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With August winding down and cooler nights on the horizon it’s the perfect time to dry your late summer flowers and herbs! Harvest in the morning once dew has disappeared or pick in the evening before dew sets in. A dehydrator is ideal but if you don’t have one simply hang stems upside down in a dry location with good air flow. (Use a fan if you need to.) Once fully dry remove flowers and herbs from stems and store in individual containers or create your own easy DIY herbal blends. Recipe follows.

diy-herbal-teaDIY Herbal Tea Blend Recipe

It’s so ultra-satisfying to sip on a cup of your own home-grown tea throughout the winter. Take it a step further and use your collection to create infused oils, vinegars, salts or sugars. They make welcomed gifts and excellent cooking companions in the kitchen. Here’s an easy recipe to create your own tea blends. The fun part? No two recipes will be the same!

*2-parts flower petals – rose, calendula, sunflower, chamomile (or mix)
* 1-part citrus – lemon balm or lemon verbena (or mix)
* 1-part herbs – mint, rosemary or sage (or mix)

Use some, all, or none of the following additions:
* ½-part rose hips or fennel seeds
* ½-part bay leaf, lemon myrtle, nettle or dandelion leaf
* ½-part spices, cinnamon or ginger pieces
* If using lavender in your recipe: Scant ¼-part lavender buds

*Blend and store in an air tight container in a cool, dry spot.
* Use 1 – 2 heaped teaspoons for every 1 – cup for freshly boiled pure water.
* Steep 5-10 minutes or until desired strength is achieved.
* Enjoy steamy hot or see tips below.

*The longer herbal tea is steeped, the more nutrient dense it will become.
* Chill and serve over ice, garnish with fresh flowers or herb sprig.
* Include fennel or mint to help with digestion.
* Include sage or rosemary to ward off colds.
* For bedtime recipes include chamomile and lavender.
* For more tips and ideas go to Herbal Infusions or Flower Infusions

NOTE: As with all herbs, leaves, roots and flowers, allergies and side effects are possible. Know your allergens and always check with your health care provider before consuming flowers for medicinal purposes.