Saturday, May 14, 2011

What I Hope To Accomplish This Weekend

·         I guess I will have to become accustomed to working in the rain.  Although I have managed to find a dry moment or two and have transplanted the nasturtiums into porch rail boxes.  I'm working on tempting those busy little bees to visit my porch deck and do their pollination dance for the summer.  I'll have my eggplant up there and a couple of tomato plants.  I have an heirloom beefsteak and cherry tomato.
 Here's what I have planned for the weekend:
·         Transplant tomatoes 
·         Plant beets, turnips, beans, more carrots 
·         Prepare potato bed 
·         Bring home more mushroom manure
·         Buy 3 more containers for the deck
·         Do some wild food foraging (or at least see what we’ve got in our woods)

This should keep me busy until Monday!  If I have a chance, I’ll post again with what I actually do get done.  Have a good weekend.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Finally ~ A Day In The Garden!!!!

Wow!  Did I have fun today!  It did not rain and I took big advantage of it.  Well, as much as I could anyway

I got my raised beds ready for planting and while I was doing that, I found some shallots that came up on their own.  The garlic bed is doing fabulous, totally full of Italian purple and elephant garlic.  It will be worth the wait for harvest time.

My broccoli is now transplanted in their own bed.  The nasturtiums and sweet peas are up and still in their peat discs but if the weather warms up enough through the week I'll transplant into their porch rail and trellis boxes.  I'll be transplanting the cherry tomatoes in between the sweet peas.  I don't think the bees will be able to resist .

My poor kale is half drown in their container with all the rain we've had and the purple sprouting broccoli never made it.  I'm really hoping the kale will pull through.

My lemon balm has relocated itself!  When I looked it up on the Herb Mentor site I learned that it likes poor soil that is well drained.  It has come up all through the walk way I made with the stone from the creek bed.  (I dug it out 1-1/2 feet and filled it with sand and then a few inches of tiny pebbles.  I then placed the stones in the pebbles).  This is where my lovely lemon balm has chosen to reside.  And do I have to tell you how beautiful it looks?  A very healthy looking emerald green. I've decided to leave it where it is, even though it is inconvenient, but if it is not happy ~ it won't make very good medicine.
Lemon balm is good for strengthening the memory and powerfully chasing away melancholy, it has calming and relaxing properties. Officially it is a relaxing nervine, an herb that relaxes, soothes and supports the nervous system.  It can be used for anxiety, hysteria, frayed nerves, stress, insomnia, seasonal affective disorder, nervous tension and general feelings of "I'm on my last straw!". Older sources list it as being helpful for heart palpitations as well.

I will make a tincture from it and honey infusion.  The honey infusion will be made with local honey which should help with my allergies.  I will also dry some at the end of the season for tea.  I should be able to get 2 harvests from it.

I went to the woods today also in hopes of harvesting some elder flowers.  This place was a homestead in the Civil War days and about 20 years ago children caught it on fire.  The fire department came and just took the place down.  We used to fish in the pond, I collected some daffodil bulbs, bricks for my old herb garden and garlic chives.  I wish I had known about the medicinal virtues of the elder flowers and berries back then ~ but I didn't.  So this year I thought how very lucky I am to know where wild elderberries grow and went off on an expedition to visit this beautiful spot only to find it has been completely bull dozed to become a part of the small airport that it bordered.  Not only was this a historical (ish) spot because of the old age of the homestead, but right next to it was the path for the first (and the only one as far as I know) cross country trolley ever!  Some of the line and poles were still there.  It went from Harmony, PA clear in to Pittsburgh and even crossing a river.   My heart truly sank at the sight of it.  All gone.

Tomorrow I will spend some time with my Mom and daughter for Mother's Day.  We've been getting together more often these days which has been a lot of fun.  I hope all you Moms have a great day!