September 2015
The Herb Farm

Jam Packed And Jammin’

 
Tiger swallow-tail butterfly on butterfly bush “Nano Blue.”   

"Ba de ya, say do you remember
Ba de ya, dancing in September
Ba de ya, never was a cloudy day ...."

– Earth, Wind and Fire

Hey, folks! I’m just singing my favorite song about September while I sort through my notes about the summer. By the way; summer ends Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at 3:22 a.m. CDT as that is the Autumnal Equinox.

Earth, Wind and Fire rocks!

Let us start with something that really gets me going. Let’s start with some hate mail I received in July from a reader. He wrote to me regarding my opinions on turfgrass lawns. He went on to complain that my photographs never show "beautiful" grass and my column doesn’t offer any suggestions on turfgrass care. Another of his complaints was that if I were truly all about herbs then I wouldn’t write about general gardening, so I should write about all aspects of gardening.

Since he didn’t sign the email, I have no idea who to address this response to and I won’t publish his email address. But, you know who you are, and I thank you for reading "The Herb Farm."

Well, sir, I do write about some general gardening techniques, but they mostly reflect my personal experiences. I have only a small patch of centipede grass and that is all I want. Turfgrass maintenance is a money-sucking time drain, and for what? A patch of green?

I’m sorry, but that just seems impractical, if not unethical to me!

Why not plant food instead of grass? Or, plant herbs and flowers to at least support the pollinators.

 
  I allow beekeepers to place a few hives around my property. They will come over this month and rob the hives for honey.

You want to grow grass? Grow ornamental grasses that require only a little nitrogen and very little water. There is a plant we used to call "grass," but it isn’t really in that family at all. In fact, it is in the same family as a hackberry tree and hops. It’s also referred to as "herb" and it is an herb. It’s a medicinal herb. It’s also a culinary herb. Perhaps you should grow some of that!

If you still insist on growing turfgrass, then this is your month to apply poisons and fertilizer. Oh, remember to waste water during this dry time of the year. All for a green patch …. My centipede usually turns brown this time of year because I do not water it!

Still listening to EW&F mixed with Ohio Players and War.

This month I will remove all the flowers from my hanging baskets and save the ones that will be maintained over the winter for propagating in the greenhouse for next year. The baskets will be refilled with fresh potting soil in order to grow lettuces and various other cool-weather crops.

Planting spring bulbs is best done between now and next month.

A good friend from Belgium sent me a large box of miscellaneous bulbs that were culls. They’re not culls because they are underdeveloped or otherwise bad. No. These bulbs were culled in the processing house. When the packagers drop bulbs on the floor, they are left there until the end of the day, then swept up and boxed. Because they package several types of bulbs in several colors, his company won’t risk getting the wrong product in the packages.

 
Dehydrating bananas with a dusting of cinnamon for a tasty twist to the snack.  
   

Hopefully, in the next two or three years I will be able to expand my bulb gardens here on the farm.

This month the beekeepers will come over and rob their hives for honey. I get a honey share and free pollination for letting them place a few hives around my property. Hopefully, next year I will have a couple of new hives of my own.

This year I canned a little less than usual. Still, I put up tomatoes (of course), chili peppers, potatoes, yellow squash, okra, pink-eye peas, and various relishes and sauces.

I also dehydrated peaches, apples, tomatoes, peppers and bananas; and juiced blueberries, blackberries and tomatoes for wine production later.

There’s still a lot of putting up to do this month, but I will at least take off on the third weekend (Sept. 18-19) to travel to Fort Payne for their Boom Days Heritage Festival (www.boomdays.org). My friends Ronny and Joyce from DeKalb Farmers Co-op will be there and it’s always great to see them.

There will be lots of good, free entertainment with Delbert McClinton, The Swampers, Norman Blake and others. This year the event was awarded the Alabama Bureau of Tourism’s Event of the Year! I hope to see y’all there!

How about a quick suggestion for supper tonight? It’s breakfast for supper! (And leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.)

 
  Skillet of Dean’s sausage, a product of Attalla, for supper! It is truly the best tasting sausage.

Every now and then I just want some comfort food in the evening. Tonight it’s biscuits and gravy, eggs and Dean’s Country Sausage with sliced tomatoes and a half cup of coffee! (Royal Cup – I always try to buy Alabama products!)

Enjoy!

Until next time, remember to watch your salt and sugar, drink plenty of pure water, and breathe in and out!

Thanks for reading!

For more information, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I’ll answer your questions and I enjoy the emails!

Be sure to find me on Facebook at Herb Farmer – The Herb Farm.

As always, check with an expert, like your doctor, before using any herbal remedy.