On July 17, the Library’s “Greener Choices” series, sponsored jointly
by Wilmette Public Library and Go Green Wilmette, presented “The Prairie Godmothers.”
The event was a chance for attendees to learn everything they always wanted to know about herbs and then some.
Jackie Riffice, a Prairie Godmother, shared information that was helpful to both beginners and experienced gardeners.
This program, Herbs for Home and Garden, included slides of a wide range of
herbs with accompanying explanations of how to grow, dry, store, and use them.
Riffice explained how to select and use herbs that grow well in this area, both fresh and dried. She passed around trays with various herbs so we
could smell them and tell the difference between them. There was basil,
rosemary, chives, mint, oregano, lemon verbena (used in tea), and more.
Many of the enthusiastic audience took home tips, techniques, and interesting recipes both for food and general use.
My favorite was to fill a small net bag available from Tevana with a combination of shaved castile soap, an herb of choice like mint or lavender, and oatmeal and use it as a body scrub.
For thousands of years, herbs have been used as medicine and healing agents,
food and flavorings, to cast spells, ward off evil, bring good luck and good
fortune. Herbs have also been used to alleviate depression, instill joy and
bring pleasant odors to smelly situations. Mixing your own herbal blends
provides a low cost way to live greener and healthier and is a great way to
reduce the carbon footprint use to go from store to store, according to the Prairie Godmothers.
The Prairie Godmothers are located in Flossmoor, Ill. and offer assistance and
materials related to herb gardening.