Sunday, July 14, 2013

garden journal: Medicine Plants

 This week I am on round three of harvesting chamomile.  This is the german chamomile I planted here and there in my raised beds.  
 This is the wild chamomile that grows pretty much everywhere else in the yard.  Is it funny to cultivate something that grows wild all over your property?  Yes and no.  The funny thing about wild chamomile is that it loves to grow in all places where heavy foot traffic beats it down.  For us, that means that there are probably also four-legged furry friends that pee on it... and possibly, on occasion, a toddler or two.  So I'm harvesting this tall chamomile that is growing in my raised beds because the flowers are way above pee level.  You can laugh at me all you want. 

 This is another funny instance of growing something from seed that grows wild.  We call this part of our salad rainbow "fairy lettuce"  it is very delicious, and when I was describing it to my mom to try to figure out what it is (still need to go sift through my European Salad Green sampler to find out what they called it) she suggested chickweed.  I didn't think so at first, because it is much bigger than chickweed, but after looking at the patch of chickweed growing under the hose spigot....
yep, pretty sure this fancy-schmancy fairy lettuce is indeed a variety of chickweed---chickweed on steroids.  Still, it's beautiful, delicious, organic, and unpeed on by dogs, so it can have some space in my garden too.
Up next on the harvesting list is Calendula.  This is one of my all-time favorite flowers and I planted it all over this year.  It makes for wonderful balms and salves.  It is my go-to remedy for all skin irritations.  I use it so much on the kids that Sadie even recognized what it was when she smelled the flower.  Smart cookie that one. 
And if anyone wants to stop by and fill up a bag with salad... please do.  We have a plethora of greens, and while none of them are medicinal plants per se, they do say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  So eat your greens; we certainly are!

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