More on Companion Planting & Beneficial Bugs, Crafty Spring Sachet, Yummy Spring Dishes: Radish Chive Spread & Sorrel Soup!

Super cute & easy little sachets make
wonderful parry favors or gifts!

Evan and I picked rhubarb and asparagus today… so fun! He enjoys being outside helping so much, it is such a blessing. The other day when we were in the front garden hoeing he and Ryan were picking up all the weeds putting them in buckets to dump… well Evan wanted to do more, so there he goes with my hoe diligently working away at some weeds ‘mom missed’… Hard work is something that needs to be nurtured in them while young, and when we can make it fun they want to be with us!  I am working hard at teaching these children all about gardening and feeding themselves… companion planting is an important part of this process, especially for the Organic gardener.

Companion Planting to deter bad bugs from harming your flowers & veggies is an age old practice, and one we at The Garden Gate CSA Farm practice wholeheartedly.  This practice involves working with nature a bit by attracting beneficial insects into your garden with certain types of plants as well as planting specific combination of things to deter bad bugs.  The beneficial insects such as ladybugs, praying mantis and lacewings to name just a few can be brought in by planting things they like.  If you have a kitchen garden or a small home garden incorporate as many of these plants into the garden as you can.  Herbs and flowers belong with veggies in the garden, it is what the old timers did because it worked… and it’s the way God made it to be.  They help keep those unwanted bad bugs at bay without using synthetic and poisonous pesticides & herbicides.  Here are a few ideas to get you going:

*Basil will repel flies & mosquitoes
*Castor bean will keep moles and plant lice away
*Plant hyssop and it will deter the cabbage moth.                                                                                        

*When planted near rosebushes, lavender drives away aphids.
*Sage, hyssop and thyme deter caterpillars.
*French marigolds may discourage nematodes, Mexican bean beetles and white flies
*Nasturtium also helps fight against aphids, squash bugs, striped cucumber/ pumpkin beetle and woolly aphids.
*Pennyroyal gets ants to stay away.
*Add a beautiful edge of petunias in your garden and the beetles will keep away.
*Peppermint isn’t only good to make tea with, but repels the white cabbage moth. I have a whole patch of it in my kitchen garden.
*Rosemary and Sage deter cabbage moth, bean beetles, carrot flies and ticks.
*Santolina keeps plant lice away.
This is such a small list of possibilities but you can get lots more ideas in “Carrot’s Love Tomatoes” by Louise Riott.  This book is open most of the year for me!

Crafty Spring Sachet

To make a sachet, cut a four-inch square from a hankie. With the pattern side up, fold three corners toward the square’s center. Hand-stitch the sides together. Turn the sachet inside out, press, and sew a decorative button atop the flap. Fill the pouch with dried lavender, then secure the flap with some hidden hand-sewn stitches.

Here are a couple super easy and yummy appetizers to serve at your next luncheon, or just a special treat for you and your honey!
Radish Chive Spread

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 tbsp. softened butter
1 cup radishes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh chives, chipped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 loaf pumpernickel bread

Wash, trim & dry radishes very well.  Soften cream cheese, add butter, and mex well.
Add chopped radishes, chives & salt, mix well.
Chill; serve in bowl on pumpernickel bread.

Sorrel Soup
This soup is good hot or cold as an appetizer.  When reheating, don’t bring to a boil b/c it may separate.

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped scallion (green onions)
4 cups chopped sorrel leaves, washed and stemmed, loosely packed
2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half or light cream.
Chopped fresh chives

1. In a large saucepan, heat the butter; add scallion and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minute, until tender.
2. Stir in 3 cups of the sorrel, the potatoes and salt; cook 1 minute or until the sorrel softens and wilts.; add broth and bring to boiling.
3. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
4. Cool mixture slightly; transfer, half at a time if necessary, to a food processor or blender; process until smooth; add the remaining 1 up sorrel and the half and half; process until just combined (sorrel pieces should still be visible).
5. Serve immediately or chill to serve cold.  Sprinkle with chives just before serving.

Happy Day,

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