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The Grapevine (Jan. 11)

  • Published Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at 8:27 a.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at 7:44 a.m.

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Make a reed diffuser

Who knew that reed diffusers are incredibly easy to make? Here’s what you need:

• A narrow-neck bottle (not essential, but keeps oils from evaporating as fast)

• Reed sticks, chopsticks or bamboo skewers

• A lightweight base oil such as safflower or almond oil

• Essential oil

Reed sticks work best because they are rattan, with channels that draw the oils up. Look for them at craft stores.

Use a small whisk to mix the base oil and essential oil, being careful not to use too much of the latter. Decant into the jar with a funnel and add reeds. Flip the reeds once a week to distribute the scent.

Orange County Register

Crock-Pot cooking lecture

Kay Neff of Neff Family Farms will be at Botanica on Wednesday to give recipes and ideas for cooking in a slow cooker. The lunchtime lecture will be at 12:15 p.m. and is included in Botanica admission, which is $7 for adults. Samples and recipes will be available.

Gardening tip

Take advantage of mild, dry winter days to get a jump on spring soil work. If beds are not waterlogged or frozen, you can add compost or other organic amendments to enrich and lighten the soil. Spread amendments evenly and then dig them in with a spade or fork, working backward to avoid treading on freshly turned soil. You can return in March to cultivate and rake the soil smooth for planting.

Washington Post

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