May 29, 2013

Out With the Old

I started blogging about 5 or 6 years ago and just found out that all the old photos and posts are gone as the company reformatted.  I got the email and was in a post baby funk so I didn't bother to copy it over.  I don't know that I even have the passwords anymore.
What irritates me the most is that the main reason I have for blogging is because I can post a recipe or remedy and never have to worry about finding it later.  I can use google or the search in the side bar to find things.

But maybe it was time to get rid of the past and look to the new?

So I was thinking about all the things I learned and posted and realize that I need to keep learning and posting new things.
We moved to NW Ga just over 8 years ago, and I worked at establishing my herbs and various plants over this time.  I often tend to plant things because they speak to me on some level, not because I'm looking for a harvest.
Elder flowers
Elder plants grow all up and down the Etowah River that I live near.  I planted one in my yard and the last 2 years it has been spectacular.  This year it is covered with blossoms that I can use for my Children's Composition formula.
I went to my old standby, Practical Herbalism by Phil Fritchey.  It's a great book that focuses on 46 herbs, their uses, folklore and cultivation.
This year, my plants flowered profusely and since I was out of my elder flower stash, I thought it  would be good to dry some flowers.
Practical Herbalism has detailed steps as to how to do this, but I tend to have issues with following directions?
The flowers are tiny and with the current weather there was no reason to use the dehydrator.
I picked the entire cluster and allowed them to dry initially in the direct sun outside for a couple hours.  I then moved them to a warm, dry area to complete drying. This took several hours. I then gently removed the flowers and stored them.
Elder flowers, dried
Make sure you label and date anything you harvest as well as be 100% on your identification.  I you don't have access to a plant, or doubt your skills at identification, then I encourage you to check out Mountain Rose Herbs.  They are one of the few places that I will order from at this point as they seem to take the same care that I would.


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