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Posts Tagged ‘Garden’

I noticed on some household plants these odd things on the leaves and stems.  Hubby and I scraped some off one day and they were strange… almost spungey (is that a word?).  I was doing some research today and found that they are called Scale Bugs.  The thing is they don’t look like bugs at all, they attach themselves to the leaves and look like brown spots.  Almost like leeches, well they technically are, they eat the sap from plants. 

Looking around online I found several ways people say to rid themselves of scale, from Neem oil, to vinegar and water spray, and Q-tips soaked in alcohol.  All these sound fine to use, but they also seem like a hit and miss solution, I want these things gone!  We use a lot of natural gardening techniques from Jerry Baker.  We originally found his videos when we subscribed to Netflix.  If you have never heard any of his tips and tricks to help garden more naturally and cheaply, he gives down home ideas, in fact he says they came from his Grandmother. Feel free to search youtube as well, we still use his tonics to get our soil started which include things like epsom salts, beer, mouth wash, dish soap…

Jerry doesn’t tell us how to take care of these bugs though, not specifically.  So today I found Garlic Fire Spray.  We use something for colds we call Fire Cider or Master tonic, it sounds very similar!

Garlic Fire Spray:

2-3 Garlic Bulbs (the whole bulb not individual cloves)

6 Large or 12 Small Hot Peppers (or you can use 1-2 Tablespoons chili powder)

1 TBSP Vegetable Oil

3 Squirts Liquid Detergent (or 1 “dessert spoonful” you know the big spoons that come with your silverware set)

7 Cups Water (use 2-3 in the blender and add the rest after blended)

Blend all ingredients and strain through a cheese cloth, coffee filter, or mesh strainer.  Add liquid to a spray bottle, pour the rest in covered jars and label them.  You squirt this on your plants and it will kill all insects.  Keep in mind it will kill the ones you want around too, so you wouldn’t want to use this if you’ve got ladybugs, bees and such.

I’m going to play around with this recipe along with some diatomaceous earth.  I plan on putting the DE on the soil to kill any bugs that might be hiding in the soil, and spraying down the plant in the Garlic Fire Spray.  If for whatever reason that doesn’t work I might try DE in water… but just like most natural things the spray needs to be reapplied.  You can also spray this mixture around your garden to keep garden “pets” (gophers, rabbits…not sure about deer?) away from your garden.

It’s worth a shot in my book, I’d rather use something natural then some Round Up! Will post my failure or successes after I give this stuff a try.

 

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I absolutely love Oregon!  It is (although I’m pretty bias) one of God‘s most beautiful and amazing places.  The winter can be a bit, depressing, especially for those who are not used to rain 24/7.  Rain, however, keeps Oregon green and lush and beautiful.  People who are not from here comment a lot on the size of our trees, the moss that grows on them and the lush forests.  After a particularly long winter I am starting to see signs of life and spring again.  It does remind me that our God lives and no matter how dark it is before the dawn, the sun rises and life begins new in Spring.

My drive to work today was particularly wonderful, the cherry blossoms that grow along the freeway through downtown Portland are in bloom.  I saw daffodils bright and yellow, happily standing above the ground.  Color is starting to come back, although it’s almost always green here, it is nice to see other colors.  I even saw a beautiful rhododendron blooming in pink.  Spring also brings some fun new things for Hubby and I.

If I haven’t talked about it before,  Hubby really has a passion for growing food.  We got married in 2009 and were living in Portland off a very busy road, where city buses were constantly passing our apartment.  Our landlord was not the most… uh.. pleasant man, he would not allow for gardens.  Unless the garden was in containers and you removed everything at the end of the growing season, you couldn’t have one.  Not to mention that the sun exposure wasn’t great either.  So we never had one there.  We eat organic as much as possible and were spending a fortune at New Season’s.  So we moved to the country.  We got amazing Christian landlords (totally God’s hand).  See Hubby had just seen a movie called Faith Like Potatoes.  It is based on a true story about a farmer in Africa and his struggles, he comes to know God and then grows potatoes.  The thing about potatoes is you don’t know what kind of crop you will have until you dig them out, so you must have “faith like potatoes” that God is going to give you a bountiful harvest.  Hubby was completely inspired!  When we met with our new landlord, Hubby asked the wife if he could plant potatoes and her response was “it’s your yard.”  He has been passionate about growing food ever since.  That same year, God provided him with FREE seed potatoes from our favorite feed and seed (Linnton Feed & Seed in Portland).  In fact, they didn’t even know they had any more seed potatoes and everyone said it was too late in the year to plant them, but Hubby didn’t listen.  He knew what God wanted him to do.  Then he was in the store-room of the feed and seed looking for something while the staff was busy (we have a great relationship with them) and back in a corner was a pallet of seed potatoes!  He went and asked and they said they didn’t even know they were there, but they were his if he wanted them.  Wow!  Long story short, this has become hubby’s passion.  He has started a mini food share program.  One year he went to people’s homes that wanted a garden but didn’t want to do the work themselves, he planted the gardens, got a majority of the food and the home owner got what they wanted as well.  Last year he found a person with a large plot of land and mostly did gardening there.  This year however, we finally have our own home and a half-acre to boot!  He is still going to use that large plot of land but also our own this year.  Another blessing is a local seed company, Territorial Seed, donated to him almost $200 in free seeds!

Yesterday we got a freak snow storm.  Woke up with an inch or two (yes that is a lot of snow for us) and as I walked out to open the chicken coop, I saw a tree with leaves opening up, covered in snow.  Luckily, it all melted pretty quickly.  I am excited to see what our new yard will look like in bloom.  We moved into our house in November and we don’t know what all the trees are in our yard yet, and we get to see flowers bloom for the first time!  The other beautiful thing is we get to have a permanent place to plant our growing plant collection.  We have had pots and carried them with us as we moved, but now our rosemary, goji berries, thyme, sage and horseradish will have a permanent home.  What a HUGE blessing!

I feel renewed today, can you tell?  🙂  For the first time we have a place to call home on this earth, that we can enjoy and grow beautiful food given to us by our Creator.  I look forward to writing more as the growing season gets into full swing and post photos of our garden and beautiful bounty.  I’m thankful to the Lord for Spring, a renewal time where we can remember that we serve a living God, who loved us so much not only died for us, but gave us living food to nourish our bodies.  Praise God!

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