Chive blossoms

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Chive blossoms make a lovely lavender-colored infused oil that can be used in cooking. They can also be added fresh to salads for a decorative touch. The leaves are best preserved by freezing them.

Chives have Vitamin C, which helps prevent colds, sulfurous compounds that are expectorants, potassium that is heart-friendly, calcium to build bones and iron that is good for blood. They are also high in folic acid and Vitamin A. They aid digestion and research is being done on their ability to lower cholesterol. Like many common culinary herbs, Chives are medicinally amazing.Chive Blossom

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Chamomile is for people and plants

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Chamomile is blooming and ready for the first harvest. These dainty flowers are packed full of healing power. They’re considered a “cradle to grave” herb and can be use for everything from cosmetics to calming a baby to congestion relief. They are also considered a “plant physician” and help the health of plants growing near them.
Chamomile

Horseradish Blossoms

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Horseradish is blooming. Despite the pungent odor of the roots, the flowers are sweetly scented, though they have a hint of the spiciness that is in the roots. There’s a saying about Horseradish that recommends harvesting the root only in a month that has an “R” in it. While that’s true if you want the most potent root, you can use a bit of them any time of year to clear up sinus congestion. The famous herbalist and author, Dr. Christopher, recommends chewing a piece of the root until the flavor is gone to drain sinus cavities. Horseradish root is also a digestive aid, hence the culinary use of it with fatty meats.
Horseradish Blossoms

Edible Evergreens

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New growth from Spruce, Pine and Fir trees are popping out in glowing green. These soft tips are edible and medicinal. Having learned about them within the last few years and since they’re only available for a short time in the spring, I’m curious (one might call it obsessed) to learn more. We’ve been trying new recipes and making new medicines with them and plan to freeze a ¬†few for extended use. We have an Spruce Tip Oil infusing and a Spruce Tip Vinegar to use for salads and cooking.

Spruce Tips - spring 2014

Brilliant green new growth on Spruce trees in the spring.

One of the recipes we like is Spruce Tip Mayonnaise. It can be used as a spread on BLTs or a dip for fresh vegetables or a glaze for grilled vegetables.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh tips
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Chop tips finely or put in a food processor to mince. Add to mayonnaise, along with lemon juice, and stir. Let mixture sit for a couple hours to blend the flavors. Makes a great BLT spread or flavorful addition to potato salad. They have a mild flavor of spruce; a little sweetness and nuttiness too.

Harvested Spruce tips

Harvested Spruce tips

 

Medicinally Spruce can be used externally to soothe sore muscles. Internally, Spruce has antiseptic properties that treat respiratory infections and mucus. It is also used to treat bronchitis, coughs and asthma. A simple syrup is made by boiling the tips in water and adding honey.