is nature’s way of saying, “Let's party”
this writing there is 6 ½ inches of snow
outside our door. Usually, I’m not a big
winter hater. I like the slower pace of
not so many summer chores and never
getting caught up. I enjoy the time to
plan for warmer days and the belief that
this year we’ll have the perfect garden.
This winter has gone too far. I don’t
know what this crazy weather is going to
do to the plants. I’m afraid we’ll lose
tree outside our glass house. She lost
most of her leaves in the hail storm of
2011. If she makes it through this, I’ll
not call her tender anymore .
We’ve lost 2
more hives of bees. We’re not blaming
the weather for this. They had plenty of
honey. We’ll keep trying, but I told Jim
we may have to start calling ourselves
Rock Rock Herb Farm.
to start this correspondence on a
negative note. It’s been a long cold
winter. Spring will come.
In the Garden
this little garden prayer before. It’s
been a while. It’s worth repeating.
A Gardener’s Prayer
O Lord, grant
that in some way it may rain
every day. Say from about midnight until
3 o’clock in the morning. But, you see,
it must be gentle and warm so that it
can soak in;
Grant at the
same time it would not rain on the
campion, alyssum, helianthus, lavender
and others which You in Your infinite
wisdom know are drought-loving plants- I
will write their names down on a piece
of paper if you like.
And grant that
the sun may shine the whole day long.
But not everywhere (not, for instance,
on the plantain lily, and rhododendron)
and not too much;
That there be
plenty of dew and little wind, enough
storms, no plant lice and snails, no
mildew and that once a week a thin
liquid manure and quano may fall from
enjoyed greens, lettuce, spinach, onions
until the single digits days and night.
We had row covers, but didn’t help. We
were impressed to see all the beautiful
produce at the Knoxville Winter Market;
greens, squash, root crops, mushrooms
(fresh and dried) can goods. I’m sure
the more we eat with the seasons, and
the closer to home the better off we’d
found these guidelines in Rodale’s
Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening…
Planting by the Thermometer
beets, carrots, garden peas, lettuce,
parsley, radishes and spinach.
beans, corn, cucumbers, melons and
field peas, okra, peanuts and shell
has been the “in vegetable” for a while.
You’ll find beautiful kale at the
farmer’s market or maybe grow your own.
Either way you’ve got to try this.
De-stem kale leaves. If the leaves are
large tear them into bite sized pieces.
Toss leaves in a little olive oil to
coat or spray with cooking spray.
Sprinkle with sea salt. Spread evenly on
a cookie sheet lined with parchment
paper or aluminum foil. Bake in
pre-heated oven at 250 degrees for about
10 minutes. You’ll have to check. You
want the leaves crunchy but not burnt.
These chips are delicious like this or
with grated parmesan cheese. You can
also sprinkle the chips on any savory
dish for a little crunch.
The Bee Yard
As I said at the start our bees are not
doing well and haven’t for the last
several years. We don’t know what the
problem is, but have some ideas. We’re
not the only beekeepers struggling. If
you would like to help the honey bees
you can use these guideline principles
given by Honey Bee Haven.
Protect bee from pesticides
Provide a variety of food for bees
Provide a year round source of water for
Provide shelter for bees
would add to these guidelines, to become
a beekeeper and by buying honey from
local beekeepers. For more information
www.honeybeehaven.org. Remember more
than 1/3 of our food supply depends on
the pollination of honeybees. This is a
problem for all of us.
Herb of the Year 2014, Artemisia
such a diverse herb. There are the
silver foliage plants, such as Silver
King, Silver Queen, and Powis Castle
that are valued in the landscape and for
decorations and crafts. Some were once
used medicinally, and to repel insects.
My favorite Artemisia is Artemisia
dracunculus or French Tarragon. I love
the sweet anise flavor of tarragon with
fish, egg dishes and sauces. I don’t
care for the taste of dried tarragon, so
I usually preserve the flavor by making
and freezing butter or tarragon vinegar
(my favorite.) I hate when I see
tarragon seeds sold. French tarragon
does not set viable seed and should only
be propagated by divisions or cuttings.
The best way to start French tarragon is
to by a plant from us!
Tarragon doesn’t always like our hot
summers. You might try planting it in
the shady part of your garden or in a
container you could move when the
weather warms up.
hope you’ll think of us when you’re
ready to purchase your organic gardening
needs. We have several Espoma products
to enrich garden soil. You’ll find Safer
3-1 Garden Spray to control insects and
Neptune’s Harvest fish and seaweed
concentrate to feed your plants. For
your potted plants you’ll want our
Fafard Organic Potting Soil, or as we
call it “Potty Soil.” There’s much more
in our Herb Cottage. Come see for
We’re excited to start another year at
Honey Rock. As always we appreciate your
support and for making it possible for
us to continue to do what we love.
heard somewhere; Successful gardening is
doing what needs to be done, when it
should be done, the way it ought to be
done, whether you feel like doing it or
Peace & Plenty
D. & Jim
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