Herbal Gardening

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Drying Shed

On a recent trip to Colorado I had the opportunity to work with my son David at Earthstar Farm (in the mountains outside of Boulder). As a recent college grad this is one of his jobs to make ends meet. Our day began with weeding out the strawberry patch and harvesting the Calendula flowers (Marigold). The harvested flowers went into the drying shed which consists of screened shelves to allow the air to flow freely around the flowers and facilitate the drying process. Next, we bagged up the dried Yarrow (Achillea)and Mondara flowers (Wild Bergamot) from last week’s harvest and took the bags to the freezer. This step is important before delivering the flowers to the apothecaries in Boulder. We headed to the greenhouse on the other side of the farm which housed the Passion flowers. Passion flowers are not native to Boulder but this greenhouse permitted a good growing environment and harvest. We harvested about 60 flower heads making sure not to upset the many bees busy pollinating all of the flowers. After that David was busy taking loads of weeds down to the composting area while I watered flower beds and admired the beds of chickweeds, nettles and various others flowers and vegetable plants and picked some zucchini for dinner. Later in the day we drove down into Boulder and admired David’s handmade smudge sticks through one of the apothecary windows.

As a gardener back in New York I enjoyed my day at Earthstar farm. I learned alot about the flowers and their medicinal and culinary purposes.

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