May Musings from Sage Hill Farms~
Ahhh, good news! May is National Salad month...nothing I love more than salads, and when the spring gardens are fresh and the bounty is young and tender, the possibilities are endless. Experiment, make your own combinations, be bold and daring...just go easy on the dressing or opt for a splash of wine vinegar and before you know it...whistles from the bus-stop.
We also have Cinco-De-Mayo...Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day as many people think. It is actually the day Mexico defeated French armies. In 1861 Benito Juarez, who was serving as Mexico's president at the time, decided that Mexico was going to stop making payments to countries that they had taken loans from. One of these countries was France. France responded by attacking Mexico. France was somewhat successful in their attacks until May 5, 1862. On that day in the city of Pueblo, Mexico a small Mexican army led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín defeated the French army.
Although defeated, the French did not give up. They placed Maximilian I, originally from Austria, as emperor of Mexico in 1864. Finally, though, in 1866-1867 the French withdrew from Mexico when pressured by the United States of America to do so.
This win is significant for two main reasons. The first reason the win is important is because it was unlikely. The French army was much larger and better equipped then the Mexican army. The second reason why the win on May 5, 1862 is important is that after this battle no country in the Americas has been invaded by armies of other continents.
Mothers Day....The day to top all other days ~ what would our world look like without the special touch of mothers everywhere.
And that is only the first half of the month. The rest of the celebration days will be featured in "On Second Thought", the new off-spring of the Sage Hill Newsletter.
From the Garden Tender~
People who practice organic, sustainable, vegetable and herb gardening often use companion planting and natural pest repellent methods. Once you master companion planting, herb/vegetable gardening takes on a whole new dimension. Certain plants help each other thrive. Below is a brief list of herbs that can be planted near vegetables and fruits to encourage growth, deter pests, and improve your soil.
Herb Gardening for Companion Planting
Basil - Planted near or beside tomatoes. Basil also repels flies and mosquitoes.
Chamomile - Plant with onion and cabbage.
Chives - Plant near your carrots and apple trees. Chives steeped in water makes a great spray to kill powdery mildew disease.
Dill - Plant near cabbage, lettuce, corn, and cucumber. Don't plant near fennel to avoid cross pollination.
Garlic - Plant near fruit trees and tomatoes. Repels red spider mites. Great insecticide steeped in water.
Geranium - Plant near corn and grapes. It's also effective against red spider mites.
Lemon Balm - Great for tomatoes.
Lovage - The garden tramp - It loves practically everything.
Mint - Plant near cabbage but never near parsley.
Oregano - Loves cole crops and grape vines. Insect repellent for cucumber beetle.
Parsley - Loves tomatoes, carrots, chives, and asparagus but cannot abide by mint.
Rosemary - Loves beans, carrots, cabbage and sage but not potatoes.
Rue - It is effective near strawberries and fig trees but never near basil. Plant it wherever you don't want cats to go.
Sage -Works well for cabbage and carrots but never with cucumbers.
Summer Savory - Makes great company for onions and beans.
Tansy - Likes fruit trees.
Tarragon - A cousin to the other garden tramp... likes almost everything.
Thyme - Keeps worms away from cabbage.
Herbs That Will Enrich Your Soil
Valerian - Good in compost heaps and good for earthworms.
Caraway - Breaks down heavy soils because of its long roots.
Elderberry - Helps break down soil and compost. Dig it out and check out the black gold around its roots - rich topsoil.
Comfrey - This herb is often used in compost and as organic fertilizer made into a compost tea. A great soil enricher.
Herbs That Will Keep Pests At Bay
Anise and Coriander to deter Aphids.
Lavender will repel moths.
Catnip helps control ants and flea beetles.
Common Tansey will discourage Japanese Beetles
A Good To Know Tip~
Seasonal allergies are most often a symptom of an out of balance immune system and/or a toxic system.
To find out when allergy causing plants are blooming in your area, check out the allergy map published by the American Lung Association at lungusa.org.
Sprinkling your garden everyday is not only a waste of water and time, it encourages the roots to grow shallow and therefore weak.
Instead, water deep once a week and know that your plants are reaching down to drink and in turn growing strong and healthy roots.
Want Hummingbirds as front porch/patio guests? Plant a Pineapple Sage and they will come.
Pineapple Sage is annual; this makes it perfect for a porch/patio pot.
People and Places We Know and Love~
An environmentally friendly company/business by Glenda Pitts; contact Glenda for help and education in greening your home. www.distinctinspirations.vpweb.com.
An awesome networking site with a Pay-it-Forward concept; Karen Mager will delight and inspire you to move forward with a "yes I can" attitude. http://crememagnolia.net
Want the best bread /cookies in the country? Let Diane Berl cook for you; the Irish Soda bread is the best I've ever had...bar none~ www.dianecooksforyou.com
Do you need more of the right people looking at your website? Article marketing is a great way to increase your traffic. Dislike writing or don't have the time? Visit Vanessa Shelton at www.vanessasdesk.com/article-marketing for a good deal.
Spring Pick-Me-Up Special
Sage Hill Farms has fresh blends and mixes for your spring and summer foods. Add some spark to your salad and veggie diet~
Add the vitality of spring to your menu planning with two energy packed offerings for the extra go-power that Spring time demands. Offer ends May 31st...so shop now~ www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com
Wishing you all a most special spring and a Mighty May month~