Are you a NC grower with medicinal herbs to sell (at least a few dried pounds at a time)?
Are you a buyer looking for NC grown medicinal herbs? We have run a casual “medicinal herb buyer-medicinal herb grower matchmaking service” out of my program for many years and will continue to do so. But we thought it would also be helpful to create a page where growers and buyers could list what they want and need. This is just the beta testing site. I would love to populate it a bit within the next month or so and take it for a test drive. Anyone interested in trying it? If yes, just follow the instructions!
Link to Herb Connection
Jeanine M. Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Extension Specialist
Dept. of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Tues, July 21 6:30pm – 9:00pm
With Jackie Dobrinska, The Herbal Yogini
Learn how to address some common chronic health concerns using lifestyle and plant medicine. Investigating powerful, practical tools, we’ll look at abundant plant allies that have been used to address issues such as poor digestion and insomnia to low immunity and compromised vitality. We will primarily be focusing on herb allies and how to use them appropriately, utilizing herbs growing in The Lord’s Acre Medicinal Herb Garden.
INCLUDES PLANT WALK IN MEDICINAL HERB GARDEN.
We will meet in Fairview at THE LORD’s ACRE.
EVENT FREE but $10 suggested donation makes it more sustainable.
Email Jackie at email@example.com or call 828-337-2737.
A few helpful tips to give you a hand for your own organic gardening projects.
1. If you can not use finished compost for a while, cover the pile with a tarp to avoid leaching the nutrients out of the compost.
2. Companion planting is an excellent way to improve your garden. Some plants replenish nutrients lost by another one, and some combinations effectively keep pests away.
3. Dry your herbs at the end of the summer by tying sprigs together to form small bunches. Tie them together with a rubber band and hang, tips down, in a dry place out of the sun. Keep the bunches small to ensure even circulation. Store dry in labeled canning jars, either whole or crumbled. Freezing is also a good way to preserve herbs.
4. Water in the morning to help avoid powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that are often spread by high humidity.
5. The longer the growing season, the more compost is needed in the soil. A longer growing season requires more nutrients and organic matter in the soil.
6. Coffee grounds make excellent mulch around acid-loving plants.
7. Attract ladybugs to your garden with nectar-producing plants such as parsley, dill, and fennel.
8. In general, thinner leaved plants need more water to stay alive, thicker leaved plants need less.
9. Make compost tea by mixing equal parts compost and water and let it sit. Pour this liquid directly onto the soil around healthy, growing plants. Dilute this to 4 parts water to 1 part compost for use on smaller seedlings. Any compost that has not gone into solution can be used to make more tea or used in your garden.
10. New beds require plenty of compost, soil amendments and double digging for that extra kick.
11. Keep dirt off lettuce and cabbage leaves when growing by spreading a 1-2 inch layer of mulch (untreated by pesticides or fertilizers) around each plant. This also helps keep the weeds down.
12. Bats are a great form of natural pest control. Many in North America feed exclusively on insects and eat more than birds and bug zappers combined.
13. Milk jugs, soda bottles and other plastic containers make great mini-covers to place over your plants and protect them from frost.
14. Less than 2 percent of the insects in the world are harmful. Most are beneficial.
15. Pinching off flowers frequently encourage most annuals to flower more abundantly.
16. Avoid using railroad ties in or around your vegetable garden; the chemicals used as preservatives are now thought to be toxic and harmful.
17. When watering, try to water deeply and thoroughly. Frequent, shallow waterings train your plants to keep their roots near the surface, making them less hardy and more likely to suffer when deprived of water.
Water Wisely! Wet leaves, especially in the afternoon or evening hours, can attract disease. Avoid watering your plants with a sprinkler. Instead, use a water-saving soaker hose to deliver water directly to the roots.
18. Rotate your crops each year to help reduce pest and disease problems, as well as correct nutrient deficiencies and excesses.
19. Pest management begins with healthy soil. It produces healthy plants, which are better able to withstand disease and insect damage.
20. Diatomaceous earth makes an excellent organic insecticide – it is an abrasive white powder used to damage the cuticle, skin and joints of insects. It also makes an excellent slug barrier.
21. Botanical insecticides are plant derivatives, and can be more toxic than some synthetics. They are, however, better in the long run because they break down rapidly and do not accumulate in the food chain as synthetics do.
22. Once a seed sprouts it must be kept watered. If it dries out, it dies. If seeds are lightly covered with soil, they may need to be gently sprinkled with water once or twice a day to keep them moist.
23. Earthworms are extremely beneficial to the soil and plants, increasing air space in the soil and leaving behind worm castings. Do everything you can to encourage earthworms in your soil.
24. A garden soil that has been well mulched and amended periodically requires only about a 1 inch layer of compost yearly to maintain its quality.
25. Wash the harvest – Collect your produce in an old laundry basket. The basket acts as a strainer, allowing you to quickly rinse off dirt and debris from veggies and fruits.
25. For an organic approach to pest control, build up your soil to encourage healthy microbes and other soil microorganisms, and earthworms. Healthy soil means healthy plants that are better able to resist pests and disease, thus reducing the need for harmful pesticides.
26. Plants you can add to your garden for attracting beneficial insects. These good guys in the garden attack insect pests such as aphids and tomato hornworms. Don’t worry about these good bugs: Most types are small enough that you’ll hardly notice them in the garden.
Angelica, Baby’s Breath, Bachelor’s Button, Black-eyed Susan, Blue Lace Flower, Cleome, Cosmos, Daisy, Golden Marguerite, Marigold, Nasturtium, Peonies, Purple Coneflower, Salvia, Sunflower, Yarrow, White Sweetclover, Zinnia
Source: Mother Earth News, Planet Natural, Organic Life, BHG
The air in the atmosphere is 78% nitrogen. Plants require nitrogen to grow, but they can’t process the inert nitrogen gas in the sky. It takes an enormous blast of energy to break apart those nitrogen molecules and convert them to a compound that plants can use.
This is where lightning comes into play. A lightning bolt is 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than the sun, and contains up to a billion volts of electricity. A single lightning bolt can stretch for miles as it tears apart the sky with its power.
The unbridled energy of lightning shatters the nitrogen molecules in the air. Some of the free nitrogen atoms combine with oxygen to form compounds called nitrates that mix with the rain.
These nitrates are a powerful natural fertilizer. Raindrops carry the nitrates to the ground in a soluble form that plants can absorb. The rain gives its water to the thirsty land, but it is the lightning that adds fertilizer. We can water our gardens ten times and not do as much good as one lightning-charged rainstorm.
Welcome to 2015 – Our 7th year at The Lord’s Acre
New Year’s resolutions started about 4,000 years ago when the Babylonians celebrated for 11 straight days. We have nothing on the rugged Babylonians. Instead of celebrating for 11 days straight, here are 11 ‘garden resolutions’ to check out for 2015.
- Just START.
- It’s a New Year’s resolution that can impact more parts of your life than most any other.
- Recycle – you can grow a lot of food in things you’re throwing out. Look before you toss. From old purses to golf bags. From old bathtubs to old toilets. Will it hold soil? Will it drain? Voila – a planter. A quick image search will show you how attractive and artsy such containers have become.
- Build a small wood sided bed. Four 6” wide boards of oak, locust or cedar will hold loads of vegetable plants. Not handy? Four old logs pushed into a square shape work too.
- Buy a metal trough. They come in all sizes.
- Buy one good book. I recommend The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith for beginners.
- Check out the books Lasagna Gardening or Square Foot Gardening at your local library. There’s lots of info on these methods on the web too.
- Remember the soil
- If you’ve never done a soil test, go for it. Then, you can do one every few years. We like A & L Labs but there are many good labs out there and state labs are free during the off season.
- Feed the soil, not the plant. Soil is NOT dirt. It’s alive and the organisms that make their home in the soil are working for you around the clock to provide your plants the nutrients they need. This article explains how it works.
- Add organically approved soil amendments as recommended by your soil test. 5th Season has an easy-to-use booklet you can access online here that tells you what’s what.
- Till less, mulch more.
- Use cover crops or mulch – never leave soil bare.
- Work smarter. Not harder.
- Raised beds, tubs and planters all make for easier maintenance. Check out these bed types.
- Garden with friends. In some communities neighbors each grow one or two crops then share with each other.Check out these examples: Shared Gardens ; Good Neighbor Gardens
- Install drip irrigation. Here’s one video by a back yard gardener.
- Mulch to keep down weeds and improve soil
- Weed early when weeds are young. (many are a delicacy)
- Grow what you need (with a little to share). Most gardeners maintain way too much garden. Learn how much to plant here and here.
- Build in enjoyment.
- Sip and Stroll – take your coffee, tea, lemonade, beer, and wine to the garden. Daily sipping and strolling takes a few minutes a day, lowers blood pressure and is one of the most effective ways to improve your garden.
- Grow beauty. Plant flowers. Growing flowers attracts pollinators and insects that help eradicate garden pests. They also attract birds and people
- Add garden art. Birdhouses from thrift shops, homemade scarecrows, old wheelbarrows etc.
- Hang out – add a bench, swing, shade, hammock…anything that brings you to the garden.
- Think of the garden as an outdoor room – write letters, watch the kids in the kiddie pool, paint, write poetry, picnic in the garden.
- Be inspired.
- Gardens That Give WNC will be hosting another public garden tour in 2015
- Most towns host garden tours or have public gardens or farm tours.
- ASAP hosts a farm tour in Western North Carolina each year
- Organize a vegetable garden tour in your community.
- Grow food. Share it.
- Plant a Row For the Hungry
- Contact your local food pantry to see if and when they can use your produce
- Share with neighbors. Bring to church.
- Start a share garden at your church, business, or as a community beautification project.
- Invite neighbors over for a potluck
- Contact your local Society of St. Andrew if you have a lot of produce
- Making peace with weeds
- Till less, mulch more
- Use cover crops to choke out weeds during the off seasons
- Tools that skim the surface lightly instead of digging deeply, bring less new weed seeds to the surface
- During those walk-abouts, scout out weeds going to seed and clip them down or pull
- Don’t compost weeds that have gone to seed unless your compost pile is a hot one
- Eat your weeds. Edible weeds are more nutritious by far than what you’re growing intentionally. Favorites are: Lambsquarter (Chenopodium album); Chickweed (Stellaria); and Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) – high in Omega 3 fatty acids
- Grow your mind.
- Attend at least one gardening workshop, conference or class a year. Look to local media and garden stores for a calendar of events.
- Start a compost pile that works.
- Home Composting Made Easy is a little publication you can find online for under $5.
- And here is a free pdf on composting
- Read for inspiration – not only how-to.
- Among scores of favorites I recommend The Mad Farmer Poems; The Gift of Good Land and The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry; Folks This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin; GreenPrints magazine; Farm City by Novella Carpenter and The Seed Underground by Janisse Ray.
11. Be SMART
- Don’t just choose a few new ideas. Determine HOW you’ll do them and By WHEN. Be SMART. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timley