Gardening with Fairies
Esna is the master gardener for the Fae, Click on an image to learn about the plants around Fairy Tree, how to plant the seeds the fairies give visitors and what uses there are for those plants in both the human and fairy realms. She uses many of the plants here at Fairy Tree to make cures.
Scroll down to learn some of Esna's best recipes.
How to make a tasty, edible non-alcohol extracts
Here's a fun, easy, activity that brings a tasty reward with a sweet honey-like syrup to add to your tea using lemon rind, fresh mint, vanilla beans or other natural wonders from the garden.
Vegetable glycerine, the sweet principle of oils, was discovered in 1789 and came into use by herbalists around 1846. This liquid is obtained by the hydrolysis of vegetable fats or fixed oils.
We prefer to use food-grade vegetable glycerine that is certified organic and kosher. It's easy to order via Amazon.
Sometimes referred to as glycerol, glycerine is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid with an incredibly sweet taste having the consistency of sweet, thick syrup. Glycerine is a great solvent for extracting the essence and healing properties from plants without the use of alcohol.
Fill a mason jar ½ way with dried herb (2/3 way full with fresh herb, lemon peel or vanilla beans). Chop dried herb well before mixing with the glycerine.
In a separate jar, mix 3 parts organic Vegetable Glycerine and 1 part distilled water. Shake to combine.
Pour liquid mixture over the herb and completely cover to fill the jar.
Label container with date, ratio of glycerine to water, and herbs used.
Shake daily for 4-6 weeks. For faster results place in a hot water bath (slow cooker) on a tea towel for 6-8 hours.
Strain with cheesecloth, bottle, label!
These extracts have a shelf life of 14-24 months, versus an alcohol extract with a shelf life of 4-6 years.
Note: When making a glycerite with dried herbs, it is common to use water to rehydrate the herbs and loosen up the botanical matter. Generally, a mixture with 60% or more glycerin to 40% or less water is a safe ratio. To err on the side of safety, we recommend a 75% glycerine to 25% water ratio.
If you are working with fresh moist herb, you can go with 100% glycerine for your extract - just be sure to stir or shake well. Enjoy!