Pleasure and Product – Pap-Pap’s Sugar

My sister Susan’s honeybees often visit my yard. Bees can fly up to four miles from their hives to collect pollen, and I live only a mile away from my sister’s home and hives.

The honeybees love my spearmint, which happily is grown organically, as are all of my sister’s vegetables and flowers.

Here’s a jar of Susan’s honey. She calls it “Pap-pap’s Sugar” in honor of our grandfather who also loved bees and had many hives during his lifetime. The honey is so beautiful. I love the way the sunshine illuminates it’s golden and pure goodness. My favorite way to use it is in tea…a bit of heaven in a cup.

Projects & Plants – Rooting Cuttings with Honey

My Lemon Verbena plant is thriving, but it is in definite need of a trim. I want to grow several lemon verbena plants in my herb garden this year so today was the perfect day to take cuttings. In the past I have used rooting hormone on the stem ends of the cuttings, but this year I am aiming to go as natural and organic as possible. I have heard in the past that Honey is a natural rooting compound. I always have honey in my pantry so I pulled it out and gave it a try.

I followed the same protocol I use with rooting hormone. I punched out a drainage hole in 3 oz plastic cups and filled these with sterile soil. I watered the potting medium and created a hole with a plastic highlighter.

I dipped the lower inch and a half of the verbena cuttings into the honey and inserted them into the soil. I avoided brushing the sides of the planting hole to keep the honey intact on the stem end.

I gently firmed up the soil around the stem and then inserted the cup in a plastic bag and sealed it. The honey is anti-fungal and will create a seal on the cut end of the cutting and help retain moisture.

When I was finished I had six small pots. I used a recycled cookie tray to hold the six cuttings steady, and placed them under lights in my basement.

The lovely smelling leaves I stripped away were also put to good  use. I simmered them in a pot of water and freshened up the house with a little extra moisture and lemon scent in the air.