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September 2018 Newsletter

Herbal Times Newsletter Meeting September 12 Mary Jane Drakes house 6:00 pm

Thank you Vicki Cockran, Pat Woods, Verdeana Boyles, Treva Cook, Jen Wright and Kathy Keelen for their hard work in cleaning up the craft garden. Thank you to all who worked this summer. The meeting is at my house 3617 W. Astor Dr. TH 47802 we are going to make mason bee boxes for your home to use next year. I will have info on where to place them and maintain them. If you have a cordless drill please bring it make sure it is charged. If you need directions to my house call me 812-299-5617.There are no minutes for last month meeting

Hello Fellow Herbalist

Herb of the month

Annatto, Bixa orellana

An orange red dye or colorant, flavoring for food and healing agent derived from the seeds of the achiote tree, an evergreen native to tropic and subtropic zones of the Americas Spiny red fruits contain the seeds and the reddish pericarp that surround the seed contains the annatto or color

Foods colored with the annatto pigment range from yellow to deep orange and include

chorizo sausage, cheese (like cheddar and American), smoked fish, popcorn, oil ,butter, margarine, rice as well as processed products like snacks and breakfast cereals Historically used to create a face or body paint by rainforest tribes and natives of the Caribbean; Applying the paint lips dubbed achiote tree the lipstick tree; annatto paint was also used as a sunscreen, bug repellent, food and medicine Aztecs enhanced the color of hot chocolate with annatto Commonly used in Mexican cooking, especially in the Yucatan where it is toasted and ground into a paste; also common in Caribbean and Filipino dishes In large amounts, the flavor has been described as earthy, slightly peppery and sweet flavor; As a colorant, it has no discernable flavor Available powdered or preground, whole seeds, paste, blocks and flavored oil Can be found in skincare products

Is antimicrobial and high in antioxidants and carotenoids

See you at the meeting



What is composting? Composting takes place naturally when leaves fall from the trees to the ground. Microbes, minute living creatures in the soil, break down the leaves and organic matter. They produce humus which is rich in the nutrients that plants need for healthy growth. The home gardener can take advantage of this natural process by creating their own compost for use in the garden.

What are the benefits of composting? Composting has many benefits for the gardener as well as for the environment: Disposes of home and garden waste naturally instead of filling the landfills Helps to improve soil structure Helps the soil hold moisture and improves air circulation Slowly releases essential plant nutrients into the soil

What materials could I use to compost? Generally two types of materials are needed. Dry or brown materials provide the microbes in the soil with the energy they need to break down organic waste. Autumn leaves • Sawdust• Hay or straw• Dead plants (no weeds or diseased plants) Fresh or green materials (provides nitrogen for decomposition) Kitchen waste (leftover fruits and vegetables)• Grass clippings • Fresh manure Trimmings from hedges • Flowers• Coffee grounds

What materials should I NOT compost? • Human waste or feces • Pet feces • Diseased plants• Noxious weeds • Oily and fatty foods • Meat and bones• Treated wood • Dairy products • Chemicals• Dead animals

How do I make compost? Step 1: Choose a large container to hold the compost. You can build one yourself or buy premade ones from your local garden centers. Place your container in a location that is near a water source, out of the way, and easy to access. Step 2: Layer your compost materials making sure to get an equal mix of green and brown materials. Your compost will take longer to break down if a large amount of brown materials are added. Alternately, if you add an excess of green materials your compost will be slimy. ••••• Layer one: twigs, small sticks, hay or straw ••••• Layer two: thin layer of good quality garden soil or previously made compost (adds microbes) ••••• Layer three: brown layer (4–5") ••••• Layer four: green layer (4–5") ••••• Layer five: Add fresh manure, bone meal, blood meal, or alfalfa meal to add activating nitrogen and ••••• protein to the mix (4–5") ••••• Continue adding alternating layers of brown and green materials until your container is full. ••••• Wet each layer as you add it but do not drench the pile. Step 3: Turn your pile. • Move drier materials to center • Break up large chunks of material • Wet but do not over water any excessively dry materials.

Step 4: Make use of your compost for a beautiful garden!

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