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Mint Lovers Beware!

If you’re going to plant mint, of any kind, please beware. Mint is invasive and will take over everything and spread everywhere. It’s a great companion plant for many vegetables, but mint loves to spread it’s wings wherever it wants. So, if you’re going to plant it, make sure it’s in an area with lots of space and away from plants that like space.

My mint went from tiny little bush last year, to giant Godzilla this year. Personally, I don’t mind. The strawberries nearby, however, do mind. Strawberries are pretty invasive themselves and now my mint and strawberries are fighting for dominance. The mint is winning.

Mint and strawberries don’t go well together for a number of reasons, so they are not good companions. I did not originally plant my mint in this spot. A person who shall not be named (my dad) decided it was a good idea to move said mint after I specifically said not to because they would invade everything around them, including said persons strawberries. I guess we’ll see who wins this battle.

 

Green Beans

Green beans are a yummy snack and a great addition to any meal. If you like a good crunch, raw is the way to go. My favorite garden vegetable is fresh green beans and I eat them right in the garden.

Last summer I got these nice big bean bushes (pictured below) from seeds bought in the store. I collected the seeds left over and planted them a few days ago. Lets see how they turn out this year!

Chickens, Hawks & Reflective Things

Attention anyone with chickens: I’ve been trying to find different ways to keep hawks out. I did research and looked up many different methods of keeping them away. Although, I love to see the hawks, I don’t like it when they attack the flock of chickens and ducks on my yard. My method is anything and everything shiny! They don’t like it and in my research, (I think is was from a post on Backyardchickens.com), I learned reflective stuff confuses hawks. It’s not a fail safe, so always keep an eye out. Vigilance is always best because they can be scared easily by human presence.

After Christmas, I thought it would be great to buy some silver Christmas balls on clearance (nice and cheap) and hang them on the tree where my chickens hang out. Jingle bells work well too because they make noise and are reflective.

I think this works moderately well with a few scare crows thrown in. And, if you’re like me and love a little sparkle in your life, they make nice outdoor decorations. They unfortunately don’t keep foxes away. That’s a story for another day.

Tips:

  • Plastic Christmas balls stand up pretty well to weather. Stay away from anything glass and always pick up broken ones.
  • Move your scare crows and shiny things around. It confuses predators into thinking there are humans around.
  • Always secure them well on anything you hang them off of.
  • Don’t buy the foam ones. Chickens like to eat those. Not good and they are less weather resistant then the plastic ones.
  • My chickens got used to the shiny things, but it’s always a good idea to hang them where they are not easily accessible.
  • CD’s work just as well: I used some decorative Washi tape, Mod Podge clear drying glue as a sealer, punched a hole and added some glow in the dark beads (for the night critters), and used fishing line as string (it’s durable). WARNING: Always dispose of fishing line properly. Cut it into small pieces and throw it away in a bag. Birds can get tangled in them. I don’t like fishing line, but it was the most durable string I had.

Garlic Festival

At the end of September, I went to the Garlic Festival in Saugerties, New York.  This festival is well known in my area and a fun trip for anyone who has a love for the stinky stuff. Personally, I love garlic and grew up eating the stinky but very yummy thing. My absolute favorite part of going was the garlic vanilla ice cream. I’ve never been to the festival before this and was shocked at the weird, but truly delicious pairing. It’s my new favorite ice cream flavor and I can still taste it as I write this. It has this unique sweet roasted garlic flavor that isn’t too strong, but goes absolutely perfect with vanilla ice cream. I sadly cannot remember who made it because I was to involved in the ice cream to find out. Oh well! There’s always next year!