I like clover! I like white clover and red clover, I can remember as a small child the pleasure on a warm sunny summer day to pick big fluffy heads of the most wonder purple and sucking on the sweet at the bottom of each tiny flower nub.. I have never been quite sure why red clover is called red, as the flowers are purple to my eye..
Clover in the pasture was a good thing, clover pulled and tossed to the chickens or given out to grandpa’s rabbits, would make critters cluck and coo or nibble in the most happy way.. but my mother never used clover in the kitchen that I am aware of.
Credit for the first time I had homemade clover tea goes to Miss T back when she was my roommate just as I hit my 20’s, and I have never looked back, I missed clover something fierce when I lived in the artic and there was none.. no clover flowers for years in my life, I traded them for a different world view and culture and don’t regret it, it has helped make me who I am.
But now that I am back on a farm again, I seek out and grow my clover patches, some white, some red, some a mix of both, I use it as a green cover, I use it for bird feed, and for six months of the year, some is picked for the rabbits daily greens, I dry the flowers for my own use and I make at least a batch or two of clover flower syrup. This is special to me, no using it one pancakes or icecream or as a meat glaze.. not this one..
Its used for when I have a cold, I mix up a couple tbsp of this with hot water and sip away., its a wonderful sweet flower with nutty undertones
This is a basic flower syrup but I have a few helpful hints to make sure it turns out the best possable for you.
- Pick your flowers early in the morning, and be picky about them, you want young just coming out flowers with no damage or brown on the bottom of the flowers. yes it takes time to hand pick the flowers and you will need a good size patch of them.
- Pick your flowers when they are dry, not wet from rain or dew
- Pick only from patches you know have not been sprayed
- Don’t overpick your patch, no more then half at any given time.
- Use good quality water(I know, I know this one seems basic, but not everyone has the right water in their home wells to make good canning products!)
Clover flower Syrup Recipe
- 4 cups of flowers (all Red, all White or a mix of both)
- 2 cups of water
Put your flowers after carefully checking them over, and removing any green leaves or stems or brown spots on the flowers into your steel pot, cover with water and bring to a slow soft simmer for 20 min by which time all color should have leach out of the flowers, and you will be left with a very pretty yellow fresh flower tea.
Measure out your water, it should be two cups, if you want to use it right away, just bottle and cool and add honey or sugar as you use it, if you want to perserve it for winter, its a one to one rato is what I use.
So back into the cleaned steel pot goes the two cups of flower tea and two cups of sugar, bring to boil and simmer for two min, and then jar and process the pint jar for ten min and cool and store in a cool, dark place.
So you make clover flower tea? Do you dry clover? Do you make syrup and have a favorite way to use it? Do you grow clover as a ground cover?A green Crop for the garden? or how about a big old patch for your smaller barn critters?