Here in middle southern Tennessee the summer has been long and hot and somewhat dry. All of the gardens are still in good shape, partly because herbs are very drought tolerant and partly because we have been very committed to making sure they get what it takes to stay healthy and vibrant. We were blessed with a beautiful few rain showers the last couple of days, so all is well. The vegetable garden is still looking good and the cucumbers are coming faster than we can dispose of them. Tomatoes are on the way out and the peppers and okra are just starting to bear. We can give all the credit for the bountiful garden to the organic compost. Nothing compares to giving the soil the nutrients it needs for a healthy growing season. It's like an athlete on steriods, except the compost is legal and healthy. Organic compost can be compared to doing the healthiest and safest thing for your body. In order to be healthy and remain in good shape we must put good and safe things into it. Same with gardening, if we are to have a "healthy" garden we must start with natural and safe products. An organic compost pile is very easy to build. There are two ways to do this, you can purchase a commercial composter and save yourself a few hours a week in labor, and if you are gardening in a small way it will more than meet your needs. The other way is to select a good clean spot on your grounds, slightly dig up the surface and transplant a few earthworms into the soil......this will give you a jumpstart on good rich pile of composted material. Start your pile with leaves, grass cuttings and any raw vegetable waste from the kitchen. Egg-shells and coffee/tea grinds are excellent additions to the pile. Once you have a a few layers of all this material, water it well and let it sit for a week or so. The process that takes place during this "sitting" period is called "cooking." After about a week, take a spade or garden fork and turn it over and over until it is well mixed, you will be able to see the heat working its magic as you are turning it. All the material you add to the pile will heat and cook away into good rich soil. You can then transfere it to a storage location, ( a container with a lid) or directly into your beds and gardens. It is good to have two piles working at the same time, so you never run out. Just remember to never add any cooked food or any meat or bone products, they will turn rancid and spoil your project big time. Composting in the proper manner will not smell or be an attraction for animals or pest. Sage Hill Farms is offering a month long class on Organic herb growing and using, starting on August 1st, 2006. You can find us here. http://herb1014u.multiply.com It is **free** and we would love to have you join us. You will find an open forum and be able to come and go at your convenience, ask questions, offer comments, and hoprfully have some fun. Another great tip can be enjoyed here: http://www.organicauthority.com As always we would like to invite you to tour our website and try our organic herbs and teas. ******Announcement:****** Sage Hill Farms will be opening to the public in the summer of 2007, with a full on-site old fashioned store for your shopping pleasure. Look for more tidbits on this project in the coming months. From our farm to your table-We thank you!