I spent Sunday assisting with the pack up of the Mexican Folk Art Collective exhibit at the Pump House Regional Arts Center. We gathered up photos, letters, fruits, and pan de muerto. We disassembled large corporal sculptures, carefully packed up fragile pieces, and picked labels from the walls, leaving them naked, looking pale and overly exposed. We separated the perishable from that which could be stored away. This led me to the marigolds, the last of the crop, our final opportunity to save and process these sacred beauties. Many of the flower heads remained vibrant, worthy of the hours of labor. So, I brought them back to the farm, where I sorted the bags once more, clipped the petals, and dried them in the oven on low heat. The Dia de Muertos Organizing Committee discussed saving and processing marigolds after the event. It feels like a waste to let so many freeze in the field. We plan to do a few experiments with these dried petals. We’ve talked about making marigold tea, natural dye, and even adding them to tamales. I’m wondering if we can create a product that captures the essence of the cempasuchil, which could be developed into a workshop and/or merchandise we could offer to the community to support future Dia de Muertos celebrations. You know we love a good experiment, so if you have a favorite way to use dried marigolds, let us know in the comments.