Friday, January 23, 2009

Calendula Flowers

People often ask us what the flowers are that we're selling at the Farmer's Market. The answer is CALENDULA.

We use the petals of these wonderful edible flowers as a decoration in our salads. But it turns out that they have many soothing and healthful uses.

Here's a description provided by Beauty Feast at

Calendula belongs to a family of Marigold plant. It is a dark orange flower and can be cultivated in window boxes, pots or in the backyard.

It is very simple to take care of this plant.This plant is mostly found in Egypt. An individual can produce the plants from early summer.

It has been used before the time of Cleopatra because of its healing properties. Healers from the Middle East and Mediterranean use the flower for many medications.

The following are some amazing things about Calendula flower:

For Sunburn skin

Heat the Calendula petals with essential oil at low temperature for 6-8 hours in the large double boiler. After that, filter the petals in cheesecloth and let keep it aside.

Mix the essential oil with equal quantity of Apricot Kernel Oil and Carrot Seed Oil. There are many other essential oils suggested such as grape seed oil, hemp oil, jojoba oil and wheat germ oil.

Relaxing and Soothing Bath

Calendula Flower

Bring the cheese clothes with the petals of Calendula and put them in a bath with lukewarm water. Now, take a bath of using this water, as it will make the skin soft and smooth.

It is particularly efficient for itchy and dry skin. Take some drops of lavender essential oils and perfumed candle for getting relax moment. The Calendula flower will get sunrays from the spirit during the winter dejection.


One can make use of essential oil with the petals of calendula as a moisturizer for getting shiny and soft skin. It can be kept in the fridge or on a cool place.

Other method to make a good moisturizer is to utilize olive oil for the body. Take some calendula petals and add them to olive oil in an airtight container. Keep it for 15 days. Now, it is prepared to apply.

But remember, one should make use of cheesecloth to strain the oil prior to apply it. One can use this procedure with other essential oils such as almond oil, rosehip oil, avocado oil, pumpkin seed oil, coconut oil etc.

Healing injuries

Calendula flower has complex medical properties. The gel of calendula flower is beneficial to treat cold sores, bruises, light cuts and burns.


Take some dry petals of Calendula and put them into the boiling and purified water to prepare an amazing natural tea. This tea is very useful for upsetting stomach and sluggish liver. One can also add some fresh mint leaves or nettle leaves for amazing flavor and it has really healing properties.

Wonderful addition to the diet

Calendula is enriched with Vitamin C. It can be added to pasta, salads and soups. It gives colorful touch to the recipes. The petals are useful to cure the digestive system. When an individual prepares the rice with some calendula petals, they will really change into orange or yellow color.

Calendula tincture

Take a cup of calendula petals and added with distilled water and vodka. Drain the petals and store the tincture in an airtight container. One should use 4-5 drops of this combination with a glass of water for gastro intestinal upsets and digestive conditions.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Growing Garlic

Winter on the farm means it's time to plant garlic (and onions and kale and beets and turnips and get the idea.) One Saturday about two weeks ago we prepared our bed - which in the amidst the red clay soil in our garden means incorporating lots of compost.

The very best way to do these is with a turning fork like the one shown here. Forks like these can be found at specialty gardening stores like Smith & Hawken and can cost a pretty penny, but they are worth it! I've spent my gardening past using a shovel for this type of work and my arms and back are forever grateful for the creation of the turning fork.

The goal is to incorporate the compost uniformly through the soil so that you achieve a rich, dark, nutritious soil for your baby plants. Once we incorporated the compost, we shaped our bed into a raised bed. And then came the fun part - breaking open a head of garlic and planting the individual cloves. We planted the cloves roughly 4 inches apart in rows that are 6 inches apart. Then we watered and waited.

Within a week the garlic had poked it's green shoots through the soil and now they are climbing ever more quickly towards the sun.

As I look about our farm I'm amazed at how much we are able to grow on a relatively small patch of earth. We're leaving no space unturned - from the top of the garden shed to the base of our fruit trees to the tiny corners along our winding path. From this one third acre we are able to provide food for dozens of people who frequent our farmer's market. From this I realize what a modest footprint is needed to provide food for an entire family, and how each of us by implementing what we learn here at our own homes, can help reduce our burden on the planet. Every bit of food that we grow ourselves, is that much less food that is being propagated through the use of harmful chemicals, and generating the need for plastic packaging, and that is being shipped across the country for distribution. Besides, something about eating food you've grown yourself makes it absolutely delicious!

If you're a home gardening who's growing more than you can eat, consider sharing your bounty with the City Heights Farmer's Market Backyard Growers Program. You can learn more about it at