So about getting more of those minerals….

I was doing some research this morning on weeds, a.k.a. “cover crops” and “companion plants”. I found this interesting post by Susun S. Weed on making Mineral-Rich Medicinal Vinegars. She says that vinegar draws minerals out of plants, and in the case of cooked greens it magnifies the minerals available to our bodies. It stands to reason that the same would be true for our gardens and making mineral rich herbal- (or weed-infused) apple cider vinegars would make high quality minerals more available to our crops. You would certainly want to dilute them sufficiently so as not to over-acidify your plants or soil and kill all the “people”, as Dan Kittredge calls them, living in there.

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Here is the post on Facebook for anyone who wants to read more about making herbal vinegars, or weed-infused vinegars, which could be used for their gardens:

Mineral-Rich Medicinal Vinegars Herbal vinegars are an unstoppable combination: they marry the healing properties of…

Posted by Susun S Weed on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

At a talk given by Nigel Palmer back in May at the East Granby Library I learned that you can make vinegar extractions by dissolving crustacean shells or egg shells or even well cooked bones by putting them in a glass jar, covering them with vinegar, and a lid. Nigel said this also works using weeds such as dandelions or plantain and more. Over time the shells or bones will dissolve leaving you with a lovely calcium infused vinegar solution. He said to strain it you should pour it through cheesecloth or another fairly fine strainer and let gravity do the straining for you, no need to mash on it. I believe Nigel recommended diluting 500 to 1, for example 1 tsp infused vinegar per 10.5 cups of water, used as foliar spray. I would think the same would work for applying to the soil.

Here are just a few excerpts from the post by Susun Weed:

Vinegars Seek Minerals
Minerals are important for the health and proper functioning of our bones, our heart and blood vessels, our nerves, our brain (especially memory), our immune system, and our hormonal glands. No wonder lack of minerals can lead to chronic problems and getting more can make a big different in health in a few weeks.

Vinegar and Your Bones
Adding vinegar to your food actually helps build bones because it frees up minerals from the vegetables you eat and increases the ability of the stomach to digest minerals. Adding a splash of vinegar to cooked greens is a classic trick of old ladies [and gents!] who want to be spry and flexible when they’re ancient old ladies [and gents!]. (Maybe your granny already taught you this?) In fact, a spoonful of vinegar on your broccoli or kale or dandelion greens increases the calcium you get by one-third.

Weedy Herbal Calcium Supplement

Use one or more of the following plants to make herbal vinegar that can reverse and counter osteoporosis. Dose is 2-4 tablespoons daily. [plants need calcium too!] Try it sweetened with blackstrap molasses for a real mineral jolt. [plants love the minerals and sugar in molasses too!]

Amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus) leaves
Cabbage leaves
Chickweed (Stellaria media) whole herb
Comfrey (Symphytum officinalis) leaves
Cronewort/Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) young leaves
Dandelion (Taraxacum off.) leaves and root
Kale leaves
Lambsquarter (Chenopodium album) leaves
Mallow (Malva neglecta) leaves
Mint leaves of all sorts, especially sage, motherwort, lemon balm, lavender, peppermint
Nettle (Urtica dioica) leaves
Parsley (Petroselinum sativum) leaves
Plantain (Plantago majus) leaves
Raspberry (Rubus species) leaves
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) blossoms
Violet (Viola odorata) leaves
Yellow dock (Rumex crispus) roots

At our September BFA Chapter meeting which will be in Simsbury, our topic will be “Weeds: What are they good for?”. We will have 2 of my expert foraging friends to help us identify our weeds and tell us some practical uses for them. Many are edible, and if we know the nutritional value or mineral content of them we’ll know how beneficial they can be to our crops, plants and soil “people” as well. More to come on that when we get it on the calendar….

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