Everything came up roses at the 21st annual San Antonio Herb Market Saturday.
Rose, the herb of the year, was featured in seminars, cooking demonstrations and lectures. Plus, you could pick up roses of various hues and aromas from several vendors.
Roses can be used in everything from dishes such as rose petal pound cake or rose hip tea. They can also be used for medical purpose, in your bath and, of course, in potpourri with other natural ingredients.
The time of the market coincided with the weekly farmers market, giving shoppers of both the chance to expand the scope of their Saturday trip. A cloudy overhang kept temperatures down in the morning.
Though the versatility of the rose was in the spotlight, there were many other herbs, flowers and vegetables for sale that captured market-goers’ attentions. Trays of lemon verbena, rosemary and basil make their way into buyers hands. Cat nip, mint, thyme and oregano went home with many.
Swiss chard, spinach, lettuces and kale all added to the lush greens of various sizes that filled booths. Plus, lavender products, herb and fruit jams, wreaths made of succulents and flower arrangements all filled out the row of booths by the new Lab building at the Pearl Brewery.
Herbs, of course, are used for much more than cooking. They can also help keep your house clean and green, as a pamphlet from the San Antonio Herb Society claims. Here are a few tips:
- To make scented baking soda: Mix your favorite dried herbs (thoroughly crushed) or ground cinnamon with baking soda for a clean, fresh-smelling cleanser ingredient.
- To freshen your garbage pail: Make a scented baking soda and sprinkle about 1/4 cup in the bottom of the garbage pail.
- To make a soft-scrub alternative: In a small bowl, mix 1 2/3 cups baking soda and 1/2 cup liquid soap. Dilute with 1/2 cup water. Add 2 tablespoons vinegar LAST. Stir until the lumps are gone. If it’s too thick, add more water.
Pour into a 16-ounce flip-top squirt bottle. Shake well before using.
- To make your own air freshener: For an 8-ounce mist spray bottle mix, add white distilled vinegar and 20 to 30 drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake before using.
- To make your own furniture polish: Mix 1/4 cup olive oil or mineral oil (baby oil works well, too) with 4 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 20 to 30 drops lemon oil. Pour into a spray bottle and shake well before using. Use an old terrycloth towel to wipe your furniture with.