Sage Hill Happenings Sage Hill Farms

Notes from the Farm


What's for dinner? July is here and so are the garden guests, aka (pests).

I'm trusting everyone had a Jubilant Independence Day celebration. July 4th and the surrounding days and months have a lot of history worth knowing, make it a priority if you have the need and desire to do so.

July in the herb gardens is a very busy month. All the little creatures come out to feast and work. It's important to know the good guys from the bad ones.

Slugs, snails, mites, aphids, click beetles, millipedes, and a host of others are destructive and must be treated as such.

The bees, butterflies, wasp, lady beetles, dragonfly, earth worms, garden spiders and centipedes, ( the little guy at the top) are all good for your garden. If we plan and conduct business in the garden to make a natural habitat for the good bugs, the bad ones will look for easier pickings.

We can have a fairly 'bad' pest free garden without using chemicals to control. Over time using pesticides will not only damage our health, it will kill the good bugs as well as the bad ones, then the balance of nature is upset and everything suffers.

Aphids are the number one enemy in the herb garden, a mixture of one to three, water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, applied early morning before the sun is too hot or late in the day, will usually destroy these little creatures. Aphids are a tiny , white , sticky, substance on the back of leaves and down the stems. I have found them to be fond of basil more so than the other herbs. Lady beetles can eat up to hundreds of aphids in a day... so please don't kill the beetles.

July is also the early harvest time.

Cutting and preserving herbs can be a joy if you do it in a proper manner.

Always plan your cutting times for early morning, just after the dew has dried. It's a good idea to give the gardens a good spraying the evening before to wash away any dirt or insects that may be lurking. After cutting, go forward with whatever method of preserving you do... the longer your herbs are left sitting the more essential oil you will lose.

If you are drying by the hanging method, hang them immediately, upside down , and in a clean and spacious place where the circulation of air is good. When hanging upside down the essential oil isn't lost, it travels to the end of the plant where the leaves are and is caught and dried .

Using a dehydrater is another form of drying, I really don't know that one is better than the other, but I love the texture and the color of herbs dried by hanging. I use both methods, depending on the herb and the time frame I'm working under.

Anytime is a good time to start composting. Sage Hill Farms just purchased a large composting machine, it's about the size of a small car, well, maybe just a wee bit smaller, but I am so happy to have this added time saver. There is nothing wrong with composting on the ground or in a bin, if you don't need a lot of compost. Remember - no animal, bones or cooked foods in your compost. It's only as good as the ingredients you make it from. Lots of green grass clippings, dead leaves, a little sawdust if you have it, egg shells, vegetable peels, coffee and tea grinds are the much needed componets for perfect compost. Compost is to the garden what nectar is to bees... a life source.

Sage Hill Farms now has fresh seasoning blends, herbs, and teas, ready and waiting for your pleasure.

Note* If you need individual herbs, please send me an email of your choices, these are not listed on the website due to quanities.

Individual herbs available are: oregano, basil, thyme, dill, marjoram , sage, lavender, lemon balm and peppermint. They may be purchased in 1.5 oz bags and the price is $ 8.75.

You can find them all here: http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com

Looking for information or recipes: http://beasbeatitudes.blogspot.com

As always, feel free to contact me if you have questions or something to share.

I love hearing from you!

Have a happy and healthy summer!

Bea Kunz
Sage Hill Farms
Eat Well, Be Well


As always, we are available for any questions you may have. We also love hearing your tips and any herb knowledge you wish to share with us.

Just go to the link below and you will find us there.

Have a safe and fun summer... it is upon us!

Don't forget to visit the blog for more herbal information and some super summer recipes!

Bea's Beatitudes



Have you been to our website lately?

Sage Hill Farms website - please feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, start a conversation, what ever your needs are, we are always happy to help out.

Thank you all for choosing Sage Hill Farms... we will strive to be a good friend.

Happy Summer!

Bea and Mike Kunz
http://www.sagehillfarmsandvintagestore.com

 

Sage Hill Happenings
July 2007


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