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Nirvana in a Jar - Herbal Infusions

Sage and Mint Herbal Infusion

There are few things more heavenly than to be curled up in an adirondack chair in the shade with the one you love, new friends, and wonderful conversation after a day of moving your body in the sun.  The moment I have in mind is late Saturday afternoon at Lewis Waite Farm.  It was the first truly warm and sunny day of the season after weeks of rain and sitting there and soaking it all in felt like nirvana.  
In his last post, Scrapple talks about our first farm hop to Lewis Waite.  We’ve been on several since and because of them, we’ve had an amazing spring, learning, being outdoors, and being in our bodies.  When we visit a farm we feel not only the excitement and thrill of actually being in a setting akin to our dream, but also the rush of real well-being that comes from spending lots of time surrounded by green, trees, and engulfing beauty and using your body for real things.  
During the week we sit at desks a lot - take a bunch of water refill trips to the office kitchen, sit some more at a desk, walk and take the subway home, sit at home, sit at a park, sit at the bar, maybe play darts, sit sit sit sit.  It wasn’t until our first farm visit that I remembered how amazing just being outside really is for your soul.  Add moving around and making those muscles actually do something useful and you’re on your way!  There is something to be said for doing.  Sticking your hands in the dirt and planting something, or taking a fork and ripping it out.  Building a fence, cooking a meal...  Doing and seeing what you’ve done - creating something concrete out of every moment.  The sense of satisfaction is unrivaled and I can’t wait for more of it!
When we first moved here, a return to the city after time away always had the glow of excitement about it - I loved to come home to the city!  After a few years it became a moment of bittersweet while pulling away from the hills and heading back into the tangled knot of highways and bridges.  Right now, there is no more “sweet” with our bitter, and heading back into the city is more of a drag than anything else.  Of course there are our wonderful friends and the time we spend with them keeps the city fun, but the reality is that as I’m writing this on the Sunday of our 2nd weekend at home - I am longing for farm.
There are many moments when I find myself with a severe case of "barnheart".  There are times when you’re wading through people for over 30 minutes trying to get somewhere, or even better, days when you’re wading through people and there’s road work- jackhammering! Those are the days I have to lull myself with what I call “farm fantasy” running through my head for comfort, calling up memories of animals dotting pasture and the smell of mint at farms we’ve visited and trying to invoke the feelings I felt when I was there.  
Sitting in adirondack chairs at Alan and Nancy's has become one of those moments I call on and I can tell you - it's gotten a ton of use already!  Another way I've been bringing the farm into my life is with an amazing addition to our kitchen, a treat that Nancy introduced me to while we were working in the garden - herbal infusions.  She brought out an ice cold jar of sage infusion to us while we were all working in the sun.  It was delicious, and invigorating - the flavor so complex and refreshing.  Drinking it in the city now makes me feel like I have her garden in my cup and puts a smile on my face. 

our window box with Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme
Herbal Infusion
- glass jar (ball or kerr jars are great)
- a good handful of herbs

Sage, basil, dandelion greens, mint, nettle... there are all sorts of herbs that are amazing in infusions. If it’s not something you would normally eat, be sure to check regarding safety. Lavender leaves are apparently toxic in large doses.
- 4 cups of water
- some honey if you’d like



1. Clean and dry your glass jar.  
2. Put herbs into the jar.  If you’re growing the herbs, pick them in the morning before the sun has warmed up.  The oils will still be in the leaves and you’ll have the best flavor possible.
3. Boil the 4 cups of water and then pour into jar, over herbs.  
4. Seal the jar and let cool at room temperature and rest for at 8 - 12 hours out of direct sunlight.
5. Strain and save your infusion in the glass jar.
6. If you’d like some sweetness, add a ½ tsp of honey now and stir until it dissolves.
7. Drink at room temp or chilled.  Store refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Now that it’s officially summer here I’ve been making these at least every other day.
Enjoy while dreaming up your own farm fantasy!

Do you have any cures for "barnheart"?  I'd love to hear 'em!  

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