Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lemon Balm and Toads

On Tuesday, Momma, Ben and I went to the greenhouse again. We got a lemon balm plant. Lemon balm is a member of the mint family. It is an herb that is not commonly known. The herb has a strong lemon flavor and many uses. One problem with lemon balm is that it takes up a lot of space, as most mint family members do. Its uses are varied. Lemon balm can be used as bug repellent, lemon flavoring and medicinal purposes. Bria's Bug-Be-Gone Natural Herbal Spray is a lemon balm based insect repellent spray. (Bria's mother, Mrs. Crawford, has a great CD that you can get here.)

A good recipe with lemon balm is a vinaigrette salad dressing.

Lemon Balm Vinaigrette
This recipe is from Old Fashioned Living. You can get more good lemon balm recipes here.

3 tablespoons light olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
6-8 leaves lemon balm
Fresh black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons wine or regular vinegar

Stack the lemon balm leaves together and roll, then with a very sharp knife cut thin strips, and then chop finely. Combine with the other ingredients and serve with steamed vegetables or mixed salad greens.
Ben and I used to catch toads and play with them. (Actually, we still do!) Just recently, I read that toads are good for the garden. Ben found a toad in the shed, and we put it in the garden to catch bugs. We decided to name him Chub, since he was so plump. Chub was deposited next to the peas and carrots. Toads like secluded places, and that location was perfect camouflage. Can you see him in the picture below? Hopefully, Chub will do his job and rid the garden of pests.


  1. We used to have lemon balm, given to us by a friend, and it certainly multiplied. But we finally pulled it up so Mom could put something neater looking it its spot. :) I never really used it for much, except to smell it when I walked by. It was very fragrant!

    That spray looks neat! What are you going to do with your lemon balm?

    If you put an overturned pot or something similar in your garden, maybe Chub will decide to take up residence permanently!

    See you this afternoon.

  2. You can also help encourage chub to stick around by turning an old flower pot on it's side and burying it part way in the soil. That just gives him one more hiding place if he wants it.

  3. Hello Ms. Charlotte and Hannah!

    Thank you for commenting. The ideas about the flower pots would also be decorative. I had tried to make a little "house" out of mud. It might not last as long though. I think I will try the pot if he stays!