Maggie Pope
is a Medical Herbalist

Practising in
Bridgwater, Somerset

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September, 2012

More June Activity – Life at the Allotment

At Growing Medicine’s allotment June was a very busy time. We had brought seeds on under cover and had planted them out, plus the potatoes and onions were doing very well.

Eating good food is important for your health, as Hippocrates said; “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

So with that in mind we are growing some veggies as well as medicinal herbs.

The greenhouse is still waiting for it’s glass, it’s all stacked up there ready to go in. By the side of the greenhouse there are some frames waiting to be made into seed beds ready for next spring. All the black plastic you can see there was left dumped by the previous holders of the allotment, we just keep shifting it about.

After the pics of the veggies, I have put up some photos of my first attempt at medicinal herb growing.  Calendula.

Potatoes coming on nicely

Potatoes getting bigger, and joined by a marrow…

Three rows of onions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The future seed beds in front of the naked greenhouse…

 

My first crop of Calendula

 

 

 

June Activity

So, I added pics of making tincture with Dandelion leaves in May.

Cleavers [Galium aperine]

I have also been busy making Cleavers, Elderflower and Lemon Balm tincture.

 

The first photo is of the freshly picked cleavers twisted round in a bowl. Cleavers  are long and sticky, and it’s sometimes hard to just break off the top half of the shoots and leave the yellow bottom leaves and roots in the ground. I usually take a pair of heavy-duty kitchen scissors with me and just cut off at a certain place down the stem.

 

You don’t try and remove the twirls of leaves, you chop it all up stems and all.

 

After you have chopped it up roughly then you need to blend it so it cuts down

Chopped Cleavers

finer, or you will not be able to get enough menstruum around it.

The herb doesn’t need to go too long in the blender, and don’t put in too much at once.

When you have comminuted the herb then press into jar and fill with vodka. Though I use a 96% ethanol mixed with water to make a 25-30% strength menstruum.

Always label the jar with the herb type, date and strength of alcohol, together with ratio of herb to menstruum and ideally place gathered and state [fresh or dried].

Cleavers herb in jar and labelled

The messy aftermath…

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