Many years ago I planted sweetgrass down by our pond. The patch has grown every year. Last year I had 8 braids. This year I had a whopping 12. If you have never smelled sweetgrass it is like a freshly mowed field of hay. It brings back wonderful memories of growing up on the prairie. Below is a quick tutorial on how to make a sweetgrass braid. First tie the sweetgrass into bundles and let dry 2 or 3 weeks.
You will have to re-tie the tops, as they shrink immensely when they dry.
Next, either have your husband or a clamp hold the ends. I gave my husband a reprieve this year, since there were so many braids. As you see below, just start braiding a nice tight braid. Don't be gentle. They can withstand some twisting and pulling. When you are all done, tie the end and trim any strands that are sticking out. Trim the top and, if you want, the bottom.
What does one do with sweetgrass braids? I put them in the windows and the scent drifts in with the wind. Mom always gets one, since she started the whole thing by getting me a sweetgrass braid for Christmas. I keep one in my office to calm distraught students. The rest are given to friends and family.
There you have it. 12 sweetgrass braids. Below are some butterfly photos. There were tons of them today dancing through the flowers.
My bird of the week is a red-tailed hawk. She is always around the place, but this year she has been super camera shy. Usually, I get tons of photos of her. She must know I am doing the bird count. She flew away seconds after I took this one photo.
I dealt with the crab apples today. I made 5 pints of crab apple jelly, 2 sheets of fruit roll-ups, and 1 batch of crab apple wine. I tried to make spiced crab apples, but forgot to prick them with a fork. It seems to be an epic fail. Below is my colorful assortment of wines: Dandelion, watermelon, huckleberry, raspberry, red currant. Quite the colorful assortment.
I am exhausted. There was a lot to do this weekend. I need to go back to work to relax. I hope you had a productive weekend.