Apple Cider Vinegar

Every summer we collect locally grown apples right here in Edmonton and press them with Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton (OFRE) into fresh apple cider. As a founding member of this non-profit, it holds a special place in my heart and I love to go on picks with my little ones. I believe strongly in growing and eating locally grown foods. We have so much all around us that is delicious and healthy. Why not use it and enjoy it? This is also why I love foraging! It has taught me so much about the biodiversity of Alberta and awoken my eyes to the beauty of nature here in the city.

I look forward to apple picks every year because each apple tree is different and so is it's cider. Unique to the variety, the season, and the weather we have had, etc.

After our picks, we press the apples into fresh cider. So fun with the pedal powered apple crusher! Next, we ferment the raw apple cider into Apple cider vinegar. This takes a few weeks to months to get a good strong vinegar infusion going. You can definitely speed up the process by adding a bottle of last years vinegar into the batch. I do this when I have some left over from the last year.

Why do we make our own vinegar?

I love the process of connecting with the plants and making medicine from them! It's super local and you can't get anything like this in the store. It's unique to our bioregion and it connects us and my family to the nature around us, which when you live in a city can sometimes feel like you get disconnected from.

Herbal infusions

Early on in my herbalist training, I learned about an ancient recipe called Queen of Hungary Water published in a book written Rosemary Gladstar. It was an apple cider vinegar infusion of different plants like chamomile, calendula, sage, rosemary, and more that people used for everything from a health tonic, to digestive support to a hair rinse, to an antiseptic cleanser, to a bath splash!

Having learned the benefits of whole plant infusions in oil for the skin, I was intrigued by the idea of using vinegar as a medium. Apple cider vinegar is a natural probiotic and has a plethora of healthy bacteria in it. As a vinegar its on the acidic end of the pH scale like the surface of our skin. It can be an excellent way of cleansing the skin while protecting the skin's acid mantle and microbiome. It's much better than strong cleansers with surfuctants which can strip the bacteria and oils off the skin compromising the skin's ability to keep harmful bacteria out. 

We use our apple cider vinegar infusions in our facial toners and our hair rinses. They are pure magic for the skin!