By Carly Hatfield
Albert Camus said, “In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Ohio winters seem to challenge my usually sunny disposition as well as the health of my houseplants. I am determined however to fight the cold Ohio winter until spring arrives. I like to pass the time by caring for my many houseplants. For every window in my house, there is a plant, or two or three.
By Holly VanKeuren
As wintertime surrounds us, it is a wonderful time of year to be in the greenhouse. Entering this world on a frozen, snowy day brings relief, if only briefly, from the tundra that chills us outside. A deep breath within the welcoming doors brings the smell of humidity, soil, and the delicate perfumes of the plant life held here, safe under a layer of glass from the arctic blast outside. This is the time of year for reflection upon the world outside, from the safe comfort of our inside worlds. At this time of year I can look upon my wins or fails of my garden, and begin to dream again about the new life that will come with the spring. Here in the greenhouse we are busy with the cultivation of this new life. Here is where tiny seedlings are coaxed and fussed over, where new life is bursting forth one tiny leaf at a time.
By Glenna W. Sheaffer
Botanicals used in alcoholic spirits have been around since probably prehistory. Beers, wines, aperitifs, digestifs, bitters, liquors, and liqueurs were one way to get people in the old days to drink medicinal bitter aids to the digestive system and get important vitamins and minerals in the body. Aperitifs were often dry vermouth, gin or dry white wine with herbals added to aid digestion and stimulate an appetite. The herbs commonly used were gentian root, barberry, angelica and seeds of cardamom and fennel. Aperitifs are low in sugars and dryer with a more bitter flavor. Digestifs are like a tonic to aid after dinner digestion and include brandy, port, sherry and liqueurs. Port is a dark red wine from Portugal is made from specific small, dense, grapes with concentrated flavors. Sherry is a white wine from Spain from their indigenous grapes. Brandies and liqueurs are from grapes and other fruits. Bitters are added to cocktails for their healthful flavoring often from bitter or sweet oranges, rhubarb, mint, thyme, and marjoram.