As you can see, I didn’t get tons of thistle yesterday. It’s a good amount for a first trial though. They were all small plants so I didn’t have to worry about cutting the roots into sections to promote drying.
I clipped the roots from the tops and put the tops back in the bucket. I know, according to the book “Wild Wisdom of Weeds” by Katrina Blair, I could have saved and used the tops too. For now though, I’ll just focus on learning about the root and compost the tops.
I put the clipped roots into a dish pan of water to wash them. If the roots had been larger, I may have gotten a stuff bristle brush out to aid the process. They were small enough that I just used my hands. I wasn’t sure if I needed to take off the hair like roots. I figured after they dried they would come right off. Where they were thick on a root and impeding the cleaning process, I went ahead and pulled some of them off.
I made up a drying rack using this old cage like container. I bought it at a yard sale for garden and kids’ project potential uses. It has a sturdy wooden frame and window screen sides. It will give the roots good air flow even if I cover the top. I ran baling twine around the top and then back and forth for drying lines.
After the roots were clean, I secured them to the drying lines. My idea had been to use only bread ties because I could twist it around the root end and then twist it around the twine. It worked well, but I couldn’t find as many bread ties as I thought I had. So when I ran out, I used clothes pins instead. With using a line for drying clothes, I had plenty of those.
Now, I’ll be leaving it in the sun or at least an airy place until they are dry, brittle, and crispy (as the book says). Then, I’m going to put them in a glass jar with a tightly closed lid and store them in the freezer. Of course, I’ll also put a piece of paper in the jar identifying them. And I’ll do some more research before I actually try them.