Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Change Is In The Air-and Other Places~

We are not in our previous zone anymore...climate change--regardless as to the why and how, is a fact that has established itself in the gardening arena all around the world. From milder winters, to longer and hotter summers, more unpredicted weather patterns and a renegade growth pattern that will keep the gardener up at night...all of these have been a steady show for the last few years.

One major change we are seeing is the early maturation of all fruits, vegetables and even herbs, highly productive but a shorter production time.
Sage Hill has kept a careful record of planting times, time span  between planting and beginning of production, length of time between start and final production...it has gradually over a period of three years moved us a full zone from our previous one.

I am strongly seeing the need for more and more alternative ways of growing the foods we love and depend on for good health and survival.

High Tunnels and Green House growing I think will become a much needed and sought after alternative.

We must get serious about alternative methods of watering our gardens...both large and small. Rain barrels for the collection of rain water is a great choice for smaller needs. Larger farms will need to consider drilling wells to take water from deeper in the earth and natural springs over using water from the domestic sources that most use now. ( this is a good option regardless...especially if one is growing without chemicals....using water from the same source as your household needs is releasing a steady dose of chemicals on your gardens each time you water. ( don't overlook the use of a filtration system on the household water supply. )

In a 2009 report titled " Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, the U.S. Global Change Research Program documents changes that have already occurred and provides predictions  for the future. Average temps in the United States have risen more than 2*F in the past 50 years, for example, and are expected to increase an additional 4* to 11* F by 2100.

These changes will effect different parts of the country in different ways. 
Hotter and drier conditions could decrease productive in the Southeast.
Severe storms along with longer droughts could increase the possibility of crop destruction in the Great plains.
But some changes will be an overall, country wide issue--extreme weather happenings. accelerated weed growth, higher and stronger pollen counts.

We are truly living in a time of great change.....the gardens are a much bigger part of that change than many might consider.

I have a sticker on the back window of my Jeep that reads  'No Farms-No Food.'   My prayers are for the ability to adapt to the change in ways that will bring a new and hopefully better era of farming.

Your thoughts are always welcome.

My information in part comes from the Organic Gardening magazine.
A source of must know information ~

Enjoy September...a time of change in most welcomed ways at Sage Hill:)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Herbal Summer Tips~

Summer can mean too much sun and exposure to itchy things and bug bites :)

A few simple and inexpensive ways to keep your skin in healthy condition and calm the itch of bug bites...when they itch, one tends to scratch...which leads to more itching, more scratching...and eventually infection.
Lemon balm and Lemongrass makes an excellent wash....boil a small pot of water, add a handful of Lemon balm or Lemongrass, turn heat to a very low setting and steep for about 10 minutes...add to a bath or soak a bath cloth and gently wash the skin. You can then add a touch of Tea Tree oil to the areas needing attention. You can do this as often as needed.
Aloe Vera plant is an awesome herb for sunburn or just to cool and treat hot skin and itchy bites....if you don't have a plant invest in a good gel or cream from a natural/organic source.
Big Tip....If you refrain from using chemicals on your lawn and gardens, in a short time you will discover you have no pesky bugs to be concerned about.

Bad bugs thrive in bad soil and plants....with healthy, chemical free lawns/gardens you will have an abundance of good bugs...which eat any bad bugs who come creeping around...it's a win-win~

Wishing you a very safe and bad-bug free summer~
This is the awesome Praying Mantis...a very good bug in the garden.

Please do not kill them.

Posted by BeaK. at 8:46 AM