible for detergent residue to get in the uneven surface.

If you don’t mind a little carry-over, don’t wash a granite mortar and pestle every single time after use.  However, when washing, use a light amount of detergent, and then dry it and grind white rice in it.

Grinding white rice is a very common practice.

Pick the leaves or flowers before the heat of the sun begins to draw the oils out of the plant (preferred).  
PictureGet your leaves ready – rub them together or muddle with a mortar & pestle (see picture) to release their essential oils.

I highly recommend a tea infuser/mesh tea ball.

Or you can add the leaves directly to a mug or cup or your teapot.  For each cup of tea, add approximately 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh leaves and/or flowers.Steep for 4-5 minutes. This will allow the flavors to release and provide the full, natural benefits of the herb.

Come visit us at Mind Body Soul Essentials, browse the selection of teas, herbs and tea products (like a Bamboo Strainer).
Bamboo Tea Strainer
Herbology is the study of plants, herbs, minerals and supplements used in the growing, cultivating and harvesting of the natural world.There is so much more information out there on tea blends, recipes and so on.  Ask your friends what their favorite teas are.  Everyone loves tea!



I am changing my beliefs about what I deserve.  About who I am.  About what I want.  There is something magical about reaching that point where I’m ready to set limits and to follow through with my decisions regarding the boundaries I’ve set and not talking myself out of what is good and right for me.

I came from an unhealthy place.  Surrounded by unhealthy mindsets and lifestyles.  That’s an understatement.  We all have our pasts to contend with.  Some are worse in ways than others.  But each unhealthy way hurts.

I love my two children.  I’m arriving in this great place because of my love for my children.  What they see me do has to mirror my advice to them.  What I preach, has to also be shown to them.  They deserve this and more.

Gathering my life tools. 

Children do not ask to be brought into this world. Parents as adults choose to bring them into it. It is then our responsibility to love, protect and guide. Not to discount, ignore, resent and mold. 

I am reaching inside. I am sifting through my internal self and pulling out the bits of ME that are in there.  And working on them, one by one until it feels right.

Out of the chaos will come clarity. I am sure of it. No rushing through this.

I am rewiring myself.

This is my path to enlightenment.