Comfrey & Plantain Oils

Today I pruned back the comfrey and, well, I just couldn't let all that awesome healing power go to waste, so I made up some comfrey oil.  I've read that comfrey harvested in the fall makes a stronger brew, so this will be a test.  I still have plenty of the comfrey salve I made up in February from dried leaves I'd harvested in the previous summer, and that works just fine– but I'm curious.  I've already had two requests for some of my salve from friends, so as soon as I  harvest the honey (in the next few weeks, hopefully) and have beeswax, I'll get the salves made up.  The oil has to set for about 4 weeks anyway, so the timing should work out just right.

I learned an interesting thing about using comfrey though– I didn't realize the part that contains the most allantoin is the stalk!  Here I've been harvesting just the leaves…  D'oh!  I have to say though, as I said above, the salve I've been making with just the leaves works great,  but that's from the dried leaves which tend to be more potent to begin with, so maybe that even things out.  **shrug**

I tried my hand at making some plantain oil for the first time this summer, but the color is very light.  It's supposed to be a "rich, dark green"… and that it is not!  If I can harvest a bit more before the weather turns, I plan to give it a second go.

SO, anyway… it's all a learning process and I continue with my experimentation.  But at least I am enjoying the ride. 

Local Harvest

The house is filled with the scent of jasmine incense mingled with the rustic peach tart I made for dessert tonight.  Bliss!  The farmer's market is great this time of year, baskets spilling over with all kind of wonderful local fruit.  All summer I've experimented with trying to buy as much as possible locally… not only fruits and veggies but also cheese, meat, preserves, and raw milk.  Now, I'm hooked.  There's just no comparison in taste and quality.  Of course, it will be more challenging come winter, but I am committed to buying what we can.  There are several winter Farmer's Market's around and though the selection is much more limited, I think we will still be able to do pretty well!

Finished the last of the corn this week… it doesn't last long, but while we have it, it is sooooo good.  The beans are finishing up as well.  Tomatoes and peppers are still producing like mad, and the house is overflowing with zinnias and dahlias.  Oh!  And I found one lone, perfect, ripe strawberry in the strawberry patch yesterday!  Talk about a late bloomer!

Finally, the honey harvest will be happening some time this month.  I can't wait–  I probably have a least a hundred pounds out there!  I've been getting my honey locally from a friend for years, but this will be my first time harvesting from my own hive.  That is about as local as you can get.