On to plants, planting, and bug control

Okay, So this year I tried really hard to grow from seedlings I even started weeks ago. Yet,  to my horror and anguish I lost the cheap little green house I was using that would have helped me out greatly.  I lost many seeds, not just to the greenhouse blowing away but I also lost some to freezing temperatures(frost) and to my inexperience. I have had to buy my plants. And it is impossible to find plants that haven’t been treated with insecticide and/or fungicide and chemical fertilizer so I don’t try. I do plant seeds that are big like squash, watermelon, pumpkins, corn, beans, cucumbers, etc these seeds are really easily germinated and well I can do it with little fuss. I hope to try again with a green house but who knows when I will be able to get the money together to do so.

I do however practice companion planting. This is planting plants next to other plants that either attract beneficial insects or the bad bugs. Some can also sometimes kill harmful things such as nematodes (marigolds) or can actually kill the bug(pyrethrin flowers), or even attract bad bugs so as they stay off of the plant you want to keep. Many can enhance growing such as putting beans with corn the beans add nitorgen to the soil that the corn will need and adding pumpkins (the three sisters). The pumpkins shade the ground to keep out weeds making them easier to manage. You can also plant plants such as dill and parsley to attract butterflies (monarch to your garden). This takes a lot of research and I suggest people do this it helps  with the balance of bag to good bugs.  You must remember though not all plants like each other some will even  cause the death or stunted growth of some plants. So experiment use info from others but try this out.

Sometimes though the bad bugs tend to eat everything in their site till there is nothing left.  Which happened to be last year with a beetle I never encountered before. It was like all of a sudden they hatched and they hatched in such numbers that they where eating everything. I am still not sure what Type of bug they where and I could only make an educated guess as to them being a striped cucumber beetle.  I had to get pyrethrin spray and kill as many as I could but they decimated my tomatoes and pepper crops with numbers over the night before I found them in the morning.  This year I am more perpared since I also got tomato horn worms , cabbage lopers and such I am going to use Bacillus thuringiensis Which is excellent for killing  Caterpillars be careful when spraying so as not to spray other butterfly caterpillars in your garden and read the directions it works better overnight. I also get milky spores and beneficial nematodes to kill some bad beetles larva and beetles themselves.

I have thought about get certain types of beneficial insects and putting them in the garden from a catalog but I don’t think that would be a efficient use of my money being that insects are rather wandering and my garden is not enclosed to keep them in. Not to mention that during certain times of the year they may be without food.

Some helpful books are Rose love garlic, Carrots love tomatoes( my favorite), Great Garden Companions.

Some helpful websites with charts.

http://www.seedsofchange.com/enewsletter/issue_55/companion_planting.aspx

http://www.organicgardening.com/sites/all/themes/zen/og/pdf/companion.pdf

http://activities.byui.edu/married/pdf/Companion%20Planting%20Guide.pdf

http://www.hpfb.org/uploads/com_plant-chart.pdf

http://peaceofpreparedness.com/Resource%20Library/Gardening/Companion%20Planting%20Chart%20for%20Vegetables.pdf

http://www.yellowtractorprogram.org/files/veg_plant_guide.pdf

and many many others

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Organic Gardening all about compost Part 3

Black Gardeners Gold.  Composed of everything Vegetable, herbivore manure(horse, cow, etc.)  and minerals. This is all your kitchen scraps, excluding meat and fats(including vegetable oils), and all yard waste except sticks and branches that haven’t been chipped plus if you have cows and such they add their nice pooh.  Many books and people suggest it be a combination of green and brown or as I say fresh and not fresh(dried out) Me I don’t really care about how much of each I put in there as long as it all gets in there. Some say that it needs to be air aided by poking holes it it with a tine or turning it you can do that too. I think it is just more work  for the same result although It may make it decompose faster. Me I just throw everything in it during the spring and summer months and right before I get ready to plant I pull everything off the top of a portion of an area ( mind you my compost pile is really large about 6 feet by 8 feet) and dig right in all the rich brown compost underneath that looks a lot like soil(which if you think about it is except it has a little extra organic matter and mineral matter from the egg shells and other stuff you throw in). Then I will put down a thick layer of either cardboard or newpaper (which keeps out the crabgrass which if it gets half a chance will over run the compost pile and then you have weeds in you beautiful Compost) and pull the uncomposted stuff back on top.

Compost should never smell bad  so if it does add more brown matter. This will cut the smell making more of a balanced pile. I know I wouldn’t want to work in my garden if all I smelled was something rotten it would turn me off to even want to be there.  SO if you have this problem most likely you have a lot of fresh ingredient such as cow manure fresh from the cow. Or sometimes it is just really soggy because you placed you pile in a area that floods during the rains and doesn’t drain all the way which means you probably need to fill that area with dirt from another area or need to build up the area by putting down bricks, a small concrete slab or rocks to help with this problem.

Native Worms love this stuff I always find babies in the compost. They also contribute there manure to the pile and contribute to the decomposing community that is trying to establish itself inside all that matter..

In April my pile has been know to heat up which I think is because of the rain and if you are like me because of all the grass clippings.  Sometimes I wonder if the pile will burst into flames it gets so hot in the middle from all the microorganisms breaking down the matter added to the compost.

So just remember to add all organic matter except meats and fats and your compost, water it occasionally during dry months. And you too will have a rich and beautiful compost to be used in the garden either as compost tea or around your vegetables and plants.

I hope you will stay tuned to my next segment on Organic Gardening.  And don’t hesitate to ask questions. I will do my best to answer them, because this a simple version of what you can do.

 

Organic Gardening Part 2

Soil. Yes I said soil not dirt. We have to build up our soil so that it is healthy. Humm… What do I mean by healthy? This is something that has perplexed me for sometime, but knowing myself well I knew I was just making it hard and difficult. So I stepped back and analyzed this from a more observational stand point and broke it down so that I understood what most people wanted me to understand.

What is soil? It is Organic matter (leaves, grass clippings,), microorganisms (nematodes, worms, fungus, bacteria,) and minerals (calcium, metals, and so forth). In a base such as clay, silica(sand) and silt. When put together and not disturbed for a while it forms soil. Which is really healthy for plants.  Oh I know there are some organisms that are not really healthy for plants but those can be beaten down in a way with planting certain plants such as Marigold(which kill certain nematodes), and other plants that help bring in nitrogen fixing organisms(BEANS).

I try to think of soil not being disturbed so how you might ask do I take care of the weeds.  Well one I pull them I know that disturbs the top layers but not the under layers. I don’t till because not only does that compact the soil making it harder for plants to grow their roots out it disturbs the community I am building in the soil. I take the approach of the forest gardener or lasagna gardener. I heap more organic matter on top the soil add a few things to amend it like bone and blood meal(made from dead animals I know but it is more organic then most fertilizers and adds calcium and phosphorus that tend to leach out of soil that being used by plants at the moment. )

So what is a forest or lasagna garden you ask.  Well to me it is Newspaper thickly applied to smother weeds (remember no tilling) then grass clippings, leaves, compost,  more clippings and leaves newspaper over this and finally more leaves. This left to sit for a month or two to compact it down then I plant in it. No muss or fuss.

So stay tuned for more information on Organic Gardening.

Organic Gardening

Okay so lately I have been reading up on how to Garden organically. It really isn’t that hard until you realize like me you live in an area that weeds are hard to keep down. Crab grass grows rapidly and is hard to keep up with unless it is covered up with landscape fabric and/or cardboard boxes even then it will have to be pulled from the garden paths that are covered by wood chips in.  Then there are the bugs. I don’t mind bugs there are good ones and bad ones but usually bad ones over take the garden. So I have been looking at the different ways to keep the bad bugs down and out of the garden and attract the beneficial bugs.  So I have compiled my knowledge and that of many other people to tell everyone newbies and oldies about different ways to Garden Organically without pesticides/ chemical fertilizers. I am going to make this a segmented piece. So watch for posts.

The Movement Against Women!!!

Warning this post contains the ranting of an outraged Woman!

Okay, I know I told you I am not a feminist that is true. Yet, When I see any man deliberately trying to hurt Women,  I have to Shout out my distress, my unrest, my total disbelief, call the police if it is appropriate. So as I have been reading about the republican actions against women in previous years I am disgusted. Reading  Stag Party  brought about my fear of what may happen is the GOP is put into power will they make every Women that gets pregnant have the child, will that child be born unloved in a family because not every child will be adoptable. Will woman die from Health problem because she can’t have the abortion she requires to save her life. Will our nation slide back into the idea that woman don’t need to work, need men to take care of them, that they make bad decisions, and have to follow what their father says. There are examples all over the US that not all women and men need to have children.  Will they take away our Birth Control. They think this about the right of religion fine have religious organizations not pay for health care. Have them give the women the Money to pay for their own health care that way they are not paying directly to the things that they don’t like the women are paying for themselves I believe that is a good way of fixing that problem then women as a whole can go about buying Health Insurance the way they want it and Men can stay out of that area.

Here in the state of Oklahoma the state legislature is wasting our money on laws that are being over turned left and right because they are unconstitutional one is the person hood bill which I hope they totally get rid of, because a baby isn’t a baby until it can survive out side the woman.  I mean what are they going to do to woman whose own body destroys the fetus charge her with murder.  Some woman can’t maintain a pregnancy what are they going to do to those whose baby dies in utero because the cord got wrapped around the neck or the women whom get full blown eclampcia and almost die and have the baby removed before it is even viable.  THE FETUS CAN’T LIVE WITH OUT THE MOTHER THERE FOR IT IS STILL A PART OF HER BODY.  I can just see these men wanting to look up a woman’s skirt to make sure she is keeping her legs closed. It is none of their business what women do to their bodies. If the man wants a child make sure he has sex with someone who want one also otherwise he better make sure he has protection. I don’t like abortion but I am not against someone getting it especially when there is rape, incest, or if they are underage (children shouldn’t have children).  The exception would be using abortion like a pill all the time. I do believe that if someone is going into get an abortion they should be taught about the pill and contraception options and where they can get these options for almost free before they have the procedure that would cut down on the number of abortions. Heck give them the option to be sterilized that would further cut down on unwanted pregnancy, but only if they are age 25 or higher.

I just can’t stand for people trying to dictate what is right for me. If some woman wants to be pregnant everyday of her adult life fine she can but I will not have anyone tell me how to run my life and family planning. If I had the money I would pay for my own health care and that of my families.  I already pay $300  out of  every pay check for it while my employer pays I believe it is $500. THAT IS A TOTAL OF ABOUT $800 A PAYCHECK OR $1600 A MONTH IN HEALTH CARE COST BEFORE I EVEN GO SEE THE DOCTOR.  I work for a Catholic Hospital and a few of the people I know are already having problems one can’t get her uterus removed (she has pain 24 hours a day for fibroid and other problems) and all she wants is relief. When they did go in they removed the very temporary problem instead of  removing it permanently only a couple of weeks after the surgery and she is having pain again even with the hormone (Birth control) Therapy she is receiving. Is that good care. I SAY HELL NO!! Some times Doctor should actually listen to their patients and not to the policies. Every person is different and can’t be put in a mold of one individual.

After all this I don’t think I will ever vote Republican in fact I hope that we can find candidates that coincide with the middle ground and with the people

Here are some links that may help with the Presidential elections coming up I hope you all will vote for Obama but live and let live vote for the person you find is more aligned to you. I just hope we get more people in office that are for all people instead of for the corporations and Religions. We need to do something about the people in office that are trying to undermine our rights.

http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-standing-up-for-democracy/#disqus_thread

http://nymag.com/news/frank-rich/gop-women-problem-2012-4/

http://sickthebook.com/

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/03/barbarism-of-the-health-care-repeal-crusade.html

http://the99spring.com/

http://news.coffeepartyusa.com/

http://www.votesmart.org/ I love their political best match help you find the candidate that best matches your values.

http://www.npr.org/sections/politics/

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/01/03/396428/santorums-racist-welfare-rant/?mobile=nc

http://thinkprogress.org/tag/election-2012/

http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/

http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-world-business.html?mod=WSJ_topnav_us_main

http://reproductiverights.org Here you can learn about the different law affecting people all around the world and how the changes in our laws would effectively bring about some negative changes for women.

 

My Introduction to you!!

I have been blogging for about a year and just now realized I have never truly introduced myself.  My name is Elizabeth.  I am a 36 year old Woman that has been married for approximately 15 years to a wonderful man that really cares about me and his family. We have two beautiful children a boy 14 years old and a girl 7 years old.  I have been a practicing Wiccan off and on since I was 14 years old. I finalized my Wiccan status  when I was 27 years old. I had decided that other religions just didn’t call to me like this one did.

So here is a list of other things that you may like to know about me.

1. I have 3 Associates degrees one in Pre – Pharmacy, One in Biology, One in Secondary Education.

2. I have a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.

3. I believe in a Goddess and God. So that makes me Pagan.

4. I believe in live and let live.  So I although I don’t mind a debate I do get upset with people telling me I am wrong where I believe.  An example is my husband is atheist he doesn’t believe in anything we talk about it some time but I don’t try to change his mind I believe what I believe and I allow him to believe as he believes. The exception would be when people put the health of children or harm others in there belief such as the radicals that bomb others can’t stand those people and hope they wipe themselves out without harming others.

5. I believe in karma and the rule of 3. So if you do good good things come your way and multiplied by three. You do bad eventually it will catch up and be multiplied 3 times.

6. I love gardening, herbalism, and botany.

7. I love to knit, sew, and draw.

8. I love to read sci fiction, romance novels, horror, and some various x rated stuff. ( I am not against sex it is natural)

9. I believe women and men are equal although I have noticed that many people really can be bigoted against women especially in politics. I mean they say they are with us but they are out for their own interests and many of those interests are trying to take away my rights as a woman it make me feel like a minority when women are at least 50% of the population.

10. I am a Mutt a true American a mix of many different European ancestors and Native American. I can trace many ancestors back several 100 years to the start of America.  Right now I am trying my best to get all the paper work together my great great grandmother and great Aunt had Indian Cards I believe this is part of my heritage.

11.  I work in a Medical Laboratory as a Hematology Technologist.

12.  I was abused by my mothers boyfriend as a child and that opened my eyes to what I will not allow in my life. I even warn children and tell them that if anything like that happens they need to tell me about it.

13. I am a home body. And can at times be antisocial.

14. I have a hard time making friends I don’t know what it is that people don’t like but they just don’t seem to like me or may be its because I don’t hang out often with them for them to become true friends I don’t really know but I would like friends. So far my husband is my only friend and he is my best friend.

15.  So times I like to just be. (My husband can be in the same room with me and we just know what each other needs and some times that is just quiet.

16. I try to be a positive person but that is really really hard sometimes to find the gold lining in everything.

17. I will laugh at myself and hope others do the same.

18. I believe in magic but to me it is just stuff we don’t truly understand and until we do It miraculously happens.

19. I believe in things we can’t see because well I can’t see air but its there.

20. I believe in forgive and forget (if you can). There are times that tough love is needed and basically intervention so although you may forgive you can’t forget.

21.  I love earrings and have 4 on one side and two on the other and hope to one day design an earring that covers that whole lobe on the left side While still being lite weight.

22. My favorite color is green.

23. I love to listen to rock, alternative, new age, and just nature sounds.

24. I have a large family I have 5 sisters and 2 brothers. I have several uncles and aunts. My dads mother had many children and my great grandmother had 22 children (several sets of twins) and she out lived many of her children lived to be 103 years old.

I hope this helps you understand me better.