Herbal vinegar concocting is an excellent way to participate in your landscape (as you’ll be identifying & collecting herbs and weeds) and they also are an accessible & affordable nutritive food source to add to your diet. I am learning more about nutritional herbology through my school, The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition. Through nutritive extraction of herbs we can access a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals in a way that’s much more sustainable and nourishing (body & spirit) than taking a pill supplement.
In this extraction, the menstruum is vinegar and you can experiment with a variety of them: red wine, champagne, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar.
Herbs that you can use include the wild nutritive herbs (cumphrey, oat straw, red clover, chickweed, dandelion, purslane, raspberry leaf, nettle, plantain) as well as culinary (rosemary, thyme, basil, tarragon, oregano). Play with combinations. You can also add toasted eggshells (heated at 200F to kill bacteria) as a calcium source.
Lightly pack your chopped & cleaned herbs into a quart jar, and cover with vinegar of choice. Let sit for about 6 weeks, then strain through a sieve or cheesecloth. Take the leftover plant matter and add to your compost or spread throughout your garden soil (as I did!)
You can take a shot of vinegar a day for a mineral boost and to alkalize your body. These vinegar extractions can be used for culinary purposes wherever you would normally use an acid-to flavor salad dressings, in marinades, or added to cooked greens.
Another beautiful thing about this process is that it is another means to extend the harvest. The first vinegar I made was made with a medicinal mindset, including red clover, red raspberry leaf, nettle, plantain, and dandelion. The second I was inspired by garlic scapes, using the woody flowering tops that you would otherwise not eat-I also added red clover, garlic mustard leaves, and nettle.