Every other August all of us would be running about trying to overcome the July/August drought and hoping that our herbs would survive. Not so this year! At my house I am fighting flourishing weeds and throwing life preservers to the lavender! All the rain made our MBG Herb Garden refurbishing and replanting a real challenge. What a crazy year!
Still, there are many fun things happening in my own garden, some influenced by our Herb Society programs! One of my most favorite things is to learn something new at our Herb Society meeting and then to bring that concept home to try. The vermiculture program presented by Bill Abresch did just that. After researching containers and suppliers, I found the container that would work for me at Tractor Supply. Bill had excellent soil and starter worms for my bin, and I was well on my way to making worm tea for my veggies. Hope this extra boost will bring in a good crop of fall tomatoes.
In order to discourage flying insects, the bin is covered with a ‘cut to size’ shade cloth. Kitchen waste from vegetable trimmings can be dug in. I am now using some newspaper to cover about one third of the surface area, encouraging the worms to come further to the surface and holding in the moisture. The cloth is supported by some discarded metal H-frame sign holders . The corners of this oblong shade cloth are knotted so that it has a little tighter fit.
The bin is placed on the concrete block so that the spigot can be used to drain and capture rainwater that has gone through the bin. This water is also referred to as ‘worm tea’ and is a very good fertilizer for all plants.
My other yearly project consists of finding ripe Elderberries to make syrup, juice combinations, and jelly. It has been a challenge in that much of the greenspace where Elderberries are to be found had been sprayed with an herbicide and is now ‘brown-space”, very disappointing. But I did have some success in locating elderberries to harvest, and I prepared winter colds and flu season remedies. With that, I will be seeing you in the Herb Garden! ~ Reni Erskine