Wednesday, 13 July 2011

~ This Month ~

Raspberry jam. Basil in the background

I tried my hand at jam making for the first time.
We had plenty of raspberries....still do :~)
It's similar to jelly making, which I tried in the autumn. 
The set point was just right thankfully, as I used the 'wrinkle skin' method,
which can be hit-or-miss to someone who is inexperienced.

Cardigan Wildlife Park Visitor's Centre

I wanted to make my own Virbascum thapsus (Greater Mullein) tincture this year, as this horrible new law that has passed in Europe about herbs is restricting our buying of certain herbs. Verbascum, is not all that common here, but my good friend who Tilly and I go walking with, told me of a patch of them growing at this place. We were in Cardigan visiting the dentist, so we made a short detour on the way home for me to go and harvest some leaves. I had phoned to ask permission first, and was so grateful that they were quite happy for me to do so. Thank you Nathan.

Verbascum thapsus, Greater Mullein, Aaron's Rod

The Mullein Moth Caterpillar
As I wanted to use them as fresh as possible, I had the equipment in the car ready for immediate tincture~making. 

I didn't notice My Man taking these photos.

When I planted the courgettes in the deep bed....

I had left the Plantago lanceolata (Ribwort Plantain) surrounding them....
they had grown rather profusely....
so I harvested them.... 

and made another tincture....

as the liquid in the fresh leaves escape into the vodka solution, the bulk reduces considerably.
The Plantago is freshly made here and the Verbascum has been shaken and mashed down for four days.

It is what I have needed to do to stay centred.

The Verbascum will help heal any coughs we may have this winter, and the Plantago will provide a welcome blood tonic, and rich supply of the minerals potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, as well as helping to heal those coughs along with the Verbascum.


  1. Wonderful. I love Mullein. On my way to work I pass, along the roadside, the most beautiful drift of Mullien. They are so beautiful I want to stop and photograph them, but it is too dangerous.
    Gosh, yes , we have so many restrictions on us now don't we. Even receiving goods in the post from outside EU is difficult. The parcel goes to customs first and then we have to pay to get it back!!!
    Anyway. I bet your jam is

  2. Hello Helen :) Thanks for stopping by on my blog and leaving me a comment.Nice to meet you. And very flattered that you said my work reminded you of Jackie Morris's as her work is stunning!
    I follow Jackie on facebook, that's how she introduced me to Emily Portmans music. :)
    The herbal tinctures look wonderful.

    Karen x

  3. Such pretty jars of jam. And Mullein, we love it too. I have some growing in the garden - volunteers from the fields. I think they're in the rosette stage.

    I love those photos of you promptly going to work. And that your love captured how absorbed you were. Wonderful.

  4. Great to see your green medicine-making. For the first time ever, I have a large Mullein in my moss garden. Its not the likeliest of places as its not full, but the mullein came on its own and is doing quite well. I've seen a few other seedlings that will be big next year. How interesting. I think the faeries must have helped out with this, I've always wanted to grow mullein, but assumed there wasn't enough sunlight!

    Love the traveling alchemist kit...

  5. Helen, a wonderful post! Such useful plants, both mullein and plantain. It's interesting to see how beautiful the mullein can be where it gets moisture. I used to make mullein flower oil for my kids' earaches and still make plantain oil for salves. Haven't tinctured either of these and I wonder why we don't do that much here in the US. But I think I will this year now that you've planted this seed! Thanks. I love coming here!

  6. whaa
    again...lost comment of last night

    GREAT photographs..beautiful building!!!!
    and i was not at all surprised to see your
    mobile essence unit....
    really really enjoy watching all this....

  7. Lovely post. Raspberry jam is the best, I think, and plantain is just such a useful herb. xx

  8. ~ Hi Trish ~ what a shame you don't get a chance to photograph them. I'm finding these restrictions terribly frustrating...and they don't make any SENSE! The jam is a hit in this house I'm glad to say :~)Thank you xxx

    ~ Hi Karen....yes, Jackie's work is stunning...and so is yours...I love it. Thank you for calling in :~)x x x

    ~ Hi W.S. ~ oh you are so lucky to have them gifting themselves to you ~ that's the best way. I would love to have them do that here too. Thank you for your lovely words :~) x x x

    ~ Ah Valerianna ~ of course, the faeries...maybe one day 'ours' will help out with this one too...they are very busy with other gifts, so I cannot be greedy. I love 'travelling alchemist kit' ...thank you :~))) x x x

    ~ Hi Grace ~ oh yes whaa to lost comments...I hate that....I can never quite get the same words to come to me again :~( Thank you for persevering and for your lovely words. x x x

    ~ Hi Jacqui ~ yes, I agree...raspberry jam is great...and very kind to a complete novice. I will be bottling the plantain on Saturday....the Mullein was bottled on Tuesday....just in time, for Our Boy had a cold that night! x x x

  9. so lovely... i found one of those books you recommended (ody) at a great price used... i'm excited to get started. you look beautiful btw, your hair!! xo

  10. Hey hey Drucilla :~) Oh thank you for letting me know...I've been referring to that one like mad this week. Do you have it already or do you have to wait for it? What are you going to make first? Thank you for the lovely comment about my totally made my day :~))) x x x

  11. how inspiring you and all your tinctures!! I must get soaking things.