Friday, May 18, 2012

Crimson and Clover

Time to harvest the flowers!  Usually it happens in June, but this year the weather has caused everything to bloom early.

What am I talking about?  Every year around the beginning of summer, I gather my rosebuds -- er, petals -- while I may, as well as roll in the clover, all for the sake of my herbal tea collection. 

My best barter buddy, the Delighted Gardener, let me know this week that the red clover on her farm was coming into bloom, so I headed out to her homestead after lunch to pick to my heart's content.

It didn't seem like much at the time, but once I spread out all the blossoms, I thought I might just have enough for this year's tea-making.  (I use clover in a couple of the tea blends I sell at the market.)

While at the farm, we wandered around to inspect other crops, and she introduced me to her heavenly-scented "Lillian" roses (named for the woman who originally had the bushes in her garden).  My friend asked if I used rose petals in my tea blends, and since I do (quite a lot!), she offered as many petals as I liked.  We proceeded to clean out many of the roses that were at their peak -- and filled a gallon bag with the perfumed scraps.

When I arrived home, I spread out the petals on two large baking sheets and inhaled the heady fragrance.  What delights!

Now to dry these treasures -- and to enjoy them this winter...

(Over... and over...)

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