Category Archives: Adventure

The Adventure of Herb Gardening

Whenever you decide to start growing garden herbs it is like giving a kid the key to a toy store. There are so many different types of herb plants to choose from and they all do such a wide range of magical things it is hard to select which ones to grow. If “haute cuisine” is your fancy then culinary herbs are the way to go. The ready availability of fresh herbs to your kitchen will add a delicious touch to your cooking that is unmatched with herbs from the store. The satisfaction of watching your own herbs grow and produce good things for your food only adds to the enjoyment.

Culinary herbs are what most people think of when the subject of herbs is considered but you might want to take a look at mother nature’s medicine cabinet. Medicinal herbs are a fascinating addition to a herb garden. They have a distinguished history of service to mankind because before modern medicine herbs were the primary source of curative relief. Knowing the medicinal properties of herbs make them a practical addition to the herb garden. Adding these to your garden not only connects you with a rich tradition but also provides a ready source of organic healing remedies.

Many years before the Europeans came to the Americas native populations were conducting empirical studies of herb plants to determine their curative properties. They discovered over 3,000 different plants that had medicinal qualities. For instance the Cherokee Indians found that black cohosh could be used as a diuretic to ease rheumatic pains. They also found that coughs and lung inflammations could be relieved by bloodroot. The Chippewa discovered that blue cohosh, another woodland plant of the Eastern woodlands, would cure cramps and toothaches.

Did you know this about medicinal herbs?

In the non-prescription medicinal market in the U.S. over 175 herbs are sold to the public. Most of these are collected from the wilds because methods for cultivation on a commercial level have not been perfected.

The market for medicinal herbs in the United States is over $3 billion annually.

60 million plus people in the U.S. take some kind of herbal medicines. Doctors are beginning to recognize their value and are beginning to recommend their use to patients.

Another exciting member of the family is aromatic herbs. Aromatics are not generally the first on a herb gardeners selection list but their pleasing fragrances make them a worthwhile addition to any garden. They are plain and simple exactly what you might think – herb plants with good smelling foliage and flowers. The pleasing aromas come from the oils produced by the herbs and this provides a very efficient method of transferring that pleasant aroma to many other items and uses.

Herbal shampoos, bath mixtures and cosmetics are produced commercially by major cosmetic companies but how cool would it be to grow aromatic herbs and make your own cosmetics. Good choices for the bath are bee balm, mugwort, angelica and lavender. The old favorites rosemary and fennel work well in the tub. Chic boutiques grow and process their own aromatic herbs and make such things as sachets, wreaths, potpourris and pillows. Popular herbs for this type use include sweet woodruff, chamomile and scented geraniums.

Growing your own herbs is an adventure you shouldn’t pass up. Take time and discovery which type herb would delight your fancy and go for the gusto!

Hiking Adventures in Bali

Some hit Bali for the surf while others head out for a bit of relaxation on the beach and some passionate shopping. Then there are those who head to Bali because they want to explore the mountains. The mountains in Bali come from the volcanoes of the Ring of Fire so they are truly spectacular even if there aren’t too many of them.

Most of the mountains are in the northern area of Bali and there is a lot to do once you get out there. Some areas have a lot of lodging options and are great for spending longer lengths of time while other areas are just good day trips. You will need to explore different areas to plan out your vacation and select the best lodging options.

Just remember to pack some warmer clothing when exploring the mountains of Bali. Most people think of the sun, surf and sand when they head to Bali but it can be much chillier when you get up in the mountains.

To help you determine where you might want to explore in Bali, consider just a few possible destinations:

Gunung Agung

This is one of the biggest mountains in Bali and there is no lodging available. You can access the longest trail from Pura Besakih and that is also a great place to spend the night before you head out on the biggest hiking adventure in all of Bali. If you don’t think you can sustain a 5-7 hour uphill hike and make it back to your lodging point safely, then you can go to the southern point of the mountain for a shorter hiking route.

Gunung Abang

This is actually a hiking trail inside a larger crater called Batur. You can hike other areas of Batur, but what makes Abang special is the forest surrounding the trail. A lot of hiking in bali is done in the wee hours of the morning because there are no tress to shield from the intense sun and high humidity. This is one of the trails that you can actually enjoy during the day since the forest blocks the blazing sun.

You will need to bring your own water and refreshments since there isn’t much here for purchase. There is no lodging either, so you will need to stay in Penelokan or another community the night before or after. Head east out of Penelokan on the main road to find the access point into this hiking trail.

Gunung Batukaru

Stay in Sarinbuana if you want to hike in this mountain range because it is one of the more remote hiking destinations in Bali. Access can also be gained from Kuta if you are staying in that area. You will basically have to find the Eco Lodge and plan y our hiking adventure from there. This is a high mountain, so it may not be a good pick for those who without extensive hiking experience.

This mountainous area is known for maintaining jungle land, which is not easy to find in Bali anymore. You can even camp out in this area if you like to rough it and really get up close and personal with the natural environment.

If you are going to explore the Bali mountains remember to check the weather forecast before planning the exact day to hike. There are monsoons and other weather events that may make hiking undesirable on some days.