A couple pretty baskets.
Here are pics of a few baskets'o'herbs from my summer teachings:
July 10, 2006
Pic: St. John's wort flowers in a basket. The St. John's wort (Hypericum sp.) was in full flower. This lot became an infused oil, or a tincture, or dried herb - we picked lots more.
Related blogposts: St. John's wort oil - St. John's wort
Pic: Musk mallow flowers in a basket. We picked the pretty flowers of the pink musk mallow (Malva moschata), too. They're really very pretty, and nicely soothing to the gut.
Related blogpost: Mallow family demulcents
August 16, 2006
Pic: Rowanberries in a basket. The rowanberries (Sorbus aucuparia) were ripe in mid-August. We froze these, then thawed them, mashed them up, put them into water with citric acid for two days, strained them, added sugar, and finally served the result as a cool summer drink. Yum!
Related blogpost: Rowanberries
Pic: Nettles in seed in a basket. The nettles (Urtica dioica) were in seed by then, too. And yes, there's a basket under all that herb. We tended to leave the leaf in the field, just taking the stalks with fully ripe seed - that makes for faster processing back in in the school kitchen -> class ends when it should and not an hour or two late. Not that anybody actually complained when my classes ran over the appointed hours ... anyway, this particular group went wild over the nettles in seed, and picked a basket or more pretty much every time we went outside.
Related blogposts: Old nettles - Picking nettle seed - Nettle seed
Pic: Goldenrod flowers in a basket. That's European goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea). These will brown up and fluff up when they're dried, but that's what solidagos do. I'm told that the European species is kinder on the kidneys than the extremely vigorous 'mercan ones. It was the season for goldenrods, so we picked lots. Which is a lot more than this one basket, in case you're wondering.
Related blogpost: Drying goldenrod
Pic: Willowherb leaf in a basket. I use the leaf of
fireweed great willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium) for pretty much any gut upset. Here it's freshly picked, to be dried and used in teas.
Related blogpost: Epilobium
August 17, 2006
Pic: Cornflowers in a basket. Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) flowers are just pretty - as far as I know they're not medicinal. They taste just bland, where other Centaurea flowers are very bitter. Still, they look nice in herbal tea blends, so we picked them, too.
Related blogpost: Centaurea flowers
Pic: Black currant leaf in a basket. Real black currant leaf (Ribes nigrum) is extremely tasty. We picked oodles. They're of course best early in the season, but if you have a couple dozen bushes, and the berries are all picked off, you can pick healthy green leaf through August, and possibly way into September.
Related blogposts: Great herbal anti-stinker - Black currant leaf drink - Mead
Pic: Burdock seedheads in a basket. Burdock (Arctium tomentosum) seedheads are extremely easy to pick, but cleaning out the seed is tedious. Aargh, the itch! Also, nevermind what various herb books say, any burdock will do. I use the tomentosum as that's what grows here, with wild abandon.
Related blogpost: Burdock seed
Related entries: Field week: picking things