All About Lindens
Each year in late June, our farm is suddenly and deliciously overtaken by the wafting aroma of Linden trees. It seems like their tiny buds burst into bloom almost overnight, sending us springing into action as we rush to harvest as many as we can before the bloom is finished. This window of opportunity is incredibly fleeting - a week and a half and it's over. Needless to say, the moment those blossoms pop open, we drop everything and pick.
The most challenging part of our Linden harvest is the simple fact that Lindens are tall trees with tiny blossoms. There is nothing quick about picking them and no real way to increase efficiency. So even though we know that we have lots to pick in a short period of time, we still have no other option than to delicately pluck each individual blossom from the stem, taking care not to damage the leaves or the branches. And on top of that, we're often balancing on the top rungs of a ladder, tucked away in the foliage with the bees.
Attached to each blossom is a paper-thin, light green leaf called a bract which helps to attract pollinators as well as distribute the seeds as they fall from the tree in autumn. Both the blossom and the bract are harvested.
Linden blossoms have long been recognized as relaxing nervines which help to calm the body, soothe the spirit and ease stress and anxiety. When infused in hot water, Linden tea is delicately citrus in flavour and very popular in Europe for relieving tension and promoting digestion. It's also been written that if you're left to fall asleep under a Linden, you may very well wake up in fairyland. And while sipping the tea likely won't have the same effect, it's often used to help ease restlessness in children.
We blend our dried Lindens into our 100% farm-grown Anxiety Tea, along with lemon balm, lavender, sunflower and viola. It can be sipped hot before bed to promote a good night's sleep or over ice on a warm summer's day to help cool and detoxify the body.
We also steam distill our Lindens to extract a sweet and herbal hydrosol. Because of the time-consuming nature of our Linden harvest, we only distill one small batch each year and blend it into our Herbal Garden Aromatherapy Room Mist. Featuring fresh, floral and citrus notes, this mist also includes our our farm grown rose geranium, lavender, sage and lemon verbena.
Each year, the Lindens finish their bloom almost as soon as they started. Their sweet aroma drifts off on the hot summer breeze as though it was never really there at all, and we're soon swept up in our lavender harvest, with the quiet, peaceful moments among trees lingering in our minds like a dream. Until next year, when we do it all again.