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Archive for the ‘dandelion’ Category

Time flies by. Seems like yesterday I was holding my beautiful daughter Michelle for the very first time. I was immediately a smitten kitten and still am to this day. She is my rock and my best friend, and I am so very proud of the strong, beautiful, dependable, resourceful, interesting, and big hearted daughter I have.

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I love you to the moon and back my darling daughter!

On the gardens and herbal medicine front…. when you have a two year old in tow, everything is done in small increments and I am mindful to be grateful for this time with Dylan. In just a couple short years, he will be in school and this time will have passed like the ephemeral spring it is. We harvest a bit at a time and our medicine cabinet is full of small jars of things like this dandelion oil Dylan made today, all by himself.

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We just simply walked around our yard and he harvested the dandelions we had available right under our noses. He really seemed to enjoy putting them in the jar and filling it with oil. This looks like such a small thing, but it is his first herbal medicine he has made by himself!

Dashed home today and managed to weed a bit of the gardens and get 5 tomato plants in the ground. I was pleased to see some calendula had reseeded itself and that the strawberry plants are in bloom. I used to be the type that would work 12 hours straight, weeding and working the ground for planting. And then work the next day planting. While Dylan is young it is enough to accomplish a foot at a time, as there will always be next year for tomatoes, but only for a few years will he be my constant companion and we are better served walking through the fields and woods and running through the parks and yard right now. His innate love for nature is boundless and I think learning the names and ways of nature is the most important thing I can give him right now. Many times I will point out a plant or tree and talk to him as I would you, and the next thing I know, he is pointing out to me, another of the same plant! I am still new at learning so many plants and I feel so blessed to be learning along with Dylan.

big hugs and much love to all who visit Comfrey Cottages

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generation2001

This was our five generation picture taken when my mom and her mom were both still alive and my first born grandchild, Evan, was a wee one, about 8 years ago. We lost my mom to cancer 4 years ago today, and G.G., as my vain grandma liked to be called (lol), the very next spring. That is my beautiful, and only, daughter Michelle Elizabeth holding her son.

My mom would have just loved all the natural healing and herbal knowledge I have been learning these last few years. The family used to tease her as she read her wisdom garnered from sources such as Prevention magazine, and others. I always listened to her though, (in those matters;-) ) , and always had a bent toward our natural world. If she were here today I can see us truly finding our common ground, besides family, with herbal/plant medicine and also with the foraging for wild foods, that I doing more and more. Well, mom this post is for you, in honor of the strong, warm, loving, giving person you were. I miss you so much!

I read herbal and wild foraging books constantly and even my dreams have me walking through woods and fields searching for the knowledge I am sure other women in my family had at some time. Some how it was lost a few generations back and I crave to recapture it, to share with all those following in my footsteps. Life is busy with so many things, so finding the time to apply what I have been learning is sometimes hard. I am trying to make it a point to do a few things every week.

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Tonight, after getting home, I went out in the gardens and gathered some whole plants of violets. Roots, leaves and flowers for a tincture. I am going to use the tincture, at times, for fevers, to break up mucous and respiratory complaints. The pretty yellow jar is dandelion flowers in safflower oil. I have some infusing in olive oil and thought some in safflower oil would be pretty and useful also. These both will make nice moisturizers and massage oils, that help release tension and emotions in the muscles. I also started some plantain tincture. This tincture will be good for gastric complaints, ulcers, and also for diarrhea. It will also be soothing for any complaints throughout the urinary system. As plantain is a relaxing antispasmodic to the mucous membranes, coughs, asthma, and other bronchial problems, are another way this tincture will be used.

Last week I managed to sneak in a few medicine making moments also.

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I made angelica root tincture and honey. Licorice tincture, concolor fir oil, dandelion vinegar, and peppermint oil.

Mom would just love all this and I think of her often as I learn more and more about our natural world and her gifts to us. We just need open our eyes and our hearts to what she has to tell us!

gail

I have found this book by herbalist Gail Faith Edwards, to be most helpful in my herbal journeys. I love what Gail has to say in her forward

These words are the ripened seeds that spill from my wild heart to the dark moist soil within your own.”

I highly recommend this book to those of my readers who are on their own herbal journey. Gail writes with a warm, welcoming style that encourages me with its insightful, yet non complicated information and uses of many herbals and trees. I have found this book to be another that is right here in the kitchen while I make herbal medicine, on my bedside table at night, and in my backpack at all other times. Gail has shared with us what it took her many seasons of intimate contact with the plants, to learn.  And yes, I do especially recommend it to those of you, who like me are at the beginning of our herbal journeys, although it is certain to be of benefit to the experienced herbalist also.

big herbal and honey hugs to all of you who take the time to visit here at Comfrey Cottages

 

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wow, my daughter, michelle turned 30 on the 5th of may. seems so odd. my son jesse, turned 30 last year, but for some reason that didn’t bug me like this. my youngest son tommy turns 30 next year. and yes, you are reading right. my youngest son was born the day before my oldest turned 2 and in between, michelle was born. lol anyway, back to the subject i want to share with you. every year we take a day to celebrate michelle’s birthday and go to a special tearoom at salisbury, il and then take a trip to the herb farm near there. both places are so very special. if you click on the highlighted words the link takes you to each spots webpage, and both include virtual tours. last year my brother eric joined michelle and i on our journey and this year he is joining us again plus, my new daughter in law lisa is coming too! this will be here first trip there.

thought you might enjoy some pics from last year. the one pic is the checkerboard thyme garden, another is the huge wisteria they have shaped into a wonderful huge gazebo like structure and then the other is michelle. there are so many themed garden within the farms gardens. fairy gardens, lovers, thyme, a klitchy little bathroom garden, a childrens garden, medicinal, culinary and others! looking forward to this very much! 🙂

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saturday, my brother eric and granddaughter taylor and i went to my friend ron’s house to pick up our new nucs. eric and i both got one. ron goes down to florida and works at a bee farm there for a few weeks each spring, and then brings back in his truck nucs for all of us who have ordered them. these bees are carniolans and i just love them. very hard workers and gentle too! within an hour of being hived these girls were busily bringing in pollen. it was so much fun as it was taylors first time getting to help and she had a blast! she also spotted the queen for me. this year the queen is marked with a green dot. each year is a different color. after we got the bees hived we made some more violet jelly! seems everyone wants a jar to try and i gotta get cracking and get some more made to keep up with the demand! lol love and hugs to everyone who visits here at comfrey cottages!!

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Dandelion Jelly

after my last post, sande asked me if i would post the dandelion jelly recipe i have. this is the one linda shared with me.

Dandelion JellyYou will need:2 C boiling water2 heaping cups of fresh dandelion petals (you’ll need to gather about 4 cups whole flowers)1/4 C well-strained, clear lemon juice4 C sugar3 oz liquid pectin (Certo)We’ll want just the dandelion petals for this – not the whole flower head. You’ll get SOME green sepals. and that’s fine – but try to minimize the amount of “green” and have mainly yellow petals for your infusion.Pour boiling water over petals and let steep from 30 minutes to 24hours. I infused mine for about 2 hours – until the liquid was almost room temperature. Strain through a fine sieve, reserving the infusion. If not using immediately, refrigerate up to 24 hours.Place jars and lids on rack in pan or stockpot deep enough to cover them with about two inches of water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, keeping the jars hot until ready to fill.To make the jelly, stir lemon juice (I actually used lime, because that’s what I had on hand, and it worked quite nicely!) and sugar into reserved infusion in a two-quart nonreactive or stainless steel pan. Bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Add the liquid pectin and continue to boil two minutes, skimming any foam that may rise to the surface.Ladle quickly into jars to within about 1/8 inch from the top; clean each rim and threads of the jar as it’s filled, and place flat lid and ring on each before filling the next. Screw band on tightly and invert jar on tea towel for about five to 10 minutes. Jars should seal and lids should pop shut within 10 minutes as they cool. If they do not seal, you can place them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes or place in the refrigerator.Sealed jars will last up to one year in a cool, dark place. Put any unsealed jelly in the refrigerator. it should keep about three weeks. Makes four or five half-pint jars.

i will probably do everything the same but use the powdered pectin instead, and use the amount of liquid from the steeped dandelions the package calls for. i seem to have better luck with it than the liquid pectin. now i haven’t made this yet, it is in the plans for next week. if i get to it sooner i will post the pics and particulars of it, but for now expect that post next week. my youngest son tom is getting married this weekend, so we are all a bit busy!LOL:) anyone else make dandelion jelly?

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Our weather is still erratic! Cold again, with rains and even hail yesterday! But, the violets and dandelions are still up and don’t you think violet and yellow together are so pretty? The children and i managed to take advantage of the decent weather on saturday and harvested many of both. we also dug some of each for transplanting to other spots. my brother wanted some of the white with violet edged violets and i am going to start a dandelion bed in my gardens! yup you heard me right, a dandelion bed! not only does their color please me, bees love it, i use the dandelion root dried for teas,eat their leaves and fry their heads!lol going to make some dandelion jelly soon also. so thanks to help of my little helpers we harvested enough for both some violet jelly and some fried dandelion heads saturday nite. yum! the boy in the pictures is my 8 year old grandson evan, my daughter michelle’s boy. hugs all around!:)

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