I recently saw a post on the Instagram reel for The Herbal Academy “tell me you’re an herbalist without telling me you’re an herbalist“… and I started thinking about it.
For me, it takes very little time to discover I’m an herbalist… Just walk into my dining room which is also my apothecary. I’m blessed to have plenty of space for a dining room table (which doubles as a work area for herbs), growing plants, and storage. But many people have those things, what might also be a giveaway is the hanging herbs and the line of books on the hutch part of my apothecary – I have many more in e-book form – or I’d never have space for them!
Looking around my space you’ll see my certificates from Cornell University and the Herbal Academy, as well as tools, kettles, percolators, and grinders tucked into a corner. My dining room/apothecary is friendly and inviting for anyone to come and sit at the table with me.
You can also tell in an instant that I love chickens and roosters… Please don’t ask where that came from because I have no idea!
Summer Goodness: Making use of the sun for the best tea!
I’m a huge fan of sun teas, any tea can be sun tea or cold brew. I am particularly fond of Mountain Rose Herb’s Hibiscus High blend, its beautiful, and natural, with ingredients like organic hibiscus, lemongrass, spearmint, orange peel, rose petals, rosehips, and honeybush. It’s sweet but not overly so, and I never add sugar or honey (unless I have a sore throat). I like to pair it with one part of a black tea – almost any black tea will do but I try to be sure it’s also organic.
In a two-quart mason jar, put three parts of Hibiscus High tea with one part of black tea. Put cold water to the rim, put a ring and seal or a plastic screw-on lid, and set in the sun for several hours. I’m a big fan of the plastic mason jar lids which you can find anywhere. I also like Snarky Tea’s cold brew system which is a filter, but there are many others like this one that uses a lid and infuser system.
- For an adult version, I like to pour the finished tea over ice, add your spirit of choice (try pre-made margaritas for a nice limey kick) and finish with tonic.
- Add muddled fresh strawberries or other fruit (like blueberries or cherries) and steep until done.
- If you’re like me, only brew two quarts at a time so none is wasted in the fridge, because while it will keep for several days, it’s at its best when it’s freshest.
- Top your finished drink (either spiked or not) with fresh basil leaves. This adds a beautiful aromatic element to the tea.
Take advantage of the bounty of Summer and enjoy your favorite sun tea!
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It’s been a busy day here in the McCabe household! Harvesting beneficial weeds, washing and hanging to dry, and finally calling it done.
I read somewhere that Chives need to hang in a vented brown paper bag to dry properly so I’m experimenting between the paper bag and a mesh bag, I’ll let you know which turned out better. I was really excited, a few dandelions that I’ve been letting grow gave me some really good roots which I hung to dry and will grind up and start a tincture later. I need to go out into the property (ours) behind the house and see what’s out there, but it’s very overgrown and I’ll need my long pants and long sleeve shirt!
This is all I could get done today before it was time to work on homework. I’m past the halfway mark on my Cornell University Plant Medicine Certificate Course and I’m so glad I decided to take the classes! It also confirms the high-quality education I already obtained at the Herbal Academy’s Intermediate and Advanced courses of study.