Sunday, August 7, 2016

In the Garden: Finding Purpose

First sunflower and hollyhock

Morning glory




Three year olds love dirt.

Comfrey


Kids weeding... this lasted about two minute, but that's progress!

Summer squash

"Three Sister's Garden"... Corn, pumpkins and beans

Garlic braided and ready to hang.

Sweet pea

Pink Poppy

Amaranth 

St. John's Wort oil steeping the window for two weeks.
Wild children in the wild kingdom.

Calendula amongst the tomatoes
Tomatillos and Tomatoes
Calendula and Tulsi Basil for tea... I ended up just using the calendula petals, but the whole flowers were too pretty not to photograph.



Hops and morning glories growing on our rustic porch enclosure.

Tansy
Fairy thrown is being covered with morning glory vines and nasturtiums.
Herbs and garlic drying.

Vines are climbing... morning glories, hops, grapes and nasturiums are reaching for the sun. It is certainly a jungle out there, and I regret not having the time to manage things better. Tomatoes are a trouble spot right now. I've been using a homemade baking soda, water and dish soap spray to ward off blight, but I haven't stayed on top of things, and I'm not sure if I'll have anything edible this year. I might pull some plants and try to stay on top of the ones that are in the best shape. I'm thinking I might need to take a few years off from tomatoes... devastating, I know. The tomatillos on the other hand, should provide us a with an ample amount of salsa. Volunteers have sprouted up throughout the garden and I've given them free reign... why not, the more the merrier?!

 I finally ordered some mordant for natural dying and am hoping to harvest beets this week for my first experiment dying wool. I'm also in the process of making some St. John's Wort oil which may be of help to nerve damage I have in my right foot. I grabbed a handful of whole flowers and covered them with enough oil to stay under the oil.  Then I covered the jars with cheesecloth and set them in a sunny window for two weeks. They should turn a reddish orange when ready and then it needs to get refrigerated. I've been reading a lot about herbal medicine lately, and I'm excited to try some other concoctions from the garden. I feel like this year I've really expanded the usefulness of the garden, trying to find as many purposes for different plants as possible. I've been doing some experimenting with herbal tea blends... calendula petals and tulsi basil tea are suppose to be great for the immune system (but beware of calendula if you have a ragweed allergy!). I might also make a calendula oil for the skin and perhaps some petals will make it into the dye pot. It's exciting times in the garden.

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