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Chillin' Through the Cold! / Kat's in the Garden Journal for Dec. 2008 / Jan. 2009

Posted by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 6:39 PM
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chillin' Through the Cold!

December has come and gone...January is pushing into February. We have been doing what we can, as we can to get our garden area ready for the spring. In the area I live we do not get as much bad weather... the ice and snow storm... that other's farther north or north east does. We have had rain, cold winds, one day of ice and some warm spring like weather.

This is a pic of our first snow. It was gone by noon! However, what little dusting we got was beautiful to see and I spent some time taking pics for my garden journal.

Below are the pics of the ice we received in December, 2008. It created a gorgeous winter wonder land... that can one could have in this area of Arkansas. Despite our brief moments of winter and the longer periods of cold wind and brief periods of warmth, we have strived to do what we we can to the garden area.

December was spent receiving and dividing up heirloom seed we purchased through located in :
Heirloom Acres Seeds2529 CR 338New Bloomfield, Mo. 65063PHONE: (573) 491-3001FAX: (573) 491-3002

My husband and I had to drive to Fulton, Missouri and work on the house our middle son, Robert and I own together. Robert is exploring his horticulture interests as well, so along with purchasing items we needed for the house I also picked up a copy of the New Square Foot Garden for him.

I also purchased a copy for myself and am applying most of the concept to my garden beds. This also gave me the opportunity to build the first 4x8' raised bed for my mother who wants to garden yet can't bend down or get on her knees. is an awesome website who's outreach is helping others grow more food to feed their families in less space. Check out the home site at the link above and you will see what a difference Mel Bartholomew and his organization is making in the lives of others all over the world.

Should you decide to purchase a copy of the book yourself, please consider going through the picture of the book linked above to I am an affiliate of Amazon and your purchase via this link provides me an income from Amazon....and thank you for the consideration.

Steve and I accomplished as much as we could on the herb bed. Doug and I need to cut down more cedar so I can complete the back side of the bed with cedar logs. The front design may have to be from rough cedar lumber we purchase in Mena. It has taken alot of logs from alot of trees to do as much as we have done so far.

Richter's seed catalog came in the mail as well. I've never order from them until this year. This year I am going to try my hand at growing some Stevia plants as a sugar the extent it can be used for that. Stevia is growing in popularity because it can be used as a sugar alternative without the calories and is all natural. Not like the artificial sweetners that are know to mess with the bodies cells and cause damage to you. I have seen Stevia products in Wal Mart lately and you can purchase them at health food stores. It is expensive but you can grow your own and save money.

Bergamot (Menarda didyma) is a plant that I just love and want to have a lot of it around. Depending on the seed you purchase, the flowers are white to a light pinkish - purple, red and purple.
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), is related to Oswego tea or beebalm.
The leaves of each are used in the making of teas: Below is the kind Richter's sells.

Lemon Bergamot
Monarda citriodora
: Attractive native of the American southwest with pink-purple flowers. Young foliage is strongly lemon-scented and excellent in tea. Leaves used by Hopi Indians to flavour wild game.

Monarda didyma
: Citrus-scented leaves and flowers make a pleasant, soothing tisane. Young leaf tips and flowers improve appearance and taste of salads.

Bergamo Bergamot
Monarda x hybrida 'Bergamo'
: The leaves have a pleasant mild lemon scent and flavour.

Wild Bergamot
Monarda fistulosa
: Lavender flowers; strong fragrance. Used for tea and for flavouring meat. Frequently seen along roadsides in eastern Canada and U.S.
Bergamot Medicinal Uses
Answered by: Conrad RichterQuestion from: Ruth Buffalo Posted on: June 17, 1998
How is bergamot used with medicines? Bergamot is an aromatic plant that is usually thought of as a tea herb. Its spicy, citrusy flavour is reminiscent of Earl Grey tea. Also known as Oswego Tea, the infusion was widely consumed during as an alternative to tea sold by the British during the time of the American Revolutionary War. Sometimes the leaf tips and flowers are added to salads and drinks for fun to add an Earl Grey-like flavour. They are also used to scent potpourris and add colour. Bergamot does have medicinal uses. It induces perspiration, lowers fevers, and through its carminative action, aids digestion. It has been used for colds, fevers, headaches, gastric disorders such as flatulence, nausea and vomiting. Externally, the fresh leaves are applied to pimples and other skin eruptions. John Lust, in his book "The Herb Book" (available from Richters) recommends taking a tea brewed from the dried leaves or tops, 1 teaspoon in a cup of water. He says to take that one or two times a day.
Lastly... I made a pit stop into Lowes to look for things I needed to apply to my mother's raised bed. Finally, the spring garden supplies were out! So to were the fruit vines and shrubs. I loaded up with red seedless grape vine plants, blueberry shrubs of various varieties. raspberries and thornless black berries. Now I am just waiting to get out side and get them in the ground. Also have to purchase more compost to amend the soil for them as well. much to do and it's too cold and wet to do anything! Everyone stay warm and stay safe!
by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 6:39 PM
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