All I have left from my calendula harvest this year is caterpillar poop. And some golden calendula flower oil, probably with a caterpillar or two in it. For all the flowers I picked, all the times I tried to meticulously remove caterpillars, and all the ways I tried to harvest and dry them, not a one remains.
My work room was invaded with caterpillars that crawled out of my harvesting baskets. For weeks (months?) on end, I found about 4 worms daily, tons of excrement, about 6 cocoons, and only one moth (thank goodness). In the end, I dumped all my harvest over the fence.
Next year, I will either find a way to deal with the bugs, or just admire my calendula when I am at the garden, and not attempt to harvest it.
So, instead of putting my garden-grown yellow and orange calendula blossoms into my favorite lymph cleansing teas, healing salves, and herbal facial steams, I have these photos look at. And when push comes to shove, it’s not that difficult to order some high quality organic calendula by the pound from Mountain Rose.