July was a hot blur of summer herb and garden crafts, canning and distillation. Oh, and trying to keep up with crabgrass from outer space. They have to be as they were three feet in diameter!
I know it is autumn at last, because the Elderberries are finally ripe. I’ll make syrup and hard candy lozenges from the berries as they help my family stay healthier.
The distillation above was lemon balm, elder leaf, clary sage, lavender, holy basil and peppermint. It only produced a little bit of essential oil, which I added back in to the hydrosol.
The bug spray seems to work rather well! I added a few drops of Eucalyptus Citridora essential oil to the distillation. Scientific studies recently tested it in comparison to Deet and other leading bug sprays. They found it as effective against mosquitoes as Deet. We don’t normally even have a mosquito problem in our area, but this year they are a frequent annoyance.
I recently planted a flag in one of our spare bedrooms and claimed it for my sewing room. After years of collecting fat quarters or more of yardage I liked, I have a decent fabric stash, so I plan to dive into it to make coasters, sachets, dream pillows, etc., for upcoming holiday gifts. With just my husband and I at home now, I have discovered being an empty nester does have an advantage or two.
Homemade diaper balm is a lovely gift for new babies. If you are familiar with salve making you can easily make it yourself. It is made of gentle herb infused oil of Calendula, Chamomile, Plantain, Lavender and Rosa Rugosa. I don’t add any essential oils of any kind, but the scent is of Rose petals, Chamomile and Lavender and bee’s wax. I will happily share my recipe if anyone wants it!
This is the first soap I ever made that contains all my own distilled essential oil and hydrosol, and Lavender bud I grew myself. It smells incredible. Now, to wait six weeks for it to cure!
I am so thankful for all of our green friends. They are adaptable and helpful, no matter what. (even if you forget to weed around them!) Calendula, Echinacea, Hyssop, Horehound, Sage, Lemon Balm, Peppermint and Catnip seem to be growing to a double beat this year. I just made a second batch of Basil Pesto, and will hang further bundles to dry. Next up, all kinds of peppers and canning. What kind of harvest activities are you doing?