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Gardening Workshops

The Baldwin County Master Gardeners host workshops each Tuesday for the next few weeks.  They take place at the Auburn Experimental Center on Hwy 104 starting at 6pm.  The cost is $5 for 2 workshops.  Tonight’s topics were Herb Gardening and Planting Antioxidants.

The herb garden info was great.  The presenter talked about his recipes and I will admit, I got hungry.  His favorite to talk about was herb butters of all kinds: sage, rosemary, thyme, to name a few.  Herbs do best in containers.  I also learned that most herbs do great here in the winter, except for garlic chives and basil, while not so great in the summer.  It’s just too hot for some; they bolt and/or flower and that’s that.  Basil on the other hand loves summer heat, which I’m so glad for because we just can’t live without it in our house.  We usually go through several plants each summer.  I have 6 plants and a planter of seedlings.  Last year, I experimented and saved enough of the basil plant before the frost and brought it inside.  I kept it in a pot in a sunny window.  This was a challenge because the sun swings so far south and our southern exposure is hidden by our neighbors pine trees.  We only have one sunny window in the winter.  Every day for one hour I made sure the plant had sun.  We used the leaves for pizza and before long it was gone.  I finally buried it (it died) in February. 

The antioxidant workshop focused on why we should grow vegetables and fruits.  Vegetables and fruits keep the free radicals in check (most of the time) so they’re beneficial. They also have anti-inflammatory qualities.  However, eggplant, corn, beans, peas, potatoes, beets and carrots all have some inflammatory qualities.  Everything in moderation.

The number one antioxidant fruit is blueberries; vegetable is kale; nut is pecan.  We can grow all of these here in Coastal Alabama.

I did learn two very important things tonight: 1) even your little vegetable garden needs rotating year after year.  This includes vegetables of the same family so keep a journal so you know where you planted what each year. 2) Wear gloves when harvesting some vegetables.  Peppers require gloves in case they burst open when harvesting.  I knew you should wear gloves when cutting them; it never occurred to me to do the same when harvesting.  Throw your gloves away or in the laundry.  Okra and squash can cause your hands to itch so keep your gloves handy when harvesting them, too.

That’s all the knowledge I have to share today.  Happy Gardening!

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