Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's bugging you?

We may still be having cool nights, but the bugs apparently love it. Now, there are "good" bugs, in your soil, in your gut. But, I'm talking today about the ones we don't love. Mosquitoes, ticks. Our little Sophie has already encountered the later. We need to protect ourselves from these pests, but using the wide-spread popular insect repellants makes the fix worse than the bite. I have been experimenting with repellants for two years. I've changed the formula several times, but am determined to find something that works and works well. My husband is a mosquitoe magnet, so needless to say, he is my guinea pig (and a darn cute one as well).

My latest formula of Bugg Off contains neem, a tropic/sub-tropic evergreen tree. It grows to 60-65 feet and is known for its ability to survive drought. Not only is it a non-poisonous bug deterant, it is good for your skin.

To order: http://www.gbhfarm.com/

Friday, April 24, 2009

Green news...

Mark Blumenthal is the founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council. (Visit site for great herbal info http://www.herbalgram.org/). The public is slavered in highly profiled RTCs (random controlled trials) with negative outcomes with little regard for truth. This unprofessional practice warps perception of herbs as medicine thus diminishing herbs value in the public eye. Mark rebutted this practice with an editorial citing the many clinical trials that SUPPORT the efficacy of herbs.

The RCTs included popular herbs such as garlic (Allium sativum) for lowering blood pressure, Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) for erectile dysfunction, hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) for aspects of congestive heart failure, St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) for mild to moderate depression and echinacea (Echinacea spp.) for upper respiratory tract infections related to flu and common colds. Mark mentions several clinical studies in which the herbs worked significantly better than the placebo. To read Mark's entire editorial go to Alternative Therapies website: : http://abc.herbalgram.org/site/R?i=eoUB8XiMfnENqd2E8DqbqA.

Planting a garden? Go here for good info: www.motherearthnews.com/Best-Regional-Crops.aspx

The photo is part of GBH Farm. This section of our gardens is in two tiers separated with dry stacked rock. Round stepping stones down each tiers center; plantings on either side of the stones. This year I started rock moss beween the stones and am going to mulch on the sides where the ground cloth is. I used ground cloth over the entire garden last year and didn't like it. Rain did not get through to my satisfaction, plus it was difficult to harvest root crops. So this year it runs just down each center. Still need to lay the soaker hoses.
Feel free to email me with any questions.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Breath of fresh air...

I'm not the only one who loves spring...my house plants are sporting winter leaves and sun-starved branches. This photo is "Johnny" my ficus tree. He's almost as tall as my ceiling and has already perked up at at being outside.
Remember Arbor Day the 25th...Johnny's glad he's outside in time to celebrate. Go to www.arborday.org to learn more about appreciating our trees.

I've added a new book to the Amazon link...The Spice Lovers Guide to Herbs and Spices. Those of you who have tasted Chef Gary's cooking can attest to his prowess at getting the flavor just right. This handy edition will hel you navigate the maze of culinary spices and herbs.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I am in high spirits...so many new herbal perrenials made it through the winter, the fruit trees are blooming, my little green house is still standing after a windy spring rain storm and the rain "barrell" filled up after only a half-inch of rain! Fortunately Gary put in overfill drains. It isn't really a barrell; Gary engineered his own design...that's so Gary!

Farmers Market starts Saturday...hoo ha. I am so anxious to get started again; I love paling around with the farmers and market customers are the best. If you have a market in your area, don't miss out on the wonderfully fresh produce and herbs. We also have honey, eggs and meat at ours here.

Take a look at my violets...the entire bed is blooming.. isn't it beautiful?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh, my aching back!!! Spring is definitely here. I'm still cleaning out herb beds...we have two LARGE oak trees (Minerva and Quercus) that provide wonderful winter mulch for all the herb, vegetable and flower beds. Now it's time to put those leaves in the compost. Sophie has had the best time playing in them...the leaves not the compost...although she is extremely interested in the compost bin.

The dandelions are blooming!!! Yes, I'm still on my campaign to change everyone's thoughts about this little golden weed. Folks on my block are spraying to get rid of them, I am digging them up for transplanting as I go. Think of them as little golden suns shining all over your yard. Take a look at the Dandelion article on my website (www.GBHfarm.com) for a look at the REAL personality of the dandelion and how it can benefit you. I also just added an Amazon.com widget...check out Susun Weed's book Healing Wise. There is a wonderful chapter on the positive assets of the dandelion. I've recommended several herb books that need to be in your library! Hover the cursor over the book for a full description.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Two days in the gardens...sheer heaven. And, my teeny tiny green house is FULL. Sophie, my new puppy has worn herself out "gardening" and exploring GBHfarm...all 3/4 acre! I am cramming even more herbs and vegs in the gardens this year. I told Gary my goal is to have zero grass to mow...all beds and gardens instead! I have a long way to go....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Yard work

It's a little trying to schedule yard work when it's 70 one day and sleeting the next,,,,but, that's the midwest. Only half the garden is cleaned up, I got a few dandelions dug, most of the perennials are in, the new tiny greenhouse is up, the patio gazebo that was destroyed is down...for good. The next time it goes up Gary is building it himself. We are DONE with pre-fab stuff. Farmers Markets contracts are due...a sure sign of spring!

Not much time to write...have to make hay while the sun shines.... :) e
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