An Interesting Article on Organic Matter, Soil Microbes and Nutrient Recyling

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More “stuff” on soil microbes….

Here is a very comprehensive article I found on soil microbes for agriculture, including information on C/N ratios, effects of tillage, and environmental factors affecting the breakdown of organic materials.
http://ohioline.osu.edu/sag-fact/pdf/0016.pdf

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Cardoon Yesterday and Today

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I snapped this shot of Cardoon, a close relative of artichokes, while I was touring the UBC Botanical Garden in Vancouver. This plant was located in a section named the “Harold and Francis Holt Physic Garden” which contains a collection of plants used in early European pharmacopeia. So it was used way back when….

Today there is renewed interest in this plant, according to the Plants for a Future Database (http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cynara+cardunculus)

“The cardoon has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin. This bitter-tasting compound, which is found in the leaves, improves liver and gall bladder function, stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, especially bile, and lowers blood cholesterol levels.”

All this and a wonderful flower !

Strawberry Scented Geranium

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A new arrival to the farm this year, and the winner of “bloom of the week “.
Remember that scented geraniums and other tender perennials will not survive out in a Vancouver Island Winter, it’s time to shift them into an indoor winter home.