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From Lallah’s Garden: June the sixth wonderful month of the year

June a wonderful month! It gave us a lot to be thankful for. Mornings are cool; I’m out early to hear the birds start their songs. They are singing expressions of their joy in starting another day. Could they be telling us, “Spread joy to all that hear you?”

When it’s light enough, I let the chickens out. They fill the back yard with positive energy. The hens singing, the roosters crowing. When I started school my books said “a rooster says cock-a-doodle-do”. I finally have one, my first that really belts it out “cock-a-doodle-do”. His name is Jerry, a fine fellow.

The first rain we had in June had thunder and lightening. Our power was knocked out for about 15 hours. That was long enough to be so thankful when it was restored, and the rain revived all the thirsty plants.

I’ve learned to always carry a paper and pen when I work in the garden. When a big shirt doesn’t have pockets, I sew some on. Besides the paper and pen, you need a large handkerchief to mop the sweat. You also need gloves, glasses and clippers.

I’m getting squash and cucumbers, my chickens got to my early tomatoes, dug them out one hot day. When I found them, I couldn’t save a one. I planted beans on the 23rd. My early ones aren’t the best. I shaded the new ones; I think they will be fine. As fast as these months are flying by for me it won’t be long until fall. I expect a beautiful fall with a fine garden.

I will continue through the alphabet listing good foods we enjoy growing, eating and juicing.

Nectarines; a peach with smooth skin. When ripe it really smells good, also is high in Vitamin A. We eat them raw, a wonderful treat taken ripe off the tree.

Okra; high in nutritional benefits, Vitamins and minerals, a native of Africa. It likes hot weather. We add the young small tender pods to our stir-fry. Leave them whole, don’t remove the stem.

Onions; so good for us, green or dry. They have antiseptic qualities. For sinus conditions, they help to drain mucus from the cavities and loosen phlegm. Also good for the hair and nails of fingers and toes. Onions are used with many foods. We especially like them in potato and tuna salads. I always add one large dry onion to my stir-fry and green onions we eat raw, chopped in green salad.

Parsley; so valuable for health. We should all have some in our garden. It’s rich in minerals and vitamins. Valuable in cases of anemia, kidney troubles, fevers, dropsy, gall bladder, liver, arthritis, high blood pressure….Well just about everything. It needs to be used raw. As juice, it has been used to remove poisonous drugs from the body. It can be chewed to remove onion or garlic breath. It can be dried . Use ¼ teaspoon powdered to our cup hot water for tea. The tea is diuretic and a mild sedative. There are great health benefits from simple foods we can grow.

I realize if I want a happy life, I must think happy thoughts. Whatever I send out will come back to me. Negative thoughts bring unrewarding things back to us. Our health can be damaged. Disease can also have a metal cause. Stay away from negative people. Look forward with joy!

P.S. Do any of you know how to control the Kudzu vine that is eating the South? Now a good bit of Dennard is destroyed!

Lallah Lee Ostergren has been an organic gardener for more than 35 years.

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