Our calendula flowers are blooming profusely right now, their brilliant orange and yellow blossoms making for a cheerful view out the kitchen window. After taking my younger son off to school in the morning, my other son and I spent part of the morning harvesting the blossoms to make an all-purpose salve. The recipe is really fairly easy; just cover the petals with olive oil in a glass jar, place in the sun and wait a few weeks. The jar is checked daily for mold and the contents swished a little. After the olive oil has been infused with the oils from the calendula, the petals are strained out and beeswax is added to get it to just the right consistency. The salve can be used for dry and chapped skin and lips, burns, diaper rash, and so many other things.
I spent part of the morning (while my son was completing his main lesson work) carefully plucking the petals, making sure that mold-causing moisture was present. We picked about 300 blossoms (yes, I actually counted them) for this batch of salve, which will make about 15 to 20 oz. of salve. It’s a lot of effort and time for such a small amount, but it is so worth it! I am also thinking about doing a batch with a mix of olive and coconut oil. I think it would smell fantastic! That might have to wait until after Easter though!