Sunday, October 20, 2013

How to harvest Echinacea and make an Echinacea Tincture

With Fall upon us it becomes that time to harvest.

I just love the harvest season.

I plant and cultivate all summer long, wait patiently for the plants to come forth with their blooms and and strong root system.

One of my favorite herbs is Echinacea.

Echinacea has been a staple in our home for over 26 years. We use it for colds and flu every year.

We have always bought our herb from a reputable online company and we make our own capsules.

But, 5 years ago I decided to plant Echinacea with the goal of someday harvesting it.

Well, as you know years go by and it doesn't get done.

Until this year. I MADE myself go out to the garden and dig up about 30 stalks. I have over 300.

I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out or how many stalks I would need to make a quart of tincture.

After wrestling with the roots and my shovel (about 30 minutes) I decided that would be plenty and I would get more if I needed.

Working with my daughter, I rinsed the roots with the hose sprayer. I passed them to her and she clipped the leaves and roots off and put them in our basket.

When everything was washed we brought them in the house.

We managed to LOSE all the pictures of this part of the process......ugghhhh!

But we do have them from the chopping stage.

Here goes:

This has been chopped off the stalk. This is VERY dirty. Do the washing outside, but when you have a big clump like will cut in half and realize there are rocks and more mud inside that you didn't even touch with the hose. So...please wash don't want dirt in your tincture. 

 Wash all the leaves...they should be green, not yellow. Then chop and set aside. 

Add to jar with chopped roots and layer. Compact down as much as you can. 

Add 95% proof Vodka all the way to top and seal. Put in a dark place and shake once a day. This will be ready for straining in about 8 weeks. The longer it sits the stronger it will be. 

When our 8 week time is up I will post the finished product! 

Share you favorite tincture recipe. We'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkin Bread and Wild Berry Vanilla Tea

The coop is in full FALL swing.

The chicks are pulling out their wooly socks and tall boots.

This chick is loving all things FALL.

The air is crisp.

The leaves are turning their hues.

The days are getting shorter.

The harvest is coming in.

And we are cuddling up with a blanket, some home-made pumpkin bread and a hot cup of tea .

Now on to make soap! Gotta keep those pin feathers clean!

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