Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tea Party!

We had a tea party today. It was inspired yesterday when Isaac learned that the roots of dandelions are used for tea and are good for you. He informed me that we were going to have a tea party for me and have *the sick people* come. You know, because dandelions are healthy. The kids spent a lot of time digging up dandelions out of our yard and we collected and washed them. They have been learning to recognize a number of plants in the yard and I am really thrilled they finally seem interested. Fintan pulled a book on herbs of our shelf and was asking about them and a picture of plantain in particular so we had an impromptu lesson on plantain this week. Now all the boys can recognize plantain and dandelion for sure and that is without the dandelion blooming. LOL

Isaac surprised me today when he looked at the bee balm in a bed I was weeding and said, "I know what this is! It's mint!" We don't have any mint in our yard so I am not really sure where he recognized it from. Now bee balm isn't mint but it IS in the mint family. The boys all are interested in and enjoy gardening but Isaac in particular. I think this spring and summer are really going to be fun for learning.

So we had a tea party today in the yard on the log stools cut from the pine tree that fell on our house and my poor rosemary. It was a real hit. We all enjoyed the tea that we made from some dandelion root, bee balm, lemon balm and anise hyssop and topped with violets. Well, Eudora said "yucky" when she tasted it but she thoroughly enjoyed her cup of tea with floating violets and stirring it with her little silver spoon her grandmother gave her when she was a baby. I expect to have more tea parties in the garden.

I am tired. I have spent many hours a day in the garden the past few days. We are almost all of us sunburned. And I my finger nails are quite dirty! The peas are starting to come up in the second pea bed we planted. We transplanted all 4 of our squash varieties and our two cucumbers varieties yesterday. Today I transplanted some of the tomatoes and interplanted them with some nasturtiums. I hope to get some borage in there soon as well. Twice today I had a bumble bee collide with me. I really thought they paid more attention than that! I would have been hit just below the eye once if I hadn't just put my hand up to brush my hair back from my face.

Our chickens were shipped today! They should arrive tomorrow or the day after. We are all really excited about them.


Lindsey said...

Wow Marcella, I totally admire and envy your energy and willingness to try new things! No way, no how would I actually make the dandelion tea, though I can imagine talking about it with my kids. I would be too paranoid about pesticides and crap b/c I live so close to my neighbors and everyone sprays all kinds of stuff here (we've sprayed for ants too, but it's been since November. But still.) It sounds like you have a wonderful, idyllic setup and everyone can enjoy the great outdoors and reap the fruits of your labor in the garden. So wonderful!

Did the bee sting you? Have you been stung before? I almost walked into a red wasp a couple weeks ago...they don't bumble around like bumble bees, but it was flying around me and I swear it was checking me out! I actually had to make a bit of a dash away from it because it got too close for my comfort!

Saponaria said...

Nope no stings. They are mason bees though and we discovered they are digging holes in our old chicken tractor which is right next to the garden. They act rather aggressive/protective when we get near them so we need to figure out what to do.

Our bigger problem is fire ants. I tried nutrasweet recently and it doesn't seem to have really helped. I don't want to use any serious poison in the yard.

Charity said...

Do you have the second board cookbook? I put two dandelion recipes in it ... I like dandelions, too! The greens are a *little* bitter, but not too bad, and the flowers make great jelly.

I love your blog!

Saponaria said...

No! I don't have either of them. Can I get the recipes though? I'd love to try them. I have never even heard of jelly made from dandelion flowers. That really tastes good? I'd sure like to try that. I hope they don't taste like they smell though. LOL I have an aversion to the smell of dandelion flowers. I made rose petal jelly once and it was incredible. I wouldn't have guessed it could be so good.

Charity said...

I'll post the recipes for you when I get a chance. I'm not convinced that the dandelion jelly -- or any jelly, for that matter -- tastes of much besides sugar, since most of jelly is sugar. :) But it is kind of fun to make, and makes a pretty addition to my jelly cupboard in the years when I make jams and jellies. It's a delicate yellow.