Sunday, October 11, 2009

Harvesting yarrow

I have gotten a run on yarrow cream orders, in part because of a post that Susun Weed did on her Facebook page regarding yarrow cream.  She has a link from her wonderful web page to mine, so a lot of people found me.  If you Google yarrow cream, there are 1,900,000 sites that get listed.  An entry's placement in the list depends on how many hits it gets - the more people choose a particular site, the farther up the list it goes.  Well, thanks to Susun Weed, my site got so many hits that it has moved to the number one spot!  There was an article in a health magazine about yarrow cream, and a health food store that carried the magazine got a lot of calls for it.  So the owner Googled yarrow cream and voila! there was my company's name, at the head of the list.  So this has all snowballed into a much higher than usual demand for yarrow cream.  I'm not sure how long this will last.  One jar of cream goes a long way.  However, yarrow is seasonal, and I don't make the base for the cream and the yarrow sticks too far in advance since I don't use chemical preservatives. But if demand keeps up at even half this level, there is not enough yarrow base in the workroom fridge to carry me through until next April.

Yarrow blooms heavily in the spring.  There is another pretty good bloom in the fall - usually!  We have had crummy weather this fall - very cool and a lot of cloud cover.  Yarrow likes bright sunshine in order to send up its lovely flowers.  While the leaves are effective, I definitely want to include the flowers when I make my yarrow base.  So today, I headed out with my special yarrow pan to harvest what I could.

In the spring, I go to Paddock #7 and walk in about a 10' circle for all of the yarrow I need to make several sixteen-pound batches of yarrow base.  Today I walked five paddocks and had to work hard to get enough for one.  I'm hoping the sun continues this week so that I can make another batch next weekend.  But for today, I'm glad I found enough for one, and I'm glad I had to work so hard at it!  Why is that, you might ask?  Since I had to widen the area I was walking, I got to experience a lovely day outdoors, full sun, crisp breeze.  I lit the wood stove this morning to take the chill off the house and the breeze was carrying the smoke from the chimney across the paddocks where I was walking. That is such a lovely scent!

One of the paddocks is down by Crone Creek, which is running hard.  We put in a creek crossing so that the lumber trucks could get into the woods to take out a few large trees that were interfering with proper growth.  The crossing creates a small water fall, and I love the sound of it.  I got a couple of proper rains last week, so it is quite lively right now.  I stopped by the crossing just to enjoy the sound and the sight of it.  Yarrow could wait.

I found two different spots with small firm puffball mushrooms, which I gathered to add to some soup I had simmering on the stove. Puffballs are one of two mushrooms I'll pick, because they don't have any nasty look-a-like cousins. A puffball is a puffball is a puffball.  The first year I lived here, I found one while mowing lawn and was sure that there had been some kids down here with a soccer ball without my permission. When I went to move it, I discovered it was a mushroom. That was my first experience with them. I found out that they are pretty tasteless, but if you slather them with butter, add a healthy sprinkle of garlic salt and grill them in a heavy skillet, they are pretty good.  But then, wouldn't just about anything taste good with butter and garlic? Here is a picture of that first one.  Pretty impressive, isn't it?

It is always a good thing to walk the pastures.  This is what the cows eat, this is what is making milk.  So it was interesting to see which of the paddocks I walked are holding their own, and which could use some help - top seeding, lime application, more mowing next spring.

The yarrow base is bubbling on the stove.  The soup was sipped as I wrote this.  The pumpkin pie is just about to come out of the oven.  I think I will make a pint of vanilla ice cream to top it.  I am not superwoman with all of this cooking - I just like kitchen machinery and do not hesitate to put it to work.  Gotta love that Cuisinart ice cream maker.  Well, the timer is calling me to get that pie out of the oven.  Gotta run.

All in all, it was, and remains, a lovely day.

No comments:

Post a Comment