Hey there Farmgirls! First off–Happy Solstice! I hope you are navigating this powerful time of the year with as much grace and focus as you can muster. This one has been a doozy with the full moon and solstice happening at the same time. I’ve been hearing of troubles and woes from almost every corner of life. As for me, I’m just kind of frantic and unfocused (So many unfinished projects and tasks!), but I already feel my body anticipating and getting ready for the slow relaxation that comes as summer progresses.
And I cannot write this without acknowledging how devastatingly sad and angered I (and I assume many of you) are about the Orlando shooting. Again? Again. Young men and women out celebrating life… Let’s do something about it this time, okay? Moving on…
There are a few things about this time of year that can make basic functioning kind of tricky for some people. Two of them are heat and light. It’s been so hot and so bright…”Land of the midnight sun” is no joke. We have about four hours between sunset and sunrise, but it never actually gets dark. There are all of those other markers like “nautical twilight” and “astronomical twilight.” I think we skip a couple of those, too. My circadian rhythms are all messed up. It’s 11:09 p.m.. Look at this photo that I am taking right now #nofilter:
And it is HOT…for Alaska. It has been consistently in the 70s for days at a time. I know that doesn’t sound that bad, but 75 or 80 here feels like 95 in other places (I swear!). I’m also a hot weather wimp :).
But Wait, aren’t there things we can do to battle this heat and incessant sunlight messing with our sleep?!? Yes. The answer is yes. MaryJane’s Lavender and Honey Lemonade.
I made MaryJane’s lemonade and it was fabulously refreshing, but it also has the calming effect of lavender. After making my first batch I was hooked! I’ve been making one batch a week for the past month while experimenting with different teas. The second batch I made using lavender and hibiscus petals. The color was stunning–a bright magenta! Too bad I didn’t take a photo because my next combos were tasty but not that attractive. My allergies were acting up a couple of weeks ago so I made a batch using nettle tea. The earthiness of the nettles really pairs well with the honey. Next was a batch made using my herbalist friend’s nursing friendly sleepy time tea from herbs that she grows and forages herself.
Finally we come to my most recent batch. My distraction/inability to focus is apparent in the ingredients I used: nettle tea (nutrients), sleepy time tea (to help me sleep!), oat straw (nutrients), Mother’s milk tea (my production seems low after not staying well hydrated with all of this heat!) and one bag of green tea for good measure. I also made this batch with agave and honey and added salt for some electolytes. It definitely tastes more like an herbal hydration drink than lemonade, but it is GOOD! I even tried some over ice with bourbon. It was like a hippie whiskey sour. I will be having another one some time, for sure.
The thing is, you can make MJ’s delicious lemonade with any herbal tea as part of the liquid! It’s like an Arnold Palmer…but better, in my opinion. Genius! I love making foods with “hidden” beneficial ingredients, and this one is such a perfect remedy to many of the things that affect us during the long, hot days of solstice time. While Alaska doesn’t provide too many lemons, it provides plenty of sunshine to enjoy a big glass of lemonade under!
In other news, veggie production is in full swing at Sun Circle Farm with CSA, two farm stands and one market day all on the calendar through the rest of the summer. We are eating great and feeling good working outside in the warm fertile soil. Opal is proving to be a very good farm baby and Ava continues to amaze me with how much she grows and changes from day to day.
I hope you find a good stoop to sit on and enjoy some lemonade. I hope you can tune out life for a beat and sip on the perfect summer drink!
Until Next Time,
Sending you peace and love from Alaska,
Alex, The Rural Farmgirl