yarrow at sfo.com
yarrow at sfo.com
Thu Dec 14 22:27:23 EST 2006
I have a half dozen comfrey plants in my community garden plot,
planted mostly next to the compost bins. I've used them to make a
fermented tea (to add nutrients to plants): put leaves and flowering
stems in bucket, add water, cover, let sit for a week or so. Strain
and dilute. I make sure to harvest leaves regularly, at least 4 times
from spring to fall, either for the tea or to add directly to the
compost bin (it's supposed to be a compost activator). I've also
heard about but not tried juicing the fresh leaves and using that
instead of the (very stinky) fermented tea.
I've been meaning to make the liniment, but haven't gotten around to
it yet. Incidentally, the same formula (soak some leaves in rubbing
alcohol) could be used to make a hand sanitizer -- easier to use than
soap, really useful if you're around small children or worried about
avian flu or the common cold, and great for skin. Allantoin, one of
the constituents of comfrey, is used in some premium hand lotions.
Some years ago, I used dried comfrey leaves/root in a healing salve I
made, and it's about time to make some new batches.
The plants are dying back for the winter. Most years the birds nibble
the leaves down to stubs, but I haven't noticed any nibbles this year.
It's very easy to propagate from root cuttings (use a 3-4 inch
segment of the thick root). I've dug up a plant, harvested a few of
the thickest roots, mailed the roots across the country, replanted
the comfrey, and seen it spring back easily. I also potted up the
tiniest root pieces and got 10 more small plants, so it's no surprise
that comfrey has a reputation for being invasive or hard to get rid
In my summer-dry climate, I found that it wilts without regular
water. One plant was in a container for a year or so; it survived,
but needed lots more water and almost always looked droopy.
>--- Patrick McKown <identi1956 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> A punster. 'Be fruitful and mulch apply'. Excellent. Has anyone on
>> this list worked with comfry?
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