Happy Monday friends! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Here in Atlanta we finally got some relief from the heat for a lovely taste of Autumn. This is my favorite time of year, so hopefully the nice weather sticks around for a while for us to enjoy. It makes getting outside for all different activities much more fun!
My weekend kicked off as usual with time playing with my little niece on Friday afternoon. My goodness, that never gets old. If she has half as much fun with me as I have with her then I'm doing alright as an auntie. I think it is amazing to spend time with children as they teach us as many lessons as we teach them. Or perhaps it is more re-learning those things we forget about as we age. I know my imagination sure gets a workout when we play! This week the highlight was looking for "treasures" while we were outside in the afternoon. We followed the trail of golden leaves to find all kinds of stones, acorns, and the like. I'm sure my sister was excited to see our collection we brought back to the house, haha!
My heart absolutely melted when we were playing hide and seek with other "treasures" inside the house later on, though. She and I were hiding our eyes while my mom hid her Paw Patrol figures for us to search for. We were sitting on the couch with our faces close together when she looked at me and said, "Aunt Katie, I love you." Then she proceeded to give me a kiss. Doesn't really get much better than that.
Once Saturday morning rolls around, it's time to hunt for my own treasures at the farmers market! I missed last week since I was running in a local race, so this week I definitely didn't want to miss out. Next week they aren't holding the market either since there is a big festival on the Marietta Square. So rude of them to interrupt my weekend routine. ;)
Anyway, I was so excited to get my hands on the stunning Roselle that Pinewood Springs Farm had been sharing about on their social media! Roselle is a variety of hibiscus (which is apparently known by many names depending on what part of the world you call home). I have had hibiscus tea before, but I had never seen the plant fresh and whole. Obviously I couldn't pass up buying some to bring home.
Besides just being so gorgeous to look at, it is also a really wonderful item to promote natural health. Any edible plant that is that rich in color is usually packed with antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. My family has a few members who have issues with high blood pressure, so I had read up on hibiscus tea in the past as one of the natural remedies for helping aid in its reduction. Upon further investigation there are some sources that link consumption to better cholesterol levels, liver health and possible weight control. The vibrant color is also excellent to use as a natural food coloring instead of using harmful dyes. As with any potent natural remedy, make sure to consult your doctor before consuming if you are pregnant or take any medication as there can be interactions.
There seems to be a number of ways to prepare the Roselle for consumption, but most of them include drying the outer leaves of the calyx before using. I thought it might be a daunting task, but it turned out to be a nice little meditative moment in my Sunday. They peel off of the inner pod quite easily. I am borrowing a dehydrator for my apples right now anyway, so these will go in next to pull out the moisture to use later on. Tea is definitely on the list, but I am looking at some other fun ways to incorporate the dried leaves, as well. I have been doing some longer runs with a friend as she trains for a half marathon, so I am thinking these beauties will be great to assist in my body recovering from the stress of increased activity!
Inner seed pod.
We may let the pods dry out to see if we can save the seeds for planting in our own garden next year. It never hurts to try! The flowers are lovely to look at by themselves, and it's always nice to give the bees something else to enjoy, as well. I'll keep you all posted once I start putting this to use!
I think I missed the boat on the last @naturalmedicine contest to share your favorite preventative medicine, but when thinking about it one of my methods to staying healthy is to always learn and be open to trying new things. There are so many healing plants out there, that I could spend the rest of my life reading and studying without even scratching the surface. I love having such awesome local farmers that let me get to experience some of these items first hand like this. Of course consuming these awesome items is healing in itself, but keeping my mind sharp is a great way to prevent the natural decline as we age. Looking at the world with the joy of a child is a great way to stay young and vibrant!
I hope you all never get tired of me sharing my fun finds at the farmers market, because it is one of my favorite things to write about. I sometimes wish that I had more time to experiment and explore, but perhaps what I get now is just enough to keep the passion alive and let me really appreciate what I have. I know all my #fruitsandveggiesmonday family is right there with me, so thank you all for never getting sick of my latest gratuitous market post! Cheers to discovering many more beautiful plants in the weeks, months and years ahead!
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