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Showing posts from June, 2010

State of Tranquility

The birds are calling from the branches of the oak trees and the maple. Flamboyant melodies respond from deep within the blue spruce and their protective fortress of needles and cones. At times I wonder if they are speaking to one another or simply talking over each other. Regardless their voices blend perfectly.

Three tiny white butterflies land upon the snapdragons. I am always amazed that they are able to find their targets so accurately with such a swaying, intoxicated approach. The little white butterflies seem to be out in numbers this year. . . . I wonder what they are called?

Our terrier mix rolls in the grass and clover, just beyond our zucchini and cucumber patch, while our senior beagle sits like a statue trying to soak up the summer sun.

I can hear the wind cutting through the bamboo just before it gains enough momentum to stride across the lawn and playfully brush against the solemn chimes hanging from the branch on the apple tree and those suspended above Meghann's her…

"Sister Spinster Stinging Nettle"

The Nettle has always fascinated me but I had no idea how amazing this overlooked plant truly is! One began to grow up next to my rose bush and as with all sneaking plants I chose to let her remain- despite her threat. She hasn't stung anyone yet and the kids know to respect her for her potential.
Susan Weed is my herbal guru and I knew she had included Nettle in her book "Healing Wise" however I was unaware of the healing potential of this stinger. From the roots to the leaves and seeds every part hold healing potentials. Stinging nettle is a good source of calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur, copper, chromium, zinc, cobalt, potassium and phosphorus as well as containing high amounts of vitamins A, C, D, E, and K as well as riboflavin and thiamine. Just as keeping bees, if you are willing to be stung you may have the honey...
"...cows fed on it give much milk and yellow butter. Makes horses smart and frisky. Stimulates fowls to lay many eggs." Rafinesque …

Golden Sweet Pea (2)

On July 1st 2009 an entry was posted about the Golden Sweet Pea if you are interested in additional information on this vegetable.

Last year we attempted to start saving our own seeds. The Golden Sweet Pea was one of the two items that we were able to succesfully develop seed stock with. We did place another order for seeds with the Seed Savers Exchange just to strengthen this years yield since we had no idea how strong our seeds would be the first time around but it turned out not to be neccesary.

You can plant your peas as soon as you can turn your soil in the spring. Peas are a great nitrogen-fixing, green manure crop. A little trick with peas that we are going to incorporate this year is a spring and mid summer planting. The spring crop will be partly for eating and partly for seed stock while the mid summer planting will provide a fall harvest of peas. Since peas tend to do well in cooler temps this is a great way to double up on your crop and a way to use empty space in your gar…

Swiss Chard

"The watering of a garden requires as much judgement as the seasoning of a soup."
Helena Rutherford Ely

This is the first year that we have grown chard in our garden. I tried to last year but for some reason it did not take. This year it is well established in the soil and we have already begun to harvest the young leaves as part of our salad mixture.

Chard is a giant in the world of healthy vegetables. One cup of Swiss chard contains over 300% of your daily dose of Vitamin K, which is important for maintaining bone health. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin A due to its large concentration of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the body. One cup of chard contains nearly 110% of your daily Vitamin A. It is believed that beta-carotene may help reduce your risk to certain types of cancer, specifically skin cancer. There is also a link between Vitamin A and lung health as well. Chard also supplies over 50% of your daily Vitamin C, which is a b…

Let Us Talk About Lettuce

"I'm not really a career person. I'm a gardener, basically."-George Harrison

This is the first year that we have grown lettuce from seed. I have no idea why I was so intimidated by the idea of growing lettuce from seed in the past. Last year friends of the family grew some in their raised bed and they could not keep up with the production of this leafy green so I began thinking , “O.K. maybe this isn’t as hard as I thought,” and decided that the next growing season I was going to give it a try.

Here we are in 2010 and I cannot keep up with the lettuce in my raised bed! The only thing that I wish I had done differently is to have planted a red lettuce instead of a green. The darker the lettuce the healthier it is for you. One of the nice things about this loose leaf is that you can plant a crop in the early spring and than put out another for a nice fall harvest as well since they prefer the cooler temperatures. With that said I think I may try a darker leaf the secon…