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THIS WEEK IN THE ORGANIC GARDEN
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organic gardening

July 15 2005. Summer is in full swing in southern New England.  Many herbs are ready to be cut back before they flower. Oregano, thyme, sage and rosemary can be air dried, by tying small bundles and hanging them in a dry place with good air circulation. Parsley and basil don't dry as well so any we don't use fresh, we puree with olive oil and freeze. This can be done in ice cube trays and transferred to zip lock bags or other covered containers. you can also just use zip lock bags and fill them so they can be flattened out to no more than 1/4 inch. (this will allow you to break off what you need easily, after it's frozen). Either way these frozen morsels can be later used for pesto, soups, and sauces.

Our garden has many different structures to support a variety of plants. Garden structures don't have to be expensive or elaborate. This support for some morning glories, was made with five dead branches bound together at the top with a piece of twine and wrapped with vines that were snarled in a nearby tree

organic gardening

organic gardening

Dill is one of our favorite herbs. Not because we eat an awful lot of it, but because it attracts a host of beneficial insects. Although it is an annual, dill easily reseeds itself. We let many of these "volunteers" stay in the garden. By allowing them to grow in their native cycle we have found that they flower at just the right time to attract the parasitic wasps that lay their eggs in tomato hornworms. Consequently, we have never had a problem with hornworms.
Speaking of tomatoes, so far these are looking terrific. The "Better Bush" in front have not been touched since they were transplanted. The heirloom varieties in back have been pinched in an effort to train them to the trellis. Some of the heirloom tomatoes were showing signs of early blight. (lower leaves yellow with dark spots). We removed the affected leaves and gave the plants a good dose of fish emulsion. We also sprayed the whole plants with comfrey tea (made by soaking comfrey leaves in water for a few days). This has seemed to have stopped the progression of the disease, but we will continue to monitor them and re-apply if necessary.

organic gardening

organic gardening

RASPBERRY PALOOZA!! as our granddaughter said when she came over to help us pick these luscious berries. With the help of recent rain, some of these were as big as my thumb. Raspberries are high in vitamins and  minerals. Knowing they weren't treated with chemicals, I told our granddaughter that she could eat as many as she wanted while we were picking them. We both had our fill and still ended up with over two quarts from our 4' X 8' patch. We pureed some and strained the juice. We mixed this with honey, fresh lime juice and seltzer water to make healthy raspberry lime sodas to cool off with after our "hard work".
   
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