Minutes June 16 Meeting

GEG Meeting at Suzy and Pete Yates

Our GEG meetings are one of God’s Many Pleasures! Thanks to Susy and Pete’s marvelous hospitality and genuine love to share.
Did you know — “A weed is just a plant without a press agent.”
Food for thought!
Two wonderful books that are a must have for us gardeners: Good Bugs/Bad Bugs by Jessica Wallister, and Good Weed/Bad Weed by Nancy Gift. We all marveled over them because they were simple, easy and direct but filled with all of the information and pictures any gardener would need.
We had a lovely breakfast by the pool. Everything was delicious. Suzy even served orange juice besides the coffee. Glenda hand picked and pitted cherries for her cobbler. There were deviled eggs and an egg dish to die for among all kinds of other food. (Thank you Betty for the brownies. Sorry you missed the meeting.) I am sure I ate all the calories needed for that day at Breakfast. Suzy said next time we can bring our bathing suits and swim after breakfast. Exercise, Exercise!
We finally got to the meeting and went over what everyone brought:

  • Glenda brought apple mint that makes great tea, and Greek oregano
  • Holly brought wood poppies, lambs ear, and black eye Susan’s
  • Mark brought lily of the valley, perennial dinner plate hibiscus, dill, liatrus, spiderwort, zinnia’s, peppers, fig tree, and some other unidentified stuff that he had gotten at past meetings but it has a nice purple flower.
  • Diana brought monkey tail, Iris, perennial begonia and lily
  • Carole brought gaillardia, and a yellow flower she gotten at past meetings.

If I missed something that someone brought – sorry!
Grant offered us all horse manure – fresh or dried. He said you would want fresh for your compost pile and dried to put on your beds.
The topic moved to aphids. (Yea, not stink bugs.) Mark suggested that you just use the hose and spray them because they can’t get back on once they fall off. Pat said soapy water works too.
We moved to tomatoes and Terry said that she laid reflective mylar around the base of some of her tomatoes and covered them with row cover. The difference in the size of the ones she did this to is amazing.
The discussion moved to borers and someone said that they are attracted to yellow. Put a yellow bowl in the garden filled with water. They fall in and die.
Pat and Charlie told us about some recipes that are delicious. One of them uses garlic when it is just a baby but worth sacrificing because it is so good. Pat sent me the recipes and I am including them. GEG Recipes will be added to the website under Tips & Recipes.
We then moved in to a demonstration on canning tomatoes. Suzy distributed handouts that are also listed in the Tips & Recipes section. She says the only thing that is wrong in the handout is wiping the tops of the jars after you have sterilized them. Don’t do that!!!! She recommended using Fruit Fresh. It has dextrose in it so don’t add sugar to your tomatoes if you use Fruit Fresh. Larry is going to Google and see if there is any without sugar and let us know at the next meeting.
Suzy used the neatest little plastic stick with a magnet on the end to pick up the lids out of the hot water. In all my canning years (a long time ago), I never saw anything like that.
Joan said to boil beans for three hours. She still cans.
The Amazing Thing Was — Suzy gave her canning book to Holly and all of her canning equipment to Ellen. She has a glass top stove and it cannot handle the weight or bottom of the canner. So this was her last canning demonstration.
But those that can — can outside. Hot plates take a long time to heat up. Larry uses the bottom of a Turkey Fryer. Funny thing is, he’s never fried a Turkey in it. It does great for canning.
We then talked about other ways to preserve the things we grow. Among them were drying in the oven and vacuum packing. Pete suggested that we have a demonstration on a solar dehydrator. Anyone up to the challenge? Ellen said that there was a person in her neighborhood who dried his peppers on the dashboard of his car when it sat in the sun. That works but I’m not sure how it would work with tomatoes.
GREAT MEETING WITH WONDERFUL PEOPLE makes this job all worth it.

P.S. Do you remember when Jane Wagner did a demonstration using gourds? Suzy gave me information on the Virginia Gourd Festival, Nov. 3 & 4 in Middletown, Virginia. Could be a fun trip!

Next meeting – How to use those herbs. Start looking at your recipes so you can bring them to our meeting on July 21 at the Davis’s. Pete has a wonderful hand cream he makes from an herb. Find out more at the next meeting —