Part of an ongoing spring/summer/fall activity is to take walks around the property, the woods and fields close by to gather, dry then store the wild berries, flowers and herbs available.
I was so busy earlier this spring that I missed the wild violets and dandelions I usually make syrup and jam out of. But I think if we watch it we will have enough from last year to go us a few more months. It’s such a tasty treat it will be a shame not to have it to enjoy.
Today Daisy and I picked the red clover blossoms and set them out to dry. We simply take a bucket with us and pick the fully open but not gone by flower heads. It’s best to pick them mid-morning after the dew has had a chance to dry. But not this time, it was raining yesterday and I won’t have time over the weekend and didn’t want to miss out on the first flush of them. We will pick these every few day over the next couple of weeks.
I lay them out in a single layer on an old screen in the shade. Later after they are dry I will set them in the sun for a few day until they are good and dry. Bringing them in under cover each night so the dew won’t get them wet again, if they do they will mold and be no good to use.
These should take about 3-4 days to dry. If they still show signs of being wet and not fully dry I will put them in the dehydrator or a very low oven until completely dry. You will be able to tell when they crumble in your hands easily.
At that point I will pull off the leaves, and give them a scrunch in my hands and store them in glass jars. They make wonderful tea, the chickens enjoy them over the winter when there are no fresh green available for them and I use them in salve.
We also found a few Indian Paint Brush and I hung those in the barn to dry for a few days. I will crush them and store for salve later in the year. We also have a yellow variety that grows but I like the orange better.
The Oxeye Daisy are ready to dry too. We didn’t pick any of these this morning, so we will head out this afternoon when I know they are fully dry. The petals turn to mush if you pick them when at all wet. The afternoon will be ok although it is always better to pick in the morning, today is not hot so the oils will be fine.
They are such a happy plant and many grow wild around the yard. I leave them where ever they decide to grow. Soon the Yarrow will be out and we will be gathering that too…
And on our walk past the rose bed I noticed something that disturbed me and made me rather cranky! I snarled and grit my teeth….shook my finger at it and said how dare you! Why did you do this to me, I loved you and cared for you and this is how your repay me!
What you say? How can a beautiful, nice smelling rose make you cranky! Karyn have you lost your mind?….
Oh’ yes I say take a look at this one! It’s RED, it’s a SINGLE….. it looks like a rugosa!…A RUGOSA!
This my dear friend is what happens in our cold climate. My beloved Distant Drum, a Buck Rose that was grafted has died back below the graft and now the root stock what ever it might be has taken over! errr…..
Lesson learned again…..
DO NOT BUY GRAFTED STOCK KARYN!
BUY OWN ROOT STOCK!!!
When will I learn!
Cover your eyes, my friend, take the children out of the room…. this bush is about to be shovel pruned and moved to the back of the barn for the bees to enjoy! It’s a tough job but I gotta’ do it….They call it tough love…
This is what they are supposed to look like….
My very favorite rose! See the pink changing into the mauve then orange…Beautiful isn’t it…I wish this was scratch and sniff so you could smell it too…
Have a wonderful weekend, I’m off to class over the weekend but will be back soon.