There’s an art to harvesting Calendula, as Mark Disharoon tells us. Mark has been with Herb Pharm for over 20 years. He is an integral part of our farm team and teaches in our Herbaculture Internship Program.
Each flower head must be harvested by hand, with a twist or roll and a flick of the wrist. This ensures that only the Calendula (Calendula officinalis) flowers are harvested, not the stems. He makes it look effortless, because he has a great deal of experience cultivating and harvesting herbs.
He picks until his hands are full, then deposits the bright golden yellow and orange flowers into a bucket and starts over. Once Mark and the rest of the farm crew and interns have finished the Calendula harvest, some of it is tested and processed while still fresh. The remainder of the harvest is spread on screens and dried, then extracted and tested later on.
Latin name: Calendula officinalis
Common name(s): Calendula, Pot marigold
Plant family: Asteraceae
Native habitat: Europe, but able to grow in North America
Parts used: Flowers
Botanical description: sunny yellow and orange flowers with raylike petals radiating from a central disc; leaves are aromatic, oblong and narrower at the base
Traditional use(s): Traditional support for the immune system*
Flavor profile: moderately bitter flavor with a slightly resinous aftertaste