Almost every garden is given short shift when it comes to harvesting. Even solely flower gardens offer riches in terms of edibles or raw material for teas & medicinals. (Of course, flower gardens also have some very poisonous plants as well, so knowledge is necessary before using anything.) In September I was looking around my garden and noticed that with the cooler weather and some precipitation, the self-seeding flowers were making up for their absence this summer. Calendula petals in olive oil. In particular the cheery yellow-orange flowers of the calendulas were putting on a nice show. So I filled a jar half full with olive oil and start picking off the petals and putting them in the olive oil. After a few days of harvesting the fresh flowers, i let the jar sit in a sunny spot for a week before straining the petals from the oil. Once done, I had the base for a healing balm or hand cream.

I was also admiring the couple of rouge vif d’estampes pumpkins just cut from the vine and curing in the sun and I wondered if I could use pumpkin in soap making. I know soapers use avocados, so why not pumpkin. I jumped on-line and sure enough, it’s not a new idea. So, with cooked, mashed pumpkin in hand, I made a batch of Pumpkin Pie soap. It looks and smells great! Pumkin Pie soap & Rouge Vif d'estampes pumpkin.

A couple of weeks later my daughter was over and feeling a little under the weather, so we brewed her Peppermint & Pine handmade soapsome tea from peppermint that was harvested and dried earlier in the summer. Later, she & I were making one of her favourite soaps-Peppermint & Pine- and we crumbled up a small handful of dried peppermint to add to the soap. It doesn’t do anything for scent of course, but it’s nice visual touch.

These are just a few of the many ways we can make the most of what we grow. So go into your garden, even if it’s October. If you live on the west coast, there’s probably something still growing that’s good to harvest.

Leave a Reply