First Sunflower’s Bloom 2

As a part two of the original post entitled: “First Sunflower’s Bloom” – here is an update of my sunflower’s newly developed ‘flower-to-seed’ status. πŸ™‚
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How to harvest a Sunflower is rather simple:

1.) Once the leaves of the sunflower begin to turn brown and the petals begin to wither; it is time to harvest. πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

2.) Make sure to check the face of the flower before cutting the head of the flower off. How to do this is by gently rubbing the disk-and-ray flowers. If the disk-and-ray flowers release, they will reveal the developed sunflower seeds. Do not worry if the seeds you rubbed back are still white. The seeds are still quite usable [they will turn back and white while drying]. πŸ™‚

The bloom of the sunflower is known as a composite flower, composed of up to two-thousand individual disk-and-ray flowers. Situated on a receptacle, each disk floret is a perfect flower, containing a stamen and pistil. The ray florets are sterile and do not produce seed. Pollination begins at the outer rim of the disk and moves toward the center. It takes fifteen to thirty days after pollination is completed for the inflorescence to reach maturity. My Sunflowers only took fifteen days to mature into seeds. πŸ™‚

3.) Cut off the entire flower’s head with a pair of scissors.
4.) Remove remaining petals; compost flower petals or chop petals to sow into soil.
5.) Place sunflower heads in a sterile-dry bucket without lid. Allow to air dry overtime. Keep in a cool, dry place.
Check on the sunflowers once a day to make sure moisture is not taking place. Moisture can create mold on your sunflowers.

6.) Once completely dry remove seeds [sunflower will not surrender the seeds if still moist]. Using your thumb rub the sunflower seeds over a large bowl.
7.) Toast in the oven with a pinch of salt and pepper for a tasty treat, or create into sunflower seed oil later. πŸ™‚

Do not be surprised if your sunflowers are different sizes. They are all equally good in sunflower nutrients, etc. :)

Do not be surprised if your sunflowers are different sizes. They are all equally good in sunflower nutrients, etc. πŸ™‚

Beginning to harvest the Sunflower seeds. :D

Beginning to harvest the Sunflower seeds. πŸ˜€

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First Sunflower’s Bloom

The first time I have grown organic Sunflowers from seed, is this lovely season. πŸ™‚
The plan, is to harvest the Sunflowers in late August and collect the Black Sunflower seeds for a larger plot next year.

As apart of the goals for the “Butterfly Forests Homestead” in New Zealand, is to be one hundred percent self sufficient and Eco-friendlily [tiny carbon footprint; in harmony with Nature]. πŸ™‚ Purchasing a Seed Oil Extractor, we shall be able to produce organic Sunflower Seed Oil for years to come. Sunflower Seed Oil is expensive. Organic Sunflower Seed Oil is even more expensive to purchase in various health foods stores.

Also, Daniel and I can sell very reasonable priced Organic Sunflower Oil and various other Organic Seed/Nut Oils to the public, in our future CSA/Small Store. ❀ πŸ™‚

Keeping this in mind, there are many pluses of producing your own food:

1.) In-depth information of what is in my food [all ingredients].
2.) Obtaining the pleasure of independence to create my own food/condiments, without relying on a grocery store.
3.) Not having to spend an arm and a leg for clean, organic-food in order to maintain good health.
4.) Knowing where my food comes from [not left in the dark].
5.) Full firsthand knowledge of the environmental conditions in producing my foods, and the relationship of garden, earth, natural resources and nature/wildlife.
6.) Knowing anything I grow and eat will be organic and have a respective “life cycle” of safely going back into the garden as organic compost, to create a continuous loop of healthy food.
7.) Feeling awesome that I have an ever-growing list of life skills. πŸ™‚
8.) Peace of mind and security: Avoid the worries/stress of the extra cost for organic food. I also have various important costs/bills to pay for.

Cheers to the future, and a better connection to Mother Earth! πŸ˜€

The many benefits of growing your own foods.

The many benefits of growing your own foods.

Ten more beautiful Sunflowers are just about to bloom! <3 :D

Ten more beautiful Sunflowers are just about to bloom!

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Borage flowers

As of this sunny-windy morning, my first time growing the Borage Herb [Starflower] from seed has bloomed it’s first flower. πŸ˜€
I shall be harvesting some of flowers and leaves this year.

For other seed starters, I am currently growing Echinacea [for my own use in teas, cough syrups and tinctures].
I feel, in order to be good enough in anything – one must keep practicing until it becomes second nature [without doubt or lack of confidence in your skills]. πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

Before I relocate to the future home of New Zealand, I want to get as much training and experience under my belt -before I even consider selling my organic products to the public. I have taken workshops, studied on my own, taken nature herb walks, and graduated from a beginners course at “The Herbal Academy of New England.” This is still not good enough. πŸ™‚

Being called a “Medicinal Herbalist” is a serious profession and should be taken in awareness and mindfulness. If you do not know the proper uses of one herb, you could be risking the health of loved ones, yourself and your clients. Death could even become a consequence of your current ill-informed state of knowledge.

For just like an awakening child in life:
“Herbalism is a neverending wonder-journey. Always learning, always grateful you are apart of it.”

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Borage is used as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a fresh vegetable, borage, with a cucumber-like taste, is often used in salads or as a garnish.[4] The flower, which contains the non-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) thesinine,[citation needed] has a sweet honey-like taste and is one of the few truly blue-colored edible substances,[citation needed] is often used to decorate desserts.[4] It is notable that the leaves have been found to contain small amounts (2-10 ppm of dried herb) of the liver-toxic PAs intermedine, lycopsamine, amabiline and supinine.[5] Leaves contain mainly the toxic lycopsamine also amabiline and the non-toxic saturated PA thesinine. PAs are also present in borage seed oil, but may be removed depending on method of processing.”

Paragraph taken from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borage
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The first of many. :)

The first of many. πŸ™‚

What a sweet little delight to find. :)

What a sweet little delight to find. πŸ™‚

Never knew Borage could be pink too. :D

Never knew Borage could be pink too. πŸ˜€

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First German Chamomile of the season

After a a rather long session of pouring rain last night; I stepped outside this morning on the front porch to check up upon my garden. To my delight, I find two developed Chamomile flowers in my large circular pot! πŸ˜€ I look forward to soon having enough flower-heads to test the tea’s overall taste and medicinal strength. πŸ™‚

A great sign for a fruitful summer. ❀

First two flowers of this years season! :D

First two flowers of this years season! πŸ˜€

Borage Growth Burst!

My goodness! While I was away in Oregon for a couple of weeks to take a Cob Building Course, my Borage took over its rather large pot. πŸ™‚ The flowers are developing beautifully in buds. To the point, that I just might need to try and transplant a few over into their own large pot! πŸ˜€

The German Chamomile and English Lavender continues to flourish as well.
Tomorrow, I shall be transplanting the seedlings in the trays into their own large pots. The seedling inserts in the trays contain the Zinnia Flower . πŸ™‚
English Lavender Chamomile Buds Borage Buds Borage

Bachelor’s Button AKA: Cornflower

Bachelor's Button AKA: Cornflower

Other common names are: Bluebonnet, Bluebottle, Blue Centaury, Cyani.

Cornflower is an annual herb; the thin, stiff, branched stem grows to a height of 12-24 inches and bears narrow, lanceolate leaves, pinnate and lobed near the base and nearly filiform near the top. The large, blue flowers (white or rose-colored in some varieties) appear from June to August.

Its flowers are used to help as a diuretic, tonic, anti-inflammatory, and a stimulant.
The cornflower is used for dyspepsia and cosmetic purposes. Flowers are made into an eyewash or eye drops and made into compresses to use on the eyes. Used for nervous conditions, both calming and curative.

It is also used in some bath bath and cosmetic preparations.

St. John’s Wort

St. John's Wort

Its flowers and leaves are used to make medicine for depression and conditions that sometimes go along with depression such as anxiety, tiredness, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. There is some strong scientific evidence that it is effective for mild to moderate depression.

Other uses include heart palpitations, moodiness and other symptoms of menopause, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

St. John’s wort has been tried for exhaustion, stop-smoking help, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), migraine and other types of headaches, muscle pain, nerve pain, and irritable bowel syndrome. It is also used for cancer, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis C.

An oil can be made from St. John’s wort. Some people apply this oil to their skin to treat bruises and scrapes, inflammation and muscle pain, first degree burns, wounds, bug bites, hemorrhoids, and nerve pain. But applying St. John’s wort directly to the skin is risky. It can cause serious sensitivity to sunlight.

The active ingredients in St. John’s wort can be deactivated by light. That’s why you will find many products packaged in amber containers. The amber helps, but it doesn’t offer total protection against the adverse effects of light.

Feverfew Herb

Feverfew Herb

Feverfew is used in herbal remedies to relieve headaches and joint inflammation.

Feverfew is also used for fever, irregular menstrual periods, arthritis, a skin disorder called psoriasis, allergies, asthma, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness, and nausea and vomiting.

Some people use feverfew for difficulty getting pregnant or fathering a child (infertility). It is also used for β€œtired blood” (anemia), cancer, common cold, earache, liver disease, prevention of miscarriage, muscular tension, bone disorders, swollen feet, diarrhea, upset stomach and intestinal gas.

Feverfew is sometimes applied directly to the gums for toothaches or to the skin to kill germs.

Comfrey Flowers!

Comfrey Flowers!

The back garden is coming alive and healthy. πŸ™‚ Wild Honey Bees are buzzing around happy, with great delights fill the air. The comfrey plants are at least three feet tall now, and their girth keeps on growing! πŸ™‚