Saturday, June 20, 2009

Litha's Harvest

Here's a nice article that explains the science behind the old Pagan custom of harvesting herbs on the morning of the Summer Solstice

And there's another factor with herbs. Many of them hold their highest oil content at this time, before the heat of summer causes much of it to evaporate out of the leaves.

A cool, still midsummer morning is the traditional time to harvest herbs for drying and storage to use in winter. If they are cut all at once, quickly, before the rising sun hits the leaves, the maximum amount of oil is retained. Both sun and wind can cause oils to evaporate out of freshly cut material very quickly. For this reason, you want to cut herbs and get them into the shade before sunrise. The goal with herbs is to move them inside to dry right away. It's far better to cut some and move them indoors, then go back out and cut more. Otherwise, the herbs are likely to wilt as they build up in your cutting basket.

The entire article is well worth a read.

I will harvest mint and distill it in vodka for a full moon, then chill the vodka for drinking from glasses of ice on Yule morning. What will you harvest tomorrow?

Photo found here.


Greenconsciousness said...

Wishing you a productive Solstice.

I came to ask:
I am urging people, especially women, to wear green bracelets in solidarity with our Iran sisters and brothers – will you do it ? And tell others?

Greenconsciousness said...

Also, did you see the Solstice article at Full Circle News?

Anne Johnson said...

I plan to make a slurry of jewel weed and freeze it in cubes, for those pesky bouts of poison ivy.

Blessed solstice to you! I may have some big news soon.