Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Path

The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you advance. Proceed, and light will dawn, and shine with increasing clearness on your path.
Jim Rohn

The path into my garden is becoming overgrown with horseradish, oregano, and mint. As I trudged through the plants, I was attacked by those pesky blood sucking mosquitoes. In my mind, I began to think of how to preserve the horseradish, oregano, and mint. What could I do with it? Dry the oregano for cooking, make mint jelly, grate the horseradish for corned beef sandwiches. I will research the possibilities, and come up with a plan of action.

When reaching for a dream, difficulties come, then they are resolved, and we go on. If we persist, we will see the light, we will get through the tough times, and our dream will be fulfilled. Push on!


First Harvest of Radishes

Last Harvest of Strawberries

Who likes to weed? I think I'm one of the few, but it's because weeds are kept at the minimum because we put grass clippings in between the rows. When plants get bigger, we will put the clippings around the plants as well.

I've researched whether it is a good thing to use of grass clippings as mulch, and some people agree with me, others don't. The reasons some disagree are:
From High Country Gardens,
  1. Green grass clippings can compress into a slimy layer and create a water and air impermeable mat over the top of the soil. This can smother the soil and result in a lack of oxygen and water for the roots below.
  2. Grass clippings are very “hot” and require a lot of heat and nitrogen to break them down. This is not a process you want happening around your growing plants.
  3. And lastly, If you use herbicides (including “weed and feed” fertilizers) and fungicides on your lawn I feel there is a danger involved when recycling these clippings. These clippings may have residual chemicals and it’s not a good idea to put this back around your garden plants. This would be especially ill-advised when used to mulch your herb or vegetable plants!

The Seasoned Gardener also adds that the odor is not pleasant, and that the appearance might be displeasing.

As for me, I find it very beneficial. First, before I go into the hows and whys, one very important thing - never, ever, use clippings after you have fertilized the lawn with weed and feed products, herbicides, or fungicides, or as long as the chemical ingredients remain active. Some can remain active for as long as a year after usage.

Why do I use it?
  • It helps keep the weeds at bay. Some weeds will sneak through, but they are easier to manage.
  • I think it makes the garden look pretty, and organized. See my picture below, and see if you agree.
  • It's free!
  • It's ready and available (unless we are having a super dry summer).
  • It's environmental friendly, and it's not filling up the land fills.
  • It adds nutrients back to the garden.
  • It helps keeps the moisture in the soil.


  • My husband collects the grass clippings with a bag attached to the lawnmower.
  • He spreads the clippings in a thick layer in the paths in the garden, about 2 inches thick.
  • He will do this until all the paths have grass paths. In the picture, you will notice that some paths do not have grass yet.
  • Since the grass will decompose, during the remainder of the summer, he will continue to add grass where needed. When we have a pretty good mulching, he takes the bag off, and leaves the grass mulching on the lawn to help the lawn.
  • He does it because I would sneeze if I did. I'm really allergic to freshly cut grass.

So, it's up to you. There are other types of mulching, but they cost money. Do your research and decide for yourself.


This jelly is so good when served with lamb. I usually give it as gifts.

Mint Jelly

4 cups Apple Juice
1 cup Mint Leaves
1 pkg. (2 oz.) powdered Fruit Pectin
3-1/2 Tbs. bottled Lemon Juice
3-1/2 cups Sugar
3 or 4 drops Green Food Coloring, if desired

Bring apple juice to boil. Chop int leaves finely, and add to apple juice. Boil for one minute. Remove saucepan from heat and let stand covered for 15 to 20 minutes. Return to heat and bring to a boil again. Boil 30 seconds more. Pour apple juice and mint into a jelly bag and strain the juice. Do not squeeze the jelly bag. Return the apple juice to the pan and stir in the lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a boil again, stirring constantly. Add sugar all at once, stirring until well dissolved. Bring back to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add food coloring. Skim off any foam and ladle into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Clean rims, seal, and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes. Makes 5 half pint jars.

If you don't know how to can, go to the Ball Jars website to learn.

Continuing on my path,
Aunt Janet

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