October 2013
The Herb Farm

Focus on Nature’s Beauty

 
  Sedum “Mr. Goodbud” performing very well in the garden.

If there is anything I love more than farming, it sure has gone unnoticed by me all of my life. There are so many wonderful aspects to this way of life I certainly can’t imagine doing anything else.

Oh, there are some trials and hassles, frustrations and the like, but those things go with any profession. They are the same, only different. I choose this life, because it is what I enjoy and it makes me feel good overall.

Last month, I took leave of my writing duties here in order to take care of some serious farming business. Every now and again one encounters extra duties on the farm. The duties did not necessarily build up from procrastination, but from Mother Nature advertising her presence and creating critical mass.

 
  Left, Gulf Fritillary and stink bug on zinnia flower. Above, Cloudless Sulphur butterfly on petunia flower.

Here’s the bad and the good of what I am talking about.

When the spring storms brought down several trees, they left me to take care of cutting down the trunks and cutting the limbs and brush into manageable pieces, so I could move them by myself. Well, that happened on four different occasions. The storms didn’t all blow through and knock down the seven large trees on the same day.

The good thing is it gave me more sunlight in an area I had planned for years to clear because some of the trees were showing rough ageing issues.

 
From left, Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies have the most beautiful shade of blue on the bottom of their wings. Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly on zinnia flower.

I thought of how good it will be to see which wildflowers would pop up in the new landscape.

The bad part was that most of the wildflowers that popped up came in the form of weeds and invasive vines.

 
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies enjoy the butterfly bushes.  
   

Fortunately for me, there were a couple of kids from down the road a way who decided to put off college until next spring. One of their fathers is a good buddy of mine. These two young men had been best friends since they were 8 years old and had planned all their lives to spend the summer after high school graduation touring Europe. My friend’s son had an auto accident and finished his diploma in the hospital and his best friend decided to wait until they could follow their dream together.

Their names are Elvin and David.

These fellows wanted to earn some extra money and I put them to work. For a few weekends, they even camped out on the farm. I provided them with food and hot showers … and good, fair wages.

We got the farm looking good in a few weekends and now I am back to normal.

 
  Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies are in abundance this year.

During the last month or so, there were the usual seasonal changes. The annual flowers are starting to wane. The dahlias are putting on their last blast of colors and the sedums are showier than ever.

One other thing that I enjoy so much about early autumn is all of the butterflies and spiders that come to the flowers. It seems like this year the creatures have been more plentiful.

It’s a good thing, I guess, because I kind of enjoyed having the extra company around for a few weeks. Now, it’s just me and the dog … and the cats … and the chickens. As for the young men, they are taking advantage of this season in Europe. They are going to spend Halloween in Edinburgh, Scotland. My hat’s off to them! Thank you, Elvin and David, for your fine work and the delightful company.

As for me, well … you know where I’ll be on Halloween. It’s the holiday that really gets me going!

Maybe next year there will be some wildflower surprises where the trees once stood.

Remember to watch your salt and sugar, drink plenty of pure water and breathe in and out!

Thanks for reading.

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