Updated: Jan 30
Is this the most beautiful weather today?! I spent a bit of time at the garden this morning, planting the last of my transplants - for now - and moving a few things around. It is looking so happy. This afternoon I'm sitting in my back porch writing this blog, listening to construction at the new Greenvale Park School, wondering if they will be able to have kids in there this fall. I hope so.
Kami McBride made a video about making herbal oils that I found interesting. She suggests shaking the fresh plant material with a bit of 100 proof vodka, 1 Tbsp/quart, prior to adding your oil of choice to extract more of the medicinal constituents of the plant. I think I'm going to give it a try. Let me know if you try it and what you think of it.
Tip of the week: The elderberry trees/shrubs are starting to bloom. Watch for these white patches while on a hike or on a drive, take note of the location, and plan to return to those spots to gather elderberry in mid-August, a favorite for elderberry syrup and tinctures. The elderflowers are often gathered, also, and can be made into a tincture, a fresh hot or iced tea, or dried for winter use in tea, kombucha, and other beverages. It's very tasty. It also makes a lovely liqueur. If you've taken a class from me, you are likely aware that I don't drink alcohol on a regular basis. However, I do make both an elderflower liqueur and and an elderberry liqueur that are quite tasty, especially if I'm feeling a bit under the weather. Or while browsing seed catalogs during a winter storm. Do an online search for liqueur recipes - I don't have a favorite myself yet.
Also, linden trees are in full bloom right now. The flower is typically used in making herbal remedies. If you need help finding/identifying a tree, let me know and we'll do a plant walk or meet somewhere together. There is not a linden tree on the farm, but there are many around town, including along 7th Street by the outdoor pool and Well's Fargo parking lot.
Yesterday, Lise Wolff, my herbal mentor, and Tara Baklund of Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism spent the day in the Northfield area taping segments for Lise's online course, 3 Seasons of Herbal Medicine, as well as some plant walks. Much to my surprise, I ended up on a couple live FaceBook plant walks, one in my yard and one at the you-pick garden. Here is a link if you are interested in watching the recording. If you are considering a more in depth study of herbal medicine, I highly encourage you to enroll in Lise's 3 Seasons class. Excellent. (They are having a few issues with their website right now, switching providers or something, so don't stress if you can't connect right now).
A couple things about the garden - we are coming into peak season soon. Hyssop is soon ready. The first calendula bloom popped open today. As you know, the garden is "funded" by donations and barter type items. I am in need of a few trellises for some of the new vining plants. If you have a any in your garage that aren't in use, I would be happy to repurpose those in the garden...
Class opportunity this week:
I had a request for another beginners/demo class at 5:30, Thursday, 6/25. Feel free to join me at the you-pick garden at Open Hands Farm then, if interested. This is open to anyone of any age, no need to be a member of Open Hands Farm - open to all. If you would like a similar class at a different time, just let me know and I would be happy to offer it at another time. I will likely be at the garden on Friday morning weeding with Charmagne, a weekly weeding volunteer. If you would like to join us to chat over herbs then, feel free also. I always enjoy talking about our herbs!