500 Year Vision

Take pleasure from walking lightly on this Earth

Chamomile Tea

February9

Home grown Chamomile tea with local honey… what a lovely reminder of the summer during the long, dark months. I’m enjoying the cold, sharp days… the snow is beautiful and the ice & snow great fun for skating and sliding, but Chamomile tastes of summer.

Chamomile grows like a weed in the fields and on the roadsides during the summer. The flowers are like large daises but with feathery leaves (which look rather like dill). You need to be careful not to pick May Weed by mistake – which has very similar flowers but very different leaves.  The Chamomile flowers are ready to pick when the flowers turn ‘bug-eyed’ – with the petals turned downwards and the yellow centre rounded.

Once gathered it needs to go somewhere in the sun – for example sprinkled on paper and covered with muslin. When it’s completely dried out it will be crumbly and can be kept in an airtight jar.

Chamomile flowers at the same time as the cornflowers and poppies. This year I will also gather poppy seeds so that we can have wild poppies on the roadside by the house.  I didn’t gather any seed heads last year because of a reluctance to pick from the wild… however the roadside mowers taught me that it’s fair to take seeds from the wild a metre from the road. I guess it’s more important to have safe roads than beautiful verges…

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