Calendula-Hula-Who!??? And why YOU should know.

Calendula-Hula-Who!?? (and why YOU should know)

Well, it looks as though old Punxsutawney Phil got it wrong this year. Where I’m located, I think that we are in for a late start to spring. Bummer.

On a positive note, this gives me more time to get my garden seeds started inside, seeing as how I waited until today to place my order. Oops.

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into my gardens this summer. I want to make sure that I maximize use of my outdoor (and some indoor) spaces. For my husband, bless his darling soul, this means navigating his beloved John Deere lawn tractor around some “obstacles,” but he’ll soon realize the fruits of this labor. 😉

Could this be my lawn? THe neighbors will hate me!
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Could this be my lawn? The neighbors will hate me!

What Will You Plant In YOUR Garden This Summer?

This summer I am going to plant more than my typical fruit, flower, and veggie mix. I am planting several types of herbs and flowers, and not the “easy” already started ones (ready to go in the ground) that you find at your local greenhouse.

I have been very methodical in my herb and flower selections for this season. One reason is that I have been spending way too much money on store-bought herbs, especially ones that are harder to find. I recently realized, “This is ridiculous. I can grow and dry these myself for future use.”

…why it took me so long to realize this, I have no idea. 

This is also true for many flowers. This leads me to today’s blog post. Today I am writing a little bit about a lovely, beautiful, quite powerful flower that I mentioned briefly in yesterday’s post. Okay, let’s get down to flower business.


Calendula-Hula-Who!??

Calendula officinalis (aka Calendula or Pot Marigolds), is a fairly hardy flower and is quite versatile. Calendula grows well in my zone (zone 5B) in partial sun and sun (although in extreme drought they can wither). These annual flowers will bloom from early summer through early fall, with their blooming season extended by ensuring that you “head” them (remove old flower heads so new ones can grow). In fact, while these flowers are considered annuals, but don’t be surprised if you have a few pop up next year as they have been known to self-seed.

These flowers are not only hardy and fairly easy to grow, they are adorable, edible, and quite handy to have in your medicine cabinet. Let’s explore this more.


Adorable

There are approximately 15 different varieties of Calendula, with all of them ranging from light orange to yellow to golden and dark yellow. They grow to between 1 and 2 feet fall with thick, strong, daisy-like stems. They really are beautiful flowers!

Edible

Calendula is sometimes referred to as “poor man’s saffron,” since saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world. I’ve never tried saffron, but I have eaten calendula once in a salad. It had a slightly bitter taste, which I’ve heard is also present in saffron. It was a nice addition to my salad, and made for a very pretty salad!

According to Grandma (I just love her website!), calendula adds both color and flavor to a lot of foods, including soups, rices, butters, and stews. Not only does it add flavor, when eaten calendula has been said to help with swollen glands and lingering, unresolved infections. It is a great cleanser for lymphatic glands and ducts, as it helps mitigate stagnation in the lymphatics from wounds, gland removal, or other sicknesses.1

Medicine Cabinet

I am purchasing a couple of different types of calendula seeds for my gardens this summer, as I plan on using them not only in foods, but also in tinctures, wounds/scrapes/burns ointments for healing, lotions, salves, insect repellent, and other body products. Buying dried calendula and calendula oils can get expensive, in the long run.

Why would I keep doing this when I can easily grow it myself!?

So, how to use calendula? Calendula has been shown to be effective for the following health concerns:123

  • Wound healing, tissue repair, damaged tissues, skin ulcers
  • Eczema, psoriasis (and other inflamed skin, skin rashes, and cracked skin)
  • Insect bites
  • Cracked nipples due to breastfeeding (it is nontoxic to baby)
  • Diaper rash
  • Poorly healing wounds
  • Amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea
  • Burns: apparently it is great for first aid care of burns
  • Fevers
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Low immunity
  • Gum disease

Are you sold yet? I can’t wait to stock up in various ways this season. I purchased all of my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. The reason I purchased seeds through them is because…

All of their seed is non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated, and non-patented!

When you are buying seeds, be sure to look for companies who have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, just as Baker Creek has done.

Side note…if you do not want to (or cannot due to space, time, etc etc etc) grow your own calendula, I’ve got you covered. I have purchased calendula HERE and have always been pleased. Their calendula is certified organic.

I make many purchases from this company, especially for my handcrafted organic skincare line, and have never been disappointed.

What do you plan to plant in your gardens this summer? Maybe you’ll consider adding some calendula into your mix? Until next time…

xoxo,
Jess, aka Scratch Mommy


This post was shared at– Real Food WednesdayShare Your Solutions on ThursdaysThe HomeAcre HopeSmall Footprint FridayFrugal Tuesday TipShow Me What Ya GotWildcrafting WednesdayFarmgirl FridayFarmgirl Blog Fest, [FEATURED ONThank Goodness It’s MondaySimple Living Wednesday, LHITS, Sunday School Blog Carnival, Tuned-In Tuesday.

Comments 21

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  2. Jessica, great information…as always. Interestingly enough, I was planning on removing some Hostas this summer and planting various types of Marigolds instead. Supposedly, the deer don’t particularly care for them. Too bad, so sad. Now that you have placed Calendula on my radar I am ready to go with some different varieties. We will have to chat and compare notes.
    I appreciate your well thought out and researched blogs. Keep it up, my friend.
    Kathie

    1. Thank you, sweet Kathie. We will have so much lovely calendula, we won’t know what to do with it! Well, that’s not true, since we know that we can actually do A LOT with it! 😉

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    1. Oh golly, I just reread my post and I wasn’t clear, was I? So sorry. I have only eaten the beautiful flower petals (they looked stunning in my salad), but I have heard that you can eat the leaves, too. I will try both this summer and give you an update. All I can vouch for now are the petals, which tasted (to me) a bit peppery and just a little bitter. I used a vinaigrette, which was a nice compliment.

      It sounds like you will have a lovely garden! I have never grown swiss chard. Have you grown it before? What is your gardening zone?

      Thanks for your comment, Shella. 🙂

      1. I’m in Chicago, so Zone 7 or 5, I forget. I start planting after May 15th. Swiss Chard was easy to grow like collards. I’ve never grown kale so I’m giving it a try this year.

  4. Calendula is awesome and so is your post!!! I grow it and it just died back the end of January. 🙁 More is getting planting because I use it for a healing salve. Thank you for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday!

  5. I love calendula! I have grown and dried mine, but I haven’t yet made any tinctures or salves with it, which is what I’d like to do. Yours are lovely! I grow Calendula Solis Sponsa (that’s what the seed packet said, anyway!). Great post!

    I’d like to invite you to share this post and up to two others at Farm Girl Blog Fest #19, which is live right now. You would be a great addition to the wonderful posts that are shared!

    Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest #23

    Hope to see you there!
    ~Kristi@Let This Mind Be in You

  6. I love this herb and it DOES like to reseed! As a matter of fact, I haven’t planted it for the last few years but just transplant the seedlings to where I want them in the garden. I also use the petals in teas, salves and I used them in soap (when I made it quite awhile ago.) A great and beautiful flower/herb to have! Thanks for sharing about Calendula…it deserves to be spotlighted and you did a great job!

  7. Hi Jess 🙂 I just found your blog on the VGN forum. I LOVE calendula too! I just ordered some calendula seeds myself this year from Baker Creek along with my veggie seeds. I’ve never tried growing calendula before, so I’m excited to give it a try!

    This post would be perfect for a new blog carnival I’ve started recently – Old-Fashioned Friday. I’d love for you to share it there if you have the time! 🙂
    http://www.ourheritageofhealth.com/2013/03/old-fashoned-friday-6.html

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