This has been a good week of learning! Wednesday, I interned with Diane(The Garden Lady) at her home. She has 88 garden beds – in a subdivision!!!! Some are small and some quite large but there is a little bit of everything from fruit trees to herbs to flowers to veggies all on a small neighborhood lot! Well my job this week was to harvest the turnip greens for their seeds and there were a bunch of aphids that had to be smushed – yuck! Tiny little grey bugs.
I then bundled all the plants to hang and dry so Diane could save all the seeds for future planting.

Thursday night was our Ladies Homestead Gathering and we had a guest, Joanne Roth, speak to us on permaculture – agricultural system: a system of agriculture that uses a mix of trees, bushes, other perennial plants, and livestock to create a self-sustaining ecosystem that yields crops and other products. She explained the purpose of planting taller trees as a wind block and the shorter trees and bushes for shade over the garden for part of the day so that your plants don’t burn up in full sun for more than 6 hours a day. I thought full sun meant ALL DAY, 8-10 hours. I also learned that we are no longer zone 7, this area of Georgia is currently zone 8. That would explain all the crazy hot weather we have like the 85 degree days we had while it was still winter! For you gardeners out there – plant Lavender around your garden to repel deer. Then if you’d like, you can harvest some of your lavender for medicinal purposes of to cook with. I have a wonderful Lemon Lavender cookie recipe that I must find and post for you.

So Saturday came around and I had my Backyard Medicinal Workshop which turned out awesome! We learned about what different plants, weeds, flowers that are either in your backyard or your neighbors that you can either eat or use medicinally. All 8 of us took a nice walk on my property, in the pasture and in the woods to identify the plants. Come to find out, I have 3 peach trees with fruit on them that must have been planted 30+ years ago on the new property out back. I am so excited!!!!! I did not know they were there because for one, in the winter, to me the cherry and peach trees look alike and they were covered up by briars and kudzu but the cows have been working on that.

We finished up the class by making three medicinals to take home. A Lavender Calming Spray to use around your home, office,car or on your hands to sanitize, a Holy Basil Tincture(Holy Basil or Tulsi is an anti stress herb to help your overall health) and a Chickweed and Plantain Salve to sooth skin conditions such as eczema, scrapes, rashes, wrinkles. Can’t wait to teach another class!

Finally today I got to ride my horse, Tina. I felt like Dr. Doolittle because as I went through the back gate, I got on Tina and right behind me was my two dogs and one of the cats. Then up ahead were the two cows but they did not feel like staying with us so they took off running. Beautiful morning!

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