Monday, June 17, 2013

Dead Heads and Oil!

For most of the spring I have been working on the vege gardens- planting, weeding, watering etc. but it is evident that my attention (now that everything is in the ground) needs to turn to our flower beds.  They are overrun with "wild flowers/herbs" that aren't supposed to be or weren't planted there. They looked good for a time but now I must do a massive weeding.

I started to today with dead heading my roses.  Most of the trimmings went into the compost pile but there is one particular rose that smells soooooo...... delicious that I take the old petals that I've dead headed and pull them apart to put in a vase.  They smell amazing even after they have dried and turned a bit brown.  I like to think of it as free, natural room fragrance and also "repurposing/reusing because that is, you know, trendy and all that!

I also made time to start my plantain oil.  Plantain is a common herb.  Most men with lawns would call it a weed. How ever is a great external skin soother.  It can also be used internally and eaten but I'm focusing on external right now.  I harvested it very carefully- NOT.  I just ripped the leaves off some of my many plants, took them inside to rinse them, pat them dry and then I let them sit overnight.  (Okay mine sat for a few overnights until I could get to them.) It is important to let them air dry for at least 12 hours to let some of the natural moisture leave them so mold or fungus doesn't grow while steeping. 

Next chop up the herb leaves.  I do not have "mad" knife skills so I just tore mine up.  I put them in a mason jar, poured olive oil over them until they were covered and poured a bit of vodka on top to keep airborne mold at bay.  I covered the jar and shook it and then removed the cover and rubberbanded cheese cloth on the top of it.  Now it will sit on my nice sunny warm kitchen shelf for two weeks to steep.

After it has finished steeping I will strain the herb out (the alcohol will have evaporated out by then) and I will have plantain oil to use for 1st aid and for salves.  Yeah!

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