Jake's Run

CSA and Farm

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Lemon Balm Infusions

My lemon balm was overtaking the herb garden. I had no idea what to do with the stuff, other than walking by and pinching a leaf to smell. I turned to Pinterest for ideas and decided I would use my lemon balm to make infused oil and infused vinegar. The oil will be used later in products such as lip balm, salve and soap. The vinegar can be used in cooking, salad dressings or (most likely) as a conditioner for my hair (fragrance allergy, if you haven’t read past blog entries).
The process is super simple:

Harvest the lemon balm and wash.  Our wash station is made of two halves of a 55-gallon food grade barrel. 

That’s a LOT of lemon balm!

2.  Strip the leaves from the stems. Rinse leaves again. Dry leaves. I use my handy dandy salad spinner. 

3.  Stuff a clean glass jar 3/4 full with dry leaves. Really pack them in there. The more leaves, the better the infusion. 

4.  Pour liquid over leaves, making sure to get rid of air bubbles. I added grapeseed oil to some jars, apple cider vinegar to the rest. 

5.  Using plastic lids (I bought mine at Walmart), close jars. 

6.  Gently shake and roll jar to cover all leaves. 

When I was finished, I had 3 quarts of vinegar and 2 quarts + 1 pint of oil. 
Here’s the difference between oil process and vinegar process:

OIL:  Place jars in a sunny windowsill. Occasionally shake the jars and place back on windowsill. 8 weeks later, your oil will be ready. 

VINEGAR:  Place jars in a cool, dark location (mine are in my bathroom). Every few days, shake the jars gently and return to their dark place. 6 weeks later, your vinegar will be ready. 

After the infusions are finished, strain the leaves from the liquid and store liquid, to be used for whatever you need. I’ll be making soap, lip balm and salve with my oil. 


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Apple cider vinegar

Google apple cider vinegar and you’ll discover a myriad of uses. It can be used as a non-toxic cleaning solution, hair conditioner (my personal favorite), fabric softener, cooking ingredient…  I could go on and on. ACV is my “go to” liquid. I use it for everything. 

Last summer, I read an article (or twelve) on how to make your own apple cider vinegar. I didn’t  believe it could be as easy and simple as the Internet was telling me. 

But it IS!! It really is!

I buy a lot of apples. Sometimes they get eaten quickly, sometimes not. When they get a little mushy, they get made into ACV. You can also use the peels and cores. 


You will need: 

  • Water
  • Apples
  • Sugar
  • Glass jar with ring
  • Coffee filter
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Teaspoon


1. Dice organic apples. (You can also use leftover peels and cores).)

2. Place in glass jar. Fill 3/4 full. 

3. Mix 2T. sugar with 2 C. water. 

4. Pour water into jar, covering apples. 

5. Cover with cheesecloth or coffee filter. (I use a coffee filter and the jar ring)

6. Store in a warm, dark place for 4 weeks. (I write the date on the coffee filter)

7. Strain out apple pieces. 

8. Return liquid to jar and cover with same cover. 

9. Put the jar back into the dark place and store for 4-6 weeks, stirring occasionally. 

At the end of this time, your apple cider vinegar will be ready to use.

I made a total of three batches in quart jars, which yielded 1.5 quarts of ACV. 

I can’t wait to use it, but I’ve saved a portion to be made into rose vinegar this summer when the rose bushes bloom. (Also easy, but that’s another post.)

Until next time…