Making : keeping our calendula

I’ve mentioned before that as we are cleaning up our garden, we are using and trying to save all the calendula flowers we can.  We don’t want to pull them all, and I don’t think we can.  The seeds spread so easily, that there’s more coming up all the time.   And we transplanted some to the front yard, hoping they can spread all they want there, and we can have more calendula all the time.

Right now the vegetable garden seems much smaller than before, and we need the space.  So we are pulling the plants we need the space from, but those that we can leave, we are picking the blooms and enjoying them.  I love that deep orange color.

We’ve made a calendula salve from this book already. This one is made with fresh flowers, and we are really enjoying the salve, and have shared it with friends.  Now,  we’d  like to try different recipes and other ways to preserve the flowers.

So we are drying the whole flowers.  We cut through the first set of leaves with scissors or clippers, and then we trim them to just leave the top.  We set them on screen windows to dry.  With our cooler days here in Portland it seems that they’ve been taking a long time.  But we’ve let them dry for few days like this, laying flat.  Then we put them in paper bags, shaking them every day to make sure they are drying.

Others, we are pulling the stems.

We are left with these beautiful tiny bouquet.

And a bag of petals, ready to be dried.

Once the petals have been dried, we put them in jars. About 3/4 full, and then cover them with olive oil, with a little over an inch of oil on top of the petals to preserve them better, they say.

The petals float and have this beautiful color against the sunset…

They look so pretty…. I think.  Now, they are sitting on our kitchen windowsill. Catching the sunlight when we have it, keeping a little warmer, when they can. We shake them, give them a twirl every day, and we’ll see what they make in a couple more weeks.

For now, we are waiting and thinking what we’ll make next with them.


2 thoughts on “Making : keeping our calendula

  1. Steph W June 1, 2012 / 8:16 am

    I think I’m going to try some of that salve! Thanks for the tip. (BTW, I just posted about Pittock Mansion. I think we might have been there near the same time.)

    • naturallyfundays : marcela June 1, 2012 / 7:52 pm

      Hello Steph. We like the salve and take it everywhere for everything. It’s great, and really fun to make.

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