SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

December 20, 2013

Ideas for sharing the gift of gardening

(Continued)

Don’t forget Kitty — catnip or grass, grown in a small pot, is the purrr-fect feline gift. It’s almost guaranteed to keep kitty out of the other houseplants. (Note: I said almost.) Cost under a few dollars for pot and seed.

Q: In every Christmas story, I hear about gifts of frankincense and myrrh, what is it?

A: Frankincense and myrrh are both resins — dried pine tree sap. You probably got sticky tree sap while you were handling your Christmas tree or greens, and the fastest way to remove it is with turpentine or nail polish remover.

Frankincense and Commiphora (myrhh) are common to Somalia. The way that people collect the sap is similar to the way people collect rubber tree sap or pine tree sap. Cutting the tree’s bark causes the sap to ooze out of the cut. The sap used to create both frankincense and myrrh comes slowly and is allowed to dry on the tree. The hardened sap is collected and used as frankincense and myrrh.

Both in the time of the three wise men and today, frankincense and myrrh are most commonly used to create incense. You mix frankincense with other fragrant things like spices, seeds, roots, etc., to create different aromas. Traditionally, you burn the powdered incense with charcoal in a censer or on a small stand.

Frankincense and myrrh are extremely common today, and you can buy them locally.

Q: I can’t believe how dark my house gets in winter. This year, I’d like to try some growing lights — but make it simple, please.

A: If you have flowering plants or herbs, plants that require bright light, you will require about 1,000 to 2,000 foot-candles of light for about 16 hours each day. You can’t increase the intensity much over 3,000 foot-candles or you’ll burn the plant, but you can add to the number of hours the lights are on, which is your way of playing Mother Nature. You are simply making the growing day longer for the plant — and isn’t it fun to fool Mother Nature by buying a few hours extra of daylight during the dreary winter months?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 28

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

  • howe Book Notes: Local novelist sees ‘conversion’ syndrome in witch trials The parallels between 1692 and today are so close, they're frightening. That's one conclusion you could draw from reading "Conversion," Marblehead resident Katherine Howe's new novel, which compares the world of the Salem Witch Trials to the life of

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • vehicles Quick pick: Festival of vehicles

    Festival of vehicles Take a ride over to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library for the 16th annual Vehicle Night on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The festival of fire trucks, emergency vehicles, cruisers and snow plows takes place in the library park

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker