Updated: Sep 15
Whew! This summer has simultaneously flown & crawled by. The days are long & the weeks very short as we start winding down summer to transition back into a new school year. I'd planned to do so much on my website over the summer in my "free" time. My lack of posts are testament that I have no free time though, lol! I am tickled to share that the CSA jelly boxes have been going well & getting amazing feedback from the members! I am currently pulling together month 3 of 4 for the season and already monitoring availability for month 4's flavors.
I do a mix of wild & cultivated gardens, so being able to predict what will be available is a bit of a gamble. We had the perfect amount for our July boxes between home gardens & generous friends. There have been some challenges sourcing the wild flavors for August & September, which is helping me keep the creative juices flowing for different potential flavor choices.
July's flavors were mimosa, rose & chamomile mint, most of which was harvested in June. Mimosa is a plant near & dear to my fairy herbalist heart and having nearby friends that have the most amazing grandmother tree is the bees knees!
Just walking under this tree feels like crossing an ethereal portal that instantaneously transforms my mood to one of calm, happiness and just being present. Isn't she a beauty?! Trying to get a picture that captures all of her grandeur is not possible! So here are several from a day of gathering her awesome, magical blooms!
My 9 year old daughter helping gather blooms. While she stood in the pickup bed, my friend & I bent branches down for her to reach better (& us).
Processing in the field is the easiest with mimosa, unless it's windy! These blooms are light as feathers. The day we were gathering there was a nice light breeze that helped keep us cool & also proved slightly tricky at taming the dancing blooms.
To process, we gently hold the delicate blooms in hand & cut off the green brackets. Usually this also includes needing to pull out loads of inchworms. Mimosa is one of their primary sources for food.
I mean, doesn't that look just like a fairy skirt? I adore the golden tips. Getting this photo was a challenge in patience between the breeze & phone camera deciding it would focus!
5 quarts of flower fluff (nature's cotton candy) awaiting transformation into sweet treats! We gathered about 15 quarts in field to get the 5 quart yield once the green backs were cut off. Next up, jelly that is reminiscent of cotton candy & we also made jelly drops and infused honey (aka fairy syrup in our house)!