19 JULY 1940, Page 13

Their Collection

All herbs and roots are required dried. The term herb means the whole plant growing above ground ; it does not include the root. The colour of such plants, cut off at ground level when in flower, must in all cases be carefully preserved. Leaves must be separated from the plant, without stalk, and roots must be dried when the plant has died down. Earth must be washed from roots, which must be quite clean and free from fibres. Seed should also be clean and free of husk and pod. It is possible for drying to be done in the open air, though it is a process that needs extreme care, and it is better that it should be done on wire-netted trays, in a well-ventilated barn. There are many dis- used oasts which for this purpose would be admirable. With a little care and some elementary botanical knowledge, many country people, it seems to me, might find in this collecting of herbs the job of war-work for which they have been vainly look- ing. Done by a group of people, such as a branch of the W.I., it might also be very profitable. It might even be done by groups of older children.