Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mother-daughter herbal immersion

We've been having a great time each week meeting as a small group of mother-daughters, for an 11week herbal immersion!  Each week we "meet" a new herb, and through story, art, interactive games, and hands-on remedy making we become a little more familiar with these wonderful healing plants.  We are loosely using the wonderful Herb Fairies book series, and adjusting the order of the herbs to correspond with what is blooming and available for us here each week.  This group will be offered again in the fall, here at Little City Farm.

Our weeks have so far included:
Chamomile (making chamomile-infused honey, and chamomile sun tea)
Marshmallow (making marshmallow root pastilles, and tasting "real" marshmallows)
Violets (making flower fairy salad, and candied violets)
Calendula (making calendula lipbalm, and eating calendula muffins)
Dandelion (making dandelion pesto, and tasting dandelion cookies, and root mocha)
Chickweed (making chickweed super soothing salve, and chickweed super smoothie)

Chickweed Super Soothing Salve
1 cup olive oil infused with chickweed*
1/4 cup organic beeswax
5 drops lavender essential oil per 2 oz tin

Warm olive oil and beeswax in small saucepan until was has melted.
Take off heat, add essential oil and mix well.  Pour into tins, let cool.  Label.
Keeps about 1 year.
For soothing itching, dry skin and skin rashes, minor cuts and scrapes.

Yields: aprox. 10 oz salve

* To make the infused chickweed oil:
a) solar method - fill a 1 litre jar with fresh chickweed, and top up with olive oil to about 1 inch above the herbs.  Let infuse in a bright sunny window for at least 4 weeks, shaking every few days.  Top up with more oil as needed, so herbs always stay submerged.  When it has steeped, strain out herbs and reserve the oil.

b) double boiler method - add a large handful of chickweed to a small saucepan, cover with olive oil so herbs are covered by about 1 inch.  Warm in a double boiler on low (i.e. have another pot of water below this saucepan), for about 2 hours (do not let the herbs heat too much, the oil should not be cooking the herbs).  Oil should be a deeper colour, and smell herby (not smell fried).  Strain, and use in recipe above.

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