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What’s your favorite activity during a snow storm? Mine is to read while sipping a cup of herbal tea. Winter is also a time to dream, to burrow in our “caves” and imagine the promise of gardens and meadows that will spring to life in a few short months.

Remember last year’s harvest and gathering time? Did you gather any rose petals when in bloom? I had wild roses in my backyard. Wild roses have a short spring bloom time here but making the time to gather the soft scented blossoms and dry them is worth it. You can also dry and use cultivated rose petals in tea blends provided no chemicals have been used on them and they are maintained in as organic way as possible. Store bought roses should never be used as they are very chemically treated.  Cup and teapot of herbal tea with hip rose flowers, isolated on Closeup of rose hips on a bush

Fall comes in and while the flowers are gone, a hip forms. When light ebbs and a chill or frost comes in, the hips turn bright red. They become a favorite of birds and can be harvested for later use. I cut the hip in half, place on a cookie sheet. These are placed on top of my refrigerator to dry. After a few days they shrivel a bit and can be stored in a glass jar. I add them to a blend as they are quite bitter. However because of their vitamin C content I feel they are a worthy contributor.

To offset the bitterness I add spearmint leaves, orange peel. Some blends for winter use have marshmallow root, a very soothing herb for digestion. One of my favorite local mail order herb companies is Useful Weeds. I often purchase their tea blends for my classes. Fresh, vibrant flowers among the various greens of other edible plants are not only tasty but make a beautiful presentation.

For more information on edible plants check out my book: At the Garden’s Gate: details listed below.

Enjoy. Judith

Judith Dreyer, MS, BSN, Writer, Speaker, Holistic Health Consultant and Workshop Presenter, Master Gardener. 


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