I took my 3x 4 foot flat basket out to pick the calendula blossoms this morning. There were lots of honey bees out.
I gently moved them along to less fully open flowers, telling them that in 1/2 hour there would be as many flowers again as I'd be taking. They didn't seem to mind.
Afterwards I also gathered some white sage, which is growing magnificently in the field. I topped some of the central stalks to encourage side growth. At that point, my hands were so sticky that I barely had to grasp the basket.
Down to the workshop to clean the petals.
Although I'd washed my hands well, it was necessary to stop often to remove the layers of petals that clung to my fingers.
We wound up with a couple of gallons of fresh petals. They'll dry down to perhaps a quart of dried petals.
Every aerial part of this plant is full of resinous goodness. The petals will be mostly infused in oil and used for calendula soap as well as our all purpose Boo-Boo Balm.
The bases of the flowers (and some whole flowers) go into the still to produce calendula hydrosol.
We're having fun with all this golden bounty!
We have Calendula Soap, Booboo Balm, and Calendula hydrosol on our website - just click on the links above to go directly to that item.