Dear Curiosity Journal,

I’ve rushed past the sunny calendula patch with the intention, but not the time, to harvest too often lately. The feeling of telling children to wait comes to mind. Please be patient. I’ll get to you in a moment – and they wait until they can’t anymore. Today I noticed some of the heads are drooping and drying up, paling past their perky prime, and I can’t make them wait any longer. I grab my big basket and settle in, plucking the sticky heads from stems, as their sweet resin builds up on my fingertips. I cup my hands over my nose and take a deep inhale of the medicinal essence. These little petals of sunshine have a long list of benefits including reducing inflammation, antimicrobial properties, wound healing, antioxidants, digestion support, immune support, and cleansing the lymphatic system. I have used calendula in salves, teas, and an eye wash. It’s great for rinsing out your eyeballs after you stick your dirty farmer finger in your eye in the field. Today I harvested 3.5 lbs., which I’m drying for myself and for sale. Since these are heavier flowers, I spread them out in a single layer in a warm area, put a large fan on full blast, and turn them often to make sure they don’t get funky. I have my fingers crossed that we will receive the USDA Equipment grant this fall, which would allow us to purchase 2 large commercial dehydrators, which can process 32 trays each! I would really be cranking out the dried flowers, herbs, and mushrooms then!