It is that tiime of year, tons of rain here in East TN and my perennial herbs are going gang busters. I love Lemon Balm. And yes, it is falling into the gang buster column with so much yield right now. Please click here to read how amazing lemon balm is as an healing agent – healing properties of lemon balm.
I cut it today to make an infusion that will be used for me to teach others next month how to make lemon balm organic buttermilk soap. This blog shows you the steps I take in this process to prepare for the buttermilk soap making to take place next month.
Please reference my blog from yesterday that I wrote on how to make infusions for soap making. The link on how to do it is at the bottom of this blog – click here. This is the process I will be doing next with the lemon balm.
Below are the steps I took to prepare.
First, I want to share the conclusion of yesterday’s blog. I wrote on other flowers I collected and dried for other scented medicinals for my soaps. Here are the lilac, honeysuckle, rose and sage flower infusions I made yesterday that will be other infused oils for soap making.
The above photo shows the next phase of the chive vinegar I made yesterday. You can read yesterday’s blog and get the step by step on how to make this with chive flowers. It will now sit in a dark place for 2-4 weeks to complete it’s process.
Per the link above about how AMAZINGLY medicinal lemon balm is – here is the quantity that I picked this morning. So, what are the exact steps I went through today to get it from here into the dryer so that I could have infusions brewing to be used in a few weeks? Let me show you.
I raise honeybees and they love lemon balm. I got a shot of one of my bees who was on the medicinal. I had to catch it and let it loose outside as I love my bees!
So the steps I did not show yesterday in my other blog, I am showing here for the medicinals I am processing for soap making. If you look at this table there are two dehydrators. I usually have them running all summer. I am taking my fresh lemon balm and clipping the leaves off and setting them in the drying racks for both dehydrators. I will run them over night so that all the moisture is out of the herb before I put it in a jar with olive oil to sit for two weeks. This is my most amazing maple table my husband built for me to do such work and be able to have my dryers going without taking up kitchen counter space. On the left you see my mounted cream separator for my dairy milk processing I do.
So, there will always be more herbs ready to dry before you can get them all in the dryer. This is how I handle that. I store the rest I have hanging upside down above my sink. It makes the kitchen smell amazing and it is beautiful. Many guests to our farm tell us how much they love seeing the herbs not even realizing I am doing this with a purpose, not just for decoration!
So, if you look at how these herbs are hung, I took down the drapery that was on this window when I bought this house. I glued the burlap to the curtain rod so it looked decent. Now I use it to support my drying of herbs. Second, notice the rubberbands that hold the herbs together. I save those from all the vegetables I get at the store when I do not have my garden going. Those are all saved grocery store asparagus rubber bands. Then the ribbon in the center is from Christmas present wrapping that I save just for this purpose – to hang herbs with pretty ribbons. The hanging lemon balm on the left is from recycled clothes pins for hanging clothes outside to dry.
On our farm nothing goes to waste. I take the stems I cut the leaves off from and take them into the garage into my worm bin to make compost. We truly throw NOTHING away!
While in the garage I check on my sweet potato slips that are shooting out behind my worm bin and I check on my ducklings are chilled out and snuggly.
So, now I will let the lemon balm dry until tomorrow and then I will put it in a jar with olive oil and let it sit for several weeks in a dark place. Then it will be ready for soap making!!!
I wanted to show you how lovely the kitchen looks even with the extra herbs hanging in the window….it is as if it was meant to be — like the olden days — with herbs and the smell of goodness drifting everywhere through the main floor of the house.
We hope you enjoyed the blog today and will continue to follow us on our journey to making lemon balm organic medicinal soap this next month. This is, of course, the first step in having the ingredients ready to successfuly make lemon balm soap.
God Bless! L. Davis