Can you imagine August is almost here? July has been a beautiful month with several days cool enough to be outside tending your garden.
These July mornings are so grand. I wear a long-sleeve shirt when I go outside early. We still hear the night sounds as we (me and my cat Zorro) wait for the birds to wake up and sing. One says “Richard” over and over. My bird is still singing, “Don’t worry, don’t worry,” I never tire of that sound.
This question was asked of me the other day: “Why would anyone live in the Arkansas woods?” Well … did you ever get up early, go outside, hear the wonderful sounds, smell the perfume, and feel the gentle breeze wrap you in soft silk? If you answered “yes,” then you know why.
One more reason, the Vegetable Garden where you can grow many of the good things that keep you strong and healthy.
Do you realize it’s time to plan your fall garden? Get your seeds ready to plant by mid-August. I start mine in pots, by the time they are ready to set in the garden the weather usually is cooling down some. I cover them during the heat of the afternoon and keep them watered.
I like to have a few tomato plants; I move them inside on cool nights. The greens will be what I plan for my back door garden, plus Grandmother’s winter onions. Celery will usually survive the winter. Broccoli is stronger than cabbage; also Brussels sprouts usually will set heads. Kale-collards will grow well into winter. Winter lettuce and onions finish my winter garden. All these have minerals and vitamins that keep us healthy and strong especially when uncooked. Make a salad or juice them.
I recently went through a great test of strength and endurance. I am well-fortified with nutrition from things that grow in the earth. My heart almost failed, adrenals were exhausted. Extra juice with extra garlic and drenamin made it possible to live through the episode. With the helping hands, the prayers, the words of encouragement, I’m now back strong and healthy again to lend a helping hand to all I can.
Inner peace is my goal.
Some of you are old enough to remember Rachel Carson’s book, the brave groundbreaking Silent Spring written 50 years ago. It’s about small exposures to pesticides. I encourage you to plant a garden (large or small or in containers) and care for it without pesticides. Beer will take care of slugs and snails. Put some in a saucer, set that by your plants. Sulfur or chopped garlic will take care of most fungus that gets our tomatoes. I just read that cinnamon will do the same.
Organic fertilizers will build up the fertility of your soil. Some examples of plant and animal based fertilizers are: blood meal, bone meal, animal manure and compost (my favorite). Also a friend told me about things she read about that will build the fertility in our soil: alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, soybean meal and seaweed.
Did you know humidity would save our plants when the temperature reaches 90 degrees? I’ve heard so many complaints about humidity! Did you know our body needs 55 percent humidity? You can get your body to the alkaline side by eating things that grow in the earth. If you set your thermostat at 80 degrees, keep your ceiling fan on, you will be cool
inside and still be able to go outside without suffering. Try it.
From “Wit and Wisdom”: “Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.”
We should not think of waiting until circumstances improve or until we have more time. Now is the moment we have available.
Lallah Lee Ostergren has been an organic gardener for more than 35 years. Send your gardening questions to her in care of the Van Buren County Democrat, P.O. Box 119, Clinton AR 72031.