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01 May 2011

Spring Treasures!

Time for Herbal Vinegars! Some of my favorites below:

Violet (Viola odorata)

For amazing vinegar -- use the leaves and flowers.

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

The roots are what you're seeking for vinegar.

Dandelion (Taraxcum Officinale)

I like using the flowers for vinegar -- you can use the roots, too.

(More)Dandelion (Taraxcum Officinale)

Mugwort/Cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris)

I use the leaves and stems cut up for vinegar.

Some of my keys to using weeds are that they should grow very close to where you live--literally step right outside your door, and the plants you need will be under your feet! All these plants are in my backyard. They just showed up. If you ask them to come or show gratitude to the plants when they do arrive, you will have many more of that plant in the years that follow. I had only a few violet plants in my back yard a few years ago. I started paying attention to them and acknowledging their presence with gratitude and respect, and all of a sudden, I have a whole backyard area full of violet! If you doubt the consciousness of the plants, try this simple exercise, sit with a plant you're fond of and show your appreciation and affection for it--observe closely in the months and years that follow to see how the plant responds! Seem like magic? Maybe it is!

They should grow in abundance and look very healthy. There is no scarcity here. You want to use plants which grow in such abundance that you can never use them up and cutting them back or harvesting them only leads to greater sustainability. You're probably onto something when these plants are called invasive species like Garlic Mustard, or they are the kind of plants home lawn jockeys particularly resent, like dandelions! The idea for me is that if the plant is growing everywhere around you, it is saying, "eat me, friend, I'm here to help you, and you probably really need me!"

The remedies should be very simple and easy and not take very long to make. In this case, herbal vinegars take only a short amount of time to make a good supply. Do this a few times a year and you're all set!

To make vinegar, all you need is apple cider vinegar(pasteurized)and jars, preferably wide mouthed. If you're using metal lids, put some plastic between the lid and and the vinegar. Fill the jar to the very top with the fresh plant material, add vinegar, and cap it. Check every few days at first to see if you've got enough vinegar, and add a little more if needed. Wait six weeks and enjoy! Pretty simple and wonderful stuff.

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