Experiencing Herbs with your Child

Experiencing Herbs with your Child

Herbs and Children, Using Herbs
[caption id="attachment_396" align="alignright" width="300"] Bash, processing thyme and lavender with Mom.[/caption] Here is a picture from last summer. Bash was helping me process thyme and lavender. Lavender is his FAVORITE herb. He loves the little purple flowers and the smell, I mean who doesn't? Well my weirdo herbalist of a mother isn't the hugest lavender (fragrance) fan...buuut...more for US! ;) Hello beautiful people! Relishing in this absolutely beautiful sunny day! Wandered around my garden barefoot this morning slowly soaking up that positive Sagittarius energy. I did not want the quiet morning to end. It lasted a good solid 3 minutes until I realized my bare feet were two inches away from a mound of dog poop left by my beloved blue heeler Winston. OH glorious morning!! I MUST say though,…
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Growing Carrots and Food Security

Growing Carrots and Food Security

Food Supply, Growing Food, Organic Gardening
I don't talk a lot about varieties, I grab seeds from the Farm Supply store, read about them seed catalogs, and various websites, and work very often with trial and error. That is the sum total of how I write, how my garden works. You can read and read, but nothing in the world prepares a person to grow their own food like hands on growing. Like Nike said, "Just do it!" It is the only way. However, rather than get off on a long discourse on the necessity of organic gardening, let me write simply about getting started. Much could be said about gardening. When I read, then review books for this website, I often think that next to love and religion, this is the most written about subject…
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Organic Fertilizers

Organic Fertilizers

Soil & Compost
When used in reference to fertilizers, the word organic generally means that the nutrients contained in the product are derived solely from the remains or a by-product of an organism. Cottonseed meal, blood meal, fish emulsion, manure and sewage sludge are examples of organic fertilizers. Urea is a synthetic organic fertilizer, an organic substance manufactured from inorganic materials. When packaged as fertilizers, organic products have the fertilizer ratio stated on the package label. Some organic materials, particularly composted manures and sludges, are sold as soil conditioners and do not have a nutrient guarantee stated on the package, although small amounts of nutrients are present. Some organic fertilizers are high in one of the three major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, or potash,) but low or zero in the other two. Some are…
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How to Grow Horseradish

Herb Gardening, Organic Gardening
In 1995 the International Herb Association started naming a Herb of the Year. This practice brings focus each year to a particular herb so herb enthusiasts, groups and gardeners can learn more about an individual herb. This year, 2011, Horseradish, Armoracia rusticana, is the herb of the year. So, let's explore this pungent, powerful herb. Want to clear you sinuses? Prevent scurvy? Bring tears to your eyes? Then Horseradish is the herb for you! Botanical Info: Considered a bitter herb, helping digestion and appetite. Family: Brassicaceae- related to mustard, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Genus and species: Armoracia rusticana Other common names: Scurvy Grass, Mountain Radish, Great Mountain Root, Pepperroot Horseradish is a root crop that is thought to be native to Northern or Central Europe. It is…
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How to Grow Organic Beets

How to Grow Organic Beets

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
Botanical: Beta vulgaris Family: Amaranthaceae Beets are wonderful food plants to grow because they give a double bang for the buck. If you plant thickly, you can have plenty of greens while the young and tender plant is growing and they are most nutritious. And as you thin them out you leave room for the large bulbs to grow as the plant matures. It's an easy way to have a lot of young greens and still keep the remaining plants growing in the garden for a while longer to produce plenty of mature beet roots for later. Planting Secrets The way to make this work is to plant beets thickly in wide rows. I read a description of beet seeds... "Beet seeds resemble tiny scraps of cork" and it is…
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Beat High Prices by Growing Your Own Tomatoes

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
It's easy,very inexpensive and they taste better too so lets get started! STEP 1: Which tomatoes should I grow? If you have a long growing season then you would want to go with an indeterminate variety which grows all summer long. If your growing season is short then you would go with a determinate variety which produces its fruit quickly (in as little as 85 days or less) and ripens all at once. Step 2: Now that I have bought my seeds what do I do with them? Six to eight weeks for the end of winter I line up little paper cups filled with peat moss and put one seed in each cup. I then place them in a sunny window sill and water almost daily as peat tends…
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Let It Rot: Five Guidelines For Composting

Organic Gardening, Soil & Compost
Compost is what is left over when organic matter decomposes. Organic matter can be things like vegetable scraps, leaves, mown grass and any other garden waste. This material will decompose without any assistance at all, though you can help it along and enjoy the benefits of compost faster if you wish. Because it doesn't contain a high level of essential nutrients, compost is not considered an actual fertilizer. Instead, it is treated as a soil conditioner or amendment. Compost does supply many good things to the soil. It attracts beneficial creatures like earthworms and it improves the soil composition. Cold composting is basically just making a pile and letting it sit in the bin. This takes longer than hot composting. Hot composting is when you take a shovel and turn…
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Let’s Speed Up That Compost Pile

Let’s Speed Up That Compost Pile

Soil & Compost
Compost piles must hold a minimum of organic material before they will maintain rapid decomposition. So the pile should be at least 3-feet-by-3-feet and 4-feet tall. Naturally piles can be larger. Moving leaves to the pile, then chopping them up with a lawn mower or leaf shredder before they go on the pile aids composting considerably, as small particles decompose faster than large ones. There are other things we can do to accelerate composting and make it more efficient. As slightly wet leaves decompose quicker than dry ones and rain may not penetrate the pile center, I'd dampen dry leaves before adding them. Ground limestone may also be scattered in if we add a bunch of oak leaves and we're concerned about the acidity they may generate in our pile.…
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7 Required Components of a Compost Pile

7 Required Components of a Compost Pile

Organic Gardening, Soil & Compost
Compost, made from decomposed grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and branches, becomes a dark, crumbly mixture of organic matter. Learn how composting works. Even a newbie to composting can make good quality compost. It can be compared to cooking as art or part science. The following 7 factors will help you master the art of composting. Components of a Compost Pile After a time anything that was once alive will naturally decompose. But, not all organic items should be composted for the garden. To prepare compost, organic material, microorganisms, air, water, and a small amount of nitrogen are needed. These items are safe to compost at home: * grass clippings * trimmings from hedges * vegetable scraps * leaves * potting soil that has grown old * twigs * coffee filters…
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