That That exciting moment each year when the blossoms open for the first time heralding the arrival of Summer! Shannon at The Stone Barns Center for Sustainable Agriculture has been keeping a watchful eye on this year's crop of flowers. In the coming weeks we will hand harvest and dry the flowers. As we pick them, our fingers are coated with sticky resin that contains the anti-inflammatory properties that we depend on for our skin care oil, balm and cream.

I first learned about the benefits of Calendula flowers when I was growing them in my own garden and picking the petals to use in salads (the entire plant is edible). The painful cracks on my hands from eczema healed much more quickly when I rubbed a little of the resin in to the affected area. With a little research , I learned about it's centuries long use as a treatment for inflammatory skin conditions and how to dry the flowers and make oil infusions. This was just what I needed for my young daughter's skin. It was such a relief to find that we could use a food safe herb that could be grown in the garden to help her feel better.