Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dandelions-More Than Just A Weed.

Spring has arrived, so have the Dandelions. To many this little yellow/orange flower represents nothing but trouble in the lawn. A weed that has to be plucked and destroyed before it takes over and changes the entire landscape look.

I first enjoyed this little weed ( actually it is an herb ) as a young child. I was lucky to have a grandmother that knew all about wild plants and spent time teaching and introducing us to the many benefits of same.

All parts of the dandelion are edible and have medicinal and culinary uses.

I'll focus on the culinary here.

Dandelion roots can be harvested during any frost free period and enjoyed steamed, roasted, or eaten raw.

They can also be roasted and ground into a coffee substitute. ( my mother did this during WWII, when coffee was on the list of rationed goods.)

The flowers are best known for making wine. They can also be tossed into a salad along with the leaves. The leaves are rich in potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C.

If you wish to grow your own selection and not have them cropping up all over your lawn, this is easy to do.

" Clio " is an Indian variety that produces high yields of upright greens that are easy to harvest.
You can order the seed from:

Dandelions are self seeding and will always come back , year after year.

Wilted dandelion greens , red onion , thinly sliced avocado , and sweet purple grapes make a marvelous salad.

Enjoy and go wild for a day!

Bea Kunz

Friday, March 14, 2008

St. Patrick-Man or Myth

Saint Patrick was a missionary credited with converting the Irish to Christianity
in the A.D. 400s.

His real name was Maewyn Succat.

As with many holidays the celebration has become vastly different from it's early beginnings.

Have fun, think "green" and "peace."

To a Mighty March holiday!

Bea Kunz

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March Madness-In The Gardens-at Sage Hill Farms

March is that month that gives and then takes away.

I'm speaking of the weather of course. It gives beautiful sunny days and tempts us to go digging in the gardens only to welcome us overnight to the coldest day of the year.

What's a gardener to do to keep from going mad....well, just put the brakes on and go with the flow. On those warm and sunny days, walk through your gardens and get aquainted with every little nook and cranny. Dig a few inches into the soil and meet the little guys that keep your soil rich and workable. ( earthworms) without these your soil will be hard and compacted.

Look for places that are inviting to toads and lizards, what? You don't have any!
Toads and lizzies are a must in the garden, they eat all manner of not so welcomed guest. You can make little homes for them by building a stack of rocks or broken bricks around a large flower pot-drain saucer. Keep the saucer filled with water and the toads and lizzies will thank you by working hard to rid your garden of unwanted pest.

Most every garden has a resident snake, you may not see it often, but know that it is there. Depending on where you live, make a point of knowing the kinds of snakes you can expect to see. There are good ones and bad ones...knowing the difference can be very important to your health and the health of the snake. My hubby thinks the only good snake is a dead snake. While I don't subscribe to that thinking, I also don't go out of my way to make friends with any snake.

What stage is your compost pile at this month?

You should have a bin full that has been working during the winter and ready for spring planting. Composting is the most valuable asset to your soil, right up there with the earthworms, in fact the worms turn your soil into natural compost.

Now, for those days that are dark, rainy and cold.
Curl up in your favorite spot with a good garden book and a cup of warm and nourshing tea from Sage Hill Farms.
Many flavors to pick from and if you want your own blend, just let me and I'll see what I can do.

Make March a Mighty month in your garden!

Bea Kunz