Monday, July 11, 2016

Back to Real Life - Monarda and SJW Calling!

All of us took our turns over the last 11 days working at the booth we share with The Rosemary House at the Kutztown Folk Festival.  We worked for a good month getting ready for it, so when I tell you that things around here need attention, I am not kidding.

Maryanne and Molly discuss strategy before the festival opens.
 This morning I set out to weed-whack around the front garden so that Molly could mow close to the edge.  There in the center had somehow arrived some beautiful, lush, wild bergamot, Monarda fistulosa. 

We have it growing down by the pond, so perhaps a bird gifted it to me, closer to the house so that it's easier to get to.  We have a more decorative variety growing near the door.  One of the didymas.  Maybe "blue stockings."

Anyhow, it was the perfect time to harvest.  In a few minutes I'll head back out and gather more to dry for the winter and to add to different teas. 


First though, a pint of tincture.  I will label it better shortly.  The labels are all downstairs, and the jar will be headed there soon too.



We like to have it around because it has a very high thymol content, so can be used similarly to oregano and thyme medicinally OR culinarily.  All of the different bergamots (various beautiful colors) can be used as a flavoring or garnish.  Tea made from leaves and flowers is very strongly flavored, and in my opinion is best used as part of a blend because of that, and also needs some honey.  The wild lavender colored variety is thought to be the most medicinally active variety.

Good during cold and flu season.  Strongly antiseptic, so useful for sore throats and as a gargle for gums/mouths.  The tea helps eliminate gas, too.
For an interesting booklet that you can download, check out this pdf!
https://www.herbsociety.org/herbs/documents/EssentialGuidetoMonarda._reducedsizepdf_000.pdf

And then I turned towards the other side of the yard, and it was glowing yellow. 

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