While waiting for our salves to set, we turned to a large bed of calendula flowers for inspiration. We identified and discussed the assortment of calendula flowers used in the salves. We hand picked seeds from the dried flowers to fill seed packets. And a few of us harvested the blooming yellow and orange flowers (along with bright pink Echinacea flowers) to assemble flower crowns. These were a few of the activities offered at the calendula salve workshop hosted in the public school’s garden on July 30th.
Colleen Stewart, our school garden keeper, led the workshop. She shared with us both the medicinal properties of calendula flowers and the art of combining calendula oil, beeswax and good intentions to create a healing salve. We personalized individual salve tins, while Colleen discussed how to make a potent flower oil using olive oil and organically grown calendula flowers: harvest, dry, steep flowers in a vat of quality oil, place in a windowsill and wait for the oil to take on an orange hue! Luckily for us, Colleen had already done this. Therefore, all we had to do was add the calendula oil, beeswax, and optional lavender flowers to our tin and wait patiently as the salve heated and then solidified.
A common response we heard that day was, “That’s it? It’s that simple?” Colleen’s response was always, “Yup, that’s it!” We all left the workshop with our very own 2-ounce tin of healing calendula salve and seed packets and/or flower crowns. More importantly, we left with the knowledge necessary to make our own medicinal salves in the future! Thank you to everyone who attended the workshop, and to Colleen for being such a patient and kindhearted teacher.