Sunday, June 14, 2015

Mid-June Gatherings

Right now I could spend every minute from sun up to sundown harvesting.  This coming week especially will be busy, though.
The black raspberries gave me handful for breakfast yesterday.  This morning there were nearly a pint, and there will be another pint tonight, and so on twice daily for at least a week or more.
Pie?  Frozen?  Juiced and frozen to add to an elderberry syrup later?  Oh... maybe I'll just eat these.

On the way down to the soap workshop, I try to grab some of yarrow.  This bunch didn't make it any further than a wide bowl, where it has dried nicely.  The motherwort is in full bloom, and so far I've just gotten one jar of tincture started, and need to get back over to that patch.
Perfectly air dried, this yarrow forgave me for not taking the time to properly lay it out.

The mints have been picked almost daily, and there is a large sheet filled with leaves drying upstairs.
The spearmints mingle together and will make a refreshing meadow tea.

The roses are nearly finished.  Most of the petals have gone into various concoctions, but I hope to get a few more gathered before it's too late. 
This basket WAS almost full, but it's hard to resist those petals!

A row of lavender grows next to the raspberries, and we try to pick a bunch at least once a day.  The taller variety is almost ready for us to start weaving into lavender wands.
Molly started picking lavender a week ago, but now that the berries next to it are ripe, we'll do that at the same time.

There is a lot of gathering to be done.  Jewelweed is nearly 2 feet tall beside the porch, and we need to process that with lots of plantain for the next year's soap and 5 Star salve.  The St. John's wort is covered with swelling yellow buds, so that will be coming up in a couple of days too.  The front garden is ablaze with CA poppies, so some of that will be harvested.  Some of the hyssop should be dried too.

In the middle of all this gathering, the drying of herbs is the easy part.  There are all kinds of infusions and concoctions lining the kitchen shelves now, and projects set up and ready to go.
Another salve waiting to be put together and jarred.

These are all chores that I look forward to each year.  It can be difficult to fit everything into a day.  There is a short window each year when they are available, and if they're missed, that's it.  We're working on another huge project right now, so it has to fit in between that.  Luckily, Molly loves to gather herbs and fruits as much as I do, so we can grab a bunch of baskets and wander out together, talking and laughing while we work.  Without a doubt, that makes it even better.

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