Calendula -The Pot Marigold

Calendula -The Pot Marigold
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Calendula - The Pot MarigoldCalendula is a wonderful and easy herb to grow. It's also known as pot marigold, but don't confuse it with the regular marigold. The strange looking seeds can be planted in April, even before the final frost, in light, fairly good soil that is in full sun. I always plant more seeds than I need in case some don't germinate.

Cover lightly with soil, then after the seedlings appear, space them about 12 inches apart. In window boxes and pots they can be spaced much closer. Calendulas bloom throughout the summer if you keep most the flowers harvested or deadheaded. Gather the seeds after they have turned brown and store in a dry cool place until the next year.

To dry the calendula petals for adding to bath teas or other cosmetic recipes pick them after they fully open and dry on a screen or paper lined baking sheet in a cool, dry location. They will take a few days to a week to dry, depending on the humidity. Dry out of the sun. After they have dried, gently pull off the petals and store in a covered container away from the sun and heat.

Calendula petals can be added to soups, stews and salads. They will give color to puddings, rice dishes, and fish recipes. The young leaves can be used in salads and recipes as well. One of my favorite ideas for Calendula blooms is to frost a two layer cake with buttercream or cream cheese frosting and decorate with the individual blooms along the base of the cake and on top. This is especially nice with carrot or spice cake. Of course, be sure the Calendula plants have not been exposed to any chemicals. The same thing can be done with individual cupcakes for a festive and pretty luncheon treat.

Delightful Herb Tea Blend

Ingredients: 1/4 cup dried orange, pineapple or apple mint

2 tablespoons dried rosemary

1 tablespoon dried sage

2 tablespoons lemon thyme or lemon balm, dried

1 tablespoon dried, calendula petals

3 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers

Combine the dried herbs together and store in an airtight container. Use 1 tsp. for a cup of tea.

Calendula and Rice Soup

Ingredients:

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked

2 medium sweet onions, chopped

2 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and chopped

2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. celery seed

2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

2 cups calendula flowers (the petals)

1 cup young calendula leaves

2 tablespoon chopped chives

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a small amount of oil, lightly brown onions in a large pan. Add stock, potatoes, rice, celery seed and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Add spinach, chives, parsley, calendula flowers and leaves. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve at once with a Calendula bloom in each bowl. Serves 10-12.

Calendula Facial Cleanser

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons almond oil

2 tablespoons dried Calendula flowers

a few drops of rose water (optional)

Warm the oil in a bowl placed over a pan of hot water. Stir in the dried flowers and heat gently for about 30 minutes (over the pan). Remove the bowl and allow the oil to cool. Stir in the flower water at this point. Use as a cleanser on your face and neck.

Skin Soothing Bath Tea

You will need:

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried calendula blossoms

2 tablespoon dried chamomile blooms

1 quart boiling water

Add the herbs to the boiling water and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the infusion and add to your bathwater. NOTES: You can use just chamomile and double the amount.

Image: Wikimedia.org

 

About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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