Blueberry, Calendula, Orange & Lavender Water

It has been so ridiculously hot here out on the hill. Not the kind of heat that encourages swimming or running through a sprinkler to cool off. Uh uh. This is the kind of heat you do everything you can to hide from. We’ve been getting up extra early to try and make everyone’s days a little easier to bear. The piggies get a new mud puddle to wallow in all day – they really know what they’re doing with mud as sunscreen. The big brown pony gets his summer rug on in the hope the brightness of the white fabric will reflect as much sun in the opposite direction as possible. He also gets a fly veil on for obvious reasons – not just because the whole get up makes him look like the horse equivalent of the Masked Avenger. ‘Cause it does. We set up a sprinkler for the geese and ducks – they love it. The chooks just stand on the periphery shouting out encouragement but never going in themselves, it’s like a stage show musical complete with synchronised swimming by the ducklings who are bobbing around like marshmallows in the ‘pool’. Amusement is always at hand out here, at least that’s never razored by the haze of heat.

We also wander around with a hose attached to the end of our arms for at least an hour each morning, watering anything that isn’t protected by drip irrigation. Once the greenhouse is thoroughly drenched and all the terracotta pots are brimming with their own reservoirs, we head inside to disappear behind the striped light of window blinds and the moments of relief as the fan oscillates past us on its constant back and forth and back again. And then it’s time to irrigate ourselves!

I’ve been making up all different kinds of fruit and flower waters this Summer, letting different ingredients grab my attention while we water the garden each morning. There’s been some really delicious combinations and gorgeous colours with the added bonus of all the vitamins and minerals from whatever fruits, flowers and herbs are swimming around in the jug.

There are so many options with the produce Summer offers –

cucumber / green apple / mint

strawberry / basil / lime

lemon / celery / grape

rosemary / apricot / ruby grapefruit

And because we’ve been making our own essential oils at home, I’ve been adding a splash of hydrosol too. Unfortunately our hydrosol is in the same little brown bottles as our essential oils and I introduced my Mum to some ‘lovely rosemary water’ the other day that she nearly choked on. Yeah, so don’t do that. Hydrosol is the water leftover after the essential oil is separated out, don’t be tempted to substitute on that one, or your Mum may never drink anything you put before her without wincing and sniffing it first.  My poor Mum, no wonder she’s suspicious of my ‘alternative’ lifestyle. Now she’ll have to add ‘normal’ water to her BYO list of instant coffee and cow’s milk when she visits.

Anyway, here’s one of our current favourites and it’s delicious, trust me…

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Blueberry, Calendula, Orange & Lavender Water

1 litre rainwater

10-12 organic blueberries

1 organic orange, cut into quarters

3-4 fresh calendula flowers

6-8 fresh borage flowers

1 tbsp lavender hydrosol

Pour the water into a jug and slightly squash and squeeze the fruit as you put it in along with the flowers and hydrosol. Add ice and hydrate to your heart’s content.

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