Several flowering herbs located in the teaching bed, such as calendula, lavender, anise hyssop and Tulsi/ Holy Basil, should be harvested frequently to promote plant growth. Students can pick these flowers and use them to make tea in a couple of hours, potpourri or a scented sachel. See recipes below.
There are a few different methods you can follow to make calendula tea.
- Simmering water + dried flowers
Place around 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried calendula flowers in a heat proof mug and pour around 1 cup (8 oz/240 ml) simmering hot water over them.Cover with a saucer and let steep for around 15 to 20 minutes.
- Simmering water + fresh flowers
Fill a heat-proof jar with fresh flowers and pour simmering hot water over them.
Cover and let infuse until the tea is cool enough to drink.
- Sun tea method
Fill a jar with fresh flowers (or 1/4 full with dried flowers) and cover with cold water.
Cap and place in a bright sunny spot (like a windowsill or outside porch rail) for at least 5 or 6 hours.
- fresh holy basil leaves, about ¼ cup
- hot water
- a cup, a spoon, some ice, and a saucer
- honey or other sweetener
- Wash the holy basil leaves well and then place in the cup. With the back of a spoon, press the leaves against the side of the cup. This bruises them and allows the essential oils to escape.
- Pour hot (not boiling) water over the leaves and stir. Place the saucer on top of the cup, right side up. This will trap the essential oils and prevent them from escaping.
- Place a few ice cubes on the saucer. This will, in effect, make rain. Condensed steam will fall back into the cup and take the essential oils collected on the bottom of the saucer with it.
- Wait about 5 minutes. Remove the saucer, strain the leaves, and sweeten the tea as you like it.
- Drink warm. This tea can also be iced.
http://www.mofga.org/Publications/MaineOrganicFarmerGardener/Fall2004/SacredBasil/tabid/1303/Default.aspx Sacred basil makes one of my favorite summer teas. I keep a few pots on my deck to harvest for early morning tea. The pungent quality of the herb is easily imparted to a sun tea or heat infused tea. Place several flowering tops in a clear glass, quart jar and cover them with cool water. Sip the sun tea throughout the day. For a warm tea, place the fresh herb into a glass or enamel pot, cover it with water, and slowly heat the water until it’s close to simmering. Remove the pot from the heat and infuse the tea, covered, for 10 to 30 minutes.
- Find more info about flower infusions (teas, tisanes) here
- Lavender (lavandula angustifolia, lavendula officinalis )
- Uses for lavender flowers
Good News For Summer School Gardeners (books, shade)