And just like that, July is gone without even a single post here in this space. Let's see, what have we been up to...
We have pulled off more honey and are having fun experimenting with making creamed honey (oh, my.) as well as infused honey by steeping it with a few vanilla beans. The first small test runs of both were quite successful.
The elderberries are coming in now and we are picking and drying (instead of freezing) this year. I need to strain out the elderflower tincture I started earlier in the summer.
We are expanding the veg garden quite a bit and beginning to plan the fall plantings. The herb garden is thriving with all of the regular rain we have had this year and I have been making tinctures, picking and drying for teas and salves and experimenting with infusing herbs in oils for making soap. So far I like the comfrey (in soap) the best, but I am going to try a few different herbs in the next batch. All of my soaps are unscented (I don't tolerate scents - even with essential oils - very well anymore) but I am loving the gentle caramel smell that comes from the honey soap! This is my second try at honey in soap and by far and away, my favorite. Can't wait to test it out in 4 - 6 weeks, even though I know the sweet smell will have faded.
Speaking of the herbs, I just made my annual batch of herbal salt for the kitchen. I just pick a good variety of fresh herbs (a firmly packed cup of just the leaves), add about an ounce (by weight) of peeled garlic and pulse it in the food processor until all is chopped fine. Then add a cup of nice sea salt, pulse a bit more to blend well and spread on dehydrator trays. Dry on low temps (with a bit of occasional hand stirring) until everything is completely dry (I let it go about 24 hours). Easy peasy and so very good.