Growing and Using Calendula Petals
Here in the mountains of Southern California, beautiful calendulas grow like weeds. You can grow them in pots or spread them over a large planting bed. The petals are edible and can be used fresh in salads or dried and used as a replacement for saffron. They are a flavorful ingredient in soups and stews.
I do dehydrate the petals for use in cosmetics and cooking throughout the year, but I also use the fresh petals to brew a strong pot of calendula tea for an afternoon pick-me-up. I just place 2 tablespoons of clean calendula petals in a teapot, pour 2-3 cups boiling water over them, cover, and place a tea cozy or towel over the pot to keep it warm. I steep the tea for 10 minutes, strain the tea, and enjoy!