Friday, July 22, 2011

Saving Seeds...


Today, I spent most of my morning time working in my makeshift "Harvest Room," as well as in the Herb Garden. (Note: the "Harvest Room" is actually an enclosed porch on the front side of the house, and is only temporary until my husband builds my permanent harvest room on another section of the property.) I worked a bit on Chives, Parsnips, and Yellow Dock, but mainly I focused on the dry Costmary flower heads. Certain types of herbs fascinate me as far as the way that they go to seed: Costmary, Calendula, and Chamomile are some of them.

The Costmary flower heads are tiny, as you can see.

I work with a seed screen, and, using my fingernail, gently work the seeds free from the flower head.

I let them fall onto the screen, and then gently tap/shake the screen over a plastic plate.

The seeds fall through, leaving the flower petals remaining on the screen.

This is what the "empty" flower heads look like...

Costmary is a wonderful herb if you are into experimental homebrews. It was used to add a spicy flavoring to beers, thus its other name "Alecost." Costmary has a wonderful scent that it retains after drying, and so was also used in strewing and in sachets. The leaves were sometimes eaten in salads, or used as a spice. Medicinally, the plant is considered useful in treating complaints of the stomach.

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