Category Archives: organic

The Good Faeries of the Garden

Merry meet all,

I know it’s a few months till Samhain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be looking for the spooky happening around you now. In case you don’t believe me, I had a freaky incident recently. I found my copper skull spoon in my garden. I have no idea how it got there. I retrieved it, washed it all the while wondering how’d that happen? So it might be more common than you think. I blame the faeries and brownies.

The movie Mary Shelley opens in theaters soon. I am counting the days and hours till then. I am eager to get to work on my garden. If you are seriously into spirits and faeries, well, working in your garden is a great way to interact with them. Trust me, they are around. And not to mention the spirits in the plants themselves. So that is a lot of spirit work.

I recommend waiting till May Full Moon to do any garden work and planting. There is still a risk of frost. The May Full moon could be a powerful time for inviting the faeries and other helpful nature spirits to your garden. Leave a libation of honey and milk or mead and bury crystals in the soil. Clean the garden, use no pesticides and actually care for your garden. Decorate your garden with artificial lights, wooden pentacles or hang crystals from trees. Add some fairy statues and they will not be able to resist. Faeries care for the earth more than us mortals ever will. So showing you care is a great way to get their help. Then be consistent. If you find certain plants growing unusually well and your garden seeming like it’s more protected than others, it is a good sign the Good Folk are there. I have left my apartment door unlocked (unknowingly to me and unintentionally) and I have never been robbed. I don’t know how I did that. I usually do lock my door. But I am sure something is guarding my place.

One good idea if you like the darker side, is growing dark colored plants. You could grow black hollyhock or black roses. Use your imagination.

If you see pretty bright lights and the birds and insects flock to your plants or bird feeders, they are there. You will know by the auspicious signs you see. But you have to actually be outside to witness the signs. So every time you have some extra organic scraps, offer it to your garden. Keep the feeders full and remember to leave crystals in the soil. They will charge the soil and plants. Leaving offerings to your garden keeps a balance between you and the spirits. Be good to the earth. Try composting and recycling. Honor the spirits. Keep your garden clean and free of debris.

When it is harvest season, you can again leave a libation and thank the spirits for their aid. Decorate your garden with pumpkins, gourds and flowers of the season. The Full Harvest Moon has been allowing farmers to harvest their crops for centuries. There are lots of spirits and perhaps ancestral spirits everywhere. I love the harvest time. I can sense energies so easily. I see them in my house too.

I hope this helps you and keeps you busy during the growing season.

Blessings, Spiderwitch

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under gardening, organic, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain, seeds, spring

Spring Equinox

Merry meet all,

Blessed Ostara!! Today marks the spring equinox. The weather today was beautiful, cool and sunny. I couldn’t have asked for more. I visited the local witch shop. I am always there. I took my broom with me to show it off. I baked cookies and watched the faery fabulous movie Maleficent. My windows are open to let in the spring energy. I am eager to plant more seeds.

Wse depart from the dark half of the year to the lighter half. Now the Goddess stirs and awakens. The Crone gives way to the Maiden and the God rises too, to plant seeds of new growth. I am excited to get to work on my garden once again. I have seedlings begun already.

I took photos of the graveyard recently. I shall soon share the pictures with the Horror Writers Association for their slideshow. I attended a wonderful memorial service for an acquaintance. I enjoyed the whole evening of the service, feast and the after party. The crows were agitated in my neighborhood prior to the service. I can’t help but wonder if it was another message. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up for me to visit the cemetery more often. I guess  bringing coffee in a thermos will suffice. I shall try again tomorrow to write more horror poetry.

I wish you all a wonderful Ostara. Blessings to all

Spiderwitch

Leave a comment

Filed under gardening, organic, Ostara, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, seeds, spring

How to make Strawberry Jam

Merry Meet All,

Every morning, I visit my garden. I am under its spell. The garden is replete with veggies, flowers, and herbs. It is hard to believe that it is almost Lammas. Lammas is the first of the three harvest seasons. I think the year has spun by on magical wings. I wish I could keep up.

Tonight the Full Moon shines over the earth. I plan to dedicate my new black athame that I bought from Sacred Mists. It is so beautiful. It’s a Valkyrie Athame. It is in keeping with my Scandinavian family ancestry. Here is a picture of the Valkyrie Athame.

Want to know how to save money and enjoy organic homemade strawberry jam? I made four jars of organic strawberry jam yesterday afternoon. It is easy to do but requires patience on your part and some effort.

Strawberry Jam

Wash, and hull about 2 quarts of strawberries- or buy frozen organic strawberries.

Measure 4 cups strawberries

In a large saucepan or preserving kettle alternate layers of strawberries with

3 cups granulated sugar Organic sugar

Let stand for 2 hours.
Bring to boil and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Stir in
¼ cup lemon juice

Bring to boil uncovered about 5 minutes longer or until a teaspoonful when chilled quickly has desired consistency. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and skim off foam by turns for 5 minutes. Ladle into sterilized jars. Seal while hot with a thin layer of melted paraffin wax (optional.) Makes about 4 cups.

After I sterilized my jars by boiling them in hot water for fifteen minutes, I used my black heart-shaped magnetic hematite stone to pick up the jar lids to place them on the jars. I just thought I would pass that tip along. I do plan to invest in a good home canning set very soon because now I am hooked. So I now have two jars of elderberry jam and four jars of homemade strawberry jam. That is 6 jars in total. See? You don’t need to buy berry jam when you can make it yourself and know that it will contain no GMOs or chemicals and preservatives. I hope this post inspires you to try your hand at making your own jam. Our ancestors did it that way. People today are returning to the forgotten traditions and alternative medicines.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

Leave a comment

Filed under Full Moon esbat, gardening, homemade strawberry jam, organic, Valkyrie Athame

Container Gardening

Merry Meet All,

I direct seeded radish into my garden this spring. That lured slugs near. I just waited for the radishes to emerge and replanted them into a container. I am glad I did. I want to be the one to bite into my own garden grown radish, not the pest. I know farmers and other eager gardeners brave the garden pests, but container gardening is very popular now, probably for that reason.

I attended a talk at the local library about container gardening. The planter I have is deep enough for radishes and can keep some pests away, ensuring that I will have a crop of radishes. They grow fast and can be sown when it is still cool in spring. While a container should be a foot deep or so to grow most veggies, you may be surprised at what you can use for a container.

Here is what you need to know to venture into the wonders of container gardening.

Your veggies will need six hours of sun a day.

Your veggies will need plenty of water. Test the soil before you water and wait till the end of the day. Container grown veggies may need more water than those grown in the garden, but you don’t want them to dry up or drown. You need to keep the soil moist, not wet. Make sure the container has good drainage or use stones to aid drainage.

Warmth- You can leave your containers out in the garden all summer. Leave the container where it is most likely to receive the most amount of sun. Also, use good potting soil. Refrain from using garden soil as it is not sterile and may contain weeds. Just discard weeds if you spot them in your container.

Fertilizer. Your vegetables will need fertilizer. You can choose between granular or liquid fertilizers. They both work. Every couple of weeks, feed the plants a liquid fish emulsion fertilizer.

Seeds or seedlings. You can be bold and have the smug satisfaction- to which I can attest, and grow your vegetables from seed. Or you can try growing them from seedlings which you can purchase from a local nursery or garden centre. I started my peas, mesclun mix, and radishes from seed. I bought pumpkin seedlings. I was surprised to find I had purchased white pumpkins, not orange. That brings ghosts to mind.

The other best thing if you grow vegetables in containers is that at the end of the season, you can save the seed and thereby save money, and use the soil you grew the vegetables in and add that to your garden. The soil will contain nutrients from the container grown vegetables. Consider it to be similar to free compost for your gardening soil. Your garden will thank you.

Some vegetables grow upwards and up and up. Tomatoes, peas, cucumbers all grow up and need supports. You can buy tomato cages and trellises or make your own trellis to support vines. They are relatively cheap and available at stores. Read your seed packets carefully to determine prior to planting so you will know how high they grow and what you need to support them with. I found out after planting that my peas grow up to 4 meters-that is 13 feet. I wish I had known. Now I need to purchase a large trellis to support the peas.

Pests. Just because you may keep slugs away you may find other undesirable critters drawn to your plants. While you sleep at night, they will snack on everything you worked so hard to grow. Birds, raccoons, cats, rabbits and deer may eat everything to the root. But there are deterrents available. I wrestled with deciding where to grow my veggies. Finally I decided to go for it and grow the veggies outside. That way, they receive the proper amount of sun, wind and rain. You can use chicken wire, fine netting, alarms, bird feeders to keep them away, fencing, natural pesticides, lights at night time, a dog. If you see that something seemed to have devoured some potatoes and onions, like a racoon, plant and sacrifice some strawberries slightly away from your veggies and they can eat them. Also, watch out for pest insects like carrot fly or aphids. Ladybugs eat aphids. So plant something to keep ladybugs nearby.

May the Goddess bless you with a garden harvest
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

Leave a comment

Filed under container gardening, organic, potting soil, sun, vegetables, water

Seedling Magick

Merry Meet All,

Here is a spell to get your seeds germinating. You will require the following: A plastic ziploc bag, Kleenex, seeds, and water.

Light a candle and open the ziploc bag. Use a beeswax candle to correspond with this spell. Bees work hard flitting from flower to flower and are associated with pollination, so it does mix well with the spell. And if you plant the seeds outside, bees may visit your plants to pollinate. Wet some tissue and put the seeds from the packet into the wet tissue. Turn on the tap and put some water in the ziploc bag, if you want, but not too much. Tuck the seeds into the tissue and wrap the kleenex around the seeds. Seal the ziploc bag and place the baggie on your altar. The energy from your altar may empower your seeds to grow and blossom. Also, leave the seeds in the baggie somewhere out of direct sunlight.

After a few days have passed, check to see if the seeds have germinated. This technique is called pre-germinating and it is an excellent method to start seeds. If they haven’t, seal the bag again and replace it on your altar. After a few more days, check the seeds again. If they have, then fill some flats from a seed-tray with soil. Dampen the soil and let the muddy water drain in the kitchen sink. Once the soil settles, put a dish beneath the seed tray. Gently tear the tissue where the sprouted seed is and place the tissue and seed right in the seed flat. The tissue will compost. This avoids severely disturbing the seed. You need to be gentle as you can be. The seeds will sprout upwards and grow toward the sun.

If there are other seeds that have not yet sprouted, tuck them into the damp tissue again, place in the bag, and seal the bag again. Blow the candle out or let it extinguish itself. Tidy up the kitchen area and place the dish holding the seeds on a sunny windowsill. Thank the Goddess and God for the seeds and the bounty that will develop from the seeds.

It is a wonder of nature how a tree, a shrub, or a flower can blossom from a tiny seed. This miracle has been occurring since the dawn of time. When the seeds are allowed to grow organically, like they were meant to, the bees can pollinate the plants. The bees are endangered and we have to help them. Growing plants that attract bees helps them and helps us. We are nothing without these industrious bees and slave laborers. We may well die if they perish. They are the unsung heroes of the world.

The most magickal act I have witnessed this spring is watching my garden grow and watching seeds bloom into seedlings. It never ceases to amaze me, just how perfect nature is. The shapes, designs, and colour of the plants in my garden are beautiful. Nature is perfect and when we try to mimic that perfection, that is when the hardest fall comes. So remember this summer to walk lightly upon the earth. You will be blessed with a beautiful garden.

Here are some photos of different plants and the amazing intricate design of Nature:

My Leopard’s Bane

Dutchman’s Breeches

Euonymus Shrub

May the Goddess and God bless your seedlings and seeds.
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Leave a comment

Filed under blessings, candles, God and Goddess, Nature, organic, pre-germianation, seedlings

New Moon energy

Merry Meet All,

I hope you are busy tending to your seedlings. According to the zone I live in, the first full moon after June signifies the best time for planting and the danger of frost is past. My dill is growing indoors but as soon as I can, I will plant it straight in the garden. I am hedging on whether to keep my veggies indoors, because I can’t think of a way to keep raccoons away. They are clever determined critters. Of course, we remove their homes and then get angry at them. Makes no sense.

Today the New Moon reigns and I am so relieved. I thought Waning Moon would be forever. That’s ridiculous, of course. The moon begins in Taurus and moves to Gemini by this afternoon. Gemini makes room for lighthearted fun and new ideas. This would be a good time to begin new projects- like working on your indoor or outdoor garden. I am reading Kate West’s The Real Witches Garden book and it suggests fantastic ways to make your garden magickal. Here is the link to the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.ca/Real-Witches-Garden-Kate-West/dp/0738721247/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368189217&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Real+witches+garden

I have found a new use for milk or cream cartons. I cut the carton, poke a hole in the bottom to allow for drainage, rinse it out and let it dry. Once dry, I add soil to the carton. I use a fork to remove the seedling from the seed flat carefully. I do not want to harm the tender roots. I settle the seedling into the carton, allowing the plant to have room to grow stronger roots. Don’t throw your cartons out. They make good seedling holders. Place a crystal in the bottom of the carton to keep the soil from falling out. The crystal’s vibrations might help the plants grow. The crystals that correspond would be clear quartz, amethyst, and flourite. I put moss green agate in my garden once but I found it did not help the plants grow. Remember to water and fertilize the plants. I use organic Neptune’s Harvest fish emulsion. I also added cold coffee to my tomato seedling. The nitrogen in the coffee helps it to grow but I will stop adding cold coffee once it flowers. The nitrogen stops aiding the plant after that.

Mother’s Day is coming up. Have you all thought of some gifts to let your Mother know she’s appreciated? I plan to gift my Mom with some of my veggie seedlings. I planted too many and can now give some as gifts. If you plan to make some natural beauty products and give those as gifts, here is a link for how to make them.
http://www.revitaliseyourhealth.com/homemade-beauty-gifts/

Good luck with growing your herbs and flowers or vegetables this summer!! I wish you the very best. Happy planting.

Blessed Be,
lady Spiderwitch

Leave a comment

Filed under flowers, homemade gifts., Mother's Day, organic, recycling and repurposed cartons

An indoor organic vegetable garden

Merry Meet All,

Here are some tips to inspire and energize you for growing seedlings. Think you can’t have an organic indoor veggie garden, at least for growing seeds into seedlings? Think again.

If you have been following my indoor garden veggie salad adventure, then this will be no surprise. But I will recap for those who haven’t. I began with my trays and flats, which I sterilized before starting soil in. I also set on the seed flats in a large glass baking dish. This makes it easier to water, as I can water from below and not need to worry about water dripping everywhere. That helps plants develop strong roots and does not disrupt the tender emerging roots.

I planted the organic vegatable seeds in the mix, watered and fertilized, and set them in the flats. I also wrote down what I planted where so I could remember what I planted. I used an egg carton as well to hold seeds and soil. Now I have tiny shoots emerging and I wish i could impress upon you all just how exciting is to watch them grow. The seeds receive tons of sunlight and a breeze from the open window.

As an extra, I cut a bit off from the bottom end of a scallion and stuck that in some soil. The scallion roots took hold and the scallion is now a few inches high. I also sliced off an inch or two from the top of a carrot and suspended the carrot top in a bowl of water. Tiny carrot tops now reach for the sun.

I started a tomato plant from seed this spring too. I fermented the seeds and saved them in a freezer for a few days. I put the seed in soil in a Jiffy pot, left the seed in the pot in a dark corner for a few days and honestly forgot about it. I checked sometime later and removed the pot from the dark glass, and placed the seedling to grow in the sun on a windowsill.

I just transplanted my tomato seedling into a recycled milk carton. I cut the milk carton in half, cut a hole in the bottom for drainage, added a clear quartz crystal to stop the soil from spilling out, + moistened the potting mix. I dug out the tomato seedling from the Jiffy pot with a fork, and planted it carefully in the milk carton, nestling it securely in the damp soil. I fertilized it with my organic Neptune’s harvest fish emulsion fertilizer, and some stuff that encourages deep root growth, and set the carton on the tray with the other seedlings. Now the tomato plant can grow strong roots. This is important so it can grow healthy ripe tomatoes. This may all seem like a lot of effort at first, but it is all vitally important for the plant. There is lots of room in the milk carton for the roots to form.

The tomato transplant is shown in the milk carton in the photo below:

I have turned a large glass container into a jar for compost tea for my garden. I fill it with eggshells, coffee grains, teabags. I set a plastic bag over the lid and tied an elastic to secure the plastic and keep pests out. You cannot use a glass lid or the jar will explode. The compost tea will be for my garden. I also mixed five bags of soil over my garden and fed it a healthy dose of the last of my bonemeal. The garden looks purdy with dark rich organic black soil. Plants will emerge and grow strong now.

I have an indoor veggie garden! Of course, soon the frost will pass, and I can tuck my seedlings outdoors in the large planter, where they will receive light. Their roots will have more room to grow. Of course, the bugs may want their share. I plan to set a type of protective cover over the seedlings, like chicken wire. I have planted lovage from seed and I am waiting for the lovage to germinate. Lovage looks like celery and smells more like aniseed. So it is exciting, this venture of mine. I promise to update you all regularly on how it goes. Till then, happy planting!!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Leave a comment

Filed under carrots, egg cartons, environmentally friendly, fertilizer, Indoor vegetable garden, milk cartons, organic, peas, recycling, scallions, watering

Spring Sprouts

Merry Meet All,

Today I can see sprouts pushing up in the soil in my seed trays. It’s fun to watch them grow. The sun is shining hard and birds chirp outside. The bright blue sky beckons me outdoors. I will answer this call, this morning is too beautiful to be stuck indoors.

I know you all had a fun Beltaine. I will be posting more here about growing our beloved organic flowers, veggies, and herbs so stay posted.

On May 10, a solar eclipse will ignite the sky. On May 13, the Celtic Tree month of Hawthorn begins. May 25 is the Full Flower Moon, a good time to ask the lunar goddesses to bless the seedlings you are growing. That is a lot to look forward to.

I wish you all a Merry Beltaine!
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Leave a comment

Filed under Beltaine, flowers, herbs, organic, veggies

My herbs and vegetable seeds

Merry Meet All,

I am excited! I’m excited because this is my first year in experimenting with container gardening. I have a variety of organic vegetable seeds and seed starting soil, organic Neptune’s harvest fertilizer, and a big deep planter for my veggies outdoors. So read on to see how I did this and how you can too!!

First, you need seeds. I went to Halifax Seed and bought a few organic vegetable seeds packets. I chose a lettuce mix, green onions, carrots and peas. I started tomatoes from seed from other tomatoes already. I bought two seed trays with slots. I gathered my soil, a candle, a spoon, the seeds, the trays and slots, watering can and fertilizer.

I lit the candle and prayed to the God and Goddess to bless this experiment of mine and the seeds. Working in four rows, I planted one row of shallots, one row of lettuce mix, one row of peas and one row of carrots. You can see the seed trays here:

I was hard at work, as you can tell. In the second tray, I planted peas. The expiry date is for 6/2013. The third tray (I used an egg carton) is the lettuce mix. I can’t wait to plant these outdoors. I set them on a large flat piece of wood and set the three trays on top of my pet guinea pig’s cage. The seeds will receive plenty of sunlight and a breeze from the open window. I watered and fertilized the seeds. Now I have to wait for them to germinate.

I bought organic herbs for cooking and magickal workings. I have a lovely thyme plant growing in a gorgeous golden brass cauldron. The tiny leaves cascade over the edge of the cauldron. The dill will be set outdoors, the tarragon is for cooking, and the parsley is for Magic, and the peppermint is to improve the indoor air quality. I am having success with the carrot tops. They are indeed sprouting. I placed a carrot in a bowl of water and I can see sprouts coming up.

It is exciting to watch plants grow. Vegetables are annuals. I have tons of seeds in the packets, enough to grow veggies year-round. Why not? I have enough light, space and soil.

I sterilized the seed trays and planter before I used them. I will put the seedlings in the planter to grow outdoors. The bleach kills any potential eggs from hatching. I also learned a few more tips I would love to share. I planted a sliced green onion, the roots facing down in the soil, and it will grow from that. I am using organic Neptune’s Harvest fish emulsion fertilizer. It is worth investing in this smelly fertilizer because you will reap more fruits, herbs or veggies. It packs growing power to your plants. I can see a major difference in my sage. The sage plant has never looked happier. You will notice an increased bounty if you use that stuff.

Healthy plants are more resistant to disease and pests. I chose organic vegetable seeds that have resistance to disease and pests. I may not have disease ruining my plants, but I am sure the insect population will try to enjoy their share of my veggies before fall comes. I plan to set down some chickenwire to keep out larger pests, some cloches to protect the plants, and mulch to add moisture.

A lot of work! The work is worth it. I bought a kneeling pad, a new trowel, and I need gardening gloves. Otherwise, I am all set. Happy planting! I hope you are all ready for Beltaine!!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

1 Comment

Filed under carrots, fertilizer, garden, lettuce, Neptune's harvest, organic, peas, seed trays, seeds and seedlings, tomatoes

The Basics of Seed Storage

Merry Meet All,

I talked the other day about the safety of our food supply. To avoid purchasing seeds from companies like Monsanto, and doing damage to your garden, consider creating and saving your own seeds. When you grow veggies, flowers, and herbs this year, during the harvest, store the seeds to save for next spring.

This also works well if you know you purchased organic plants in the first place. If you didn’t, then continue with organic practices.

Keep seeds dry and cool. Never store seeds, herbs, roots or bark in damp jars, as that causes it to mould. Keep seed packets in Mason jars. I disagree with storing seeds in plastic, as chemicals leach from the plastic into the seeds and herbs. Be sure the Mason jars are sterile and have tight-fitting lids. The refrigerator is a good place to store seeds and the pantry cupboard. Simply store the seeds in the jar and leave in a dark area out of direct sunlight.

Seeds from self-polinated, not hybrid, plants can produce the exact same crop as last year. If the plants are pollinated by bees, the plant will not grow to be the same plant in the next season. Also, hybrid varieties do not always breed true.

Plants are either perennial, biennial, or annual. Annual plants such as lettuce and tomatoes flower and mature seeds in the same year.

Biennial plants such as carrots and beets are harvested in the summer but do not produce seeds until next year. Biennials do not produce seed pods till the next year. Perennials bear seeds year after year.

Do not use heat to store your seeds. They need to be kept cool and dry. Here are tips on saving vegetable seeds.

For vegetables such as tomatoes, squashes, and melons, gather the seeds when they are fully ripe. Scoop out the seed and store in a well-ventilated place. Beans and peas can be left on the vine till they are dried. Corn should be left on the vine till the kernels dent. Potatoes and onions can be stored in open boxes or other mesh bags where the temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Other types of seeds can be gathered when the fruit is fully grown. Remember to collect seeds from only the healthiest plants. By doing that, you will create a special sub-variety of crops that are adapted to your climate.

Remember to label and store the seeds -once clean, as soon as you have harvested your bounty. Also, some of the seeds may closely resemble each other. Know what you harvest and store them separately.

You can store seeds in paper envelopes and Mason jars. Be sure to label the jars and envelopes. Be sure the jars are clean and bone dry.

How long do seeds last? This chart will tell you

Aspparagus 4 years
String beans 2 years
Broccoli 3 years
Cabbage 3 years
Carrots 4 years
Cucumber 5 years
Lettuce 5 years
Onion 2 years
Peas 2 years
Pumpkin 6 years
Radish 3 years
Spinach 5 years
Squash 4 years
Tomato 3 years
Turnip 3 years

Some seed storage fluctuates depending on how, where, and when they are stored.

Now you know to select seeds from organic companies and store seeds for a delicious crop of veggies to bring to your dinner table. Mmm I can already taste it!! Tomorrow we will look at storing flower and herb seeds.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Leave a comment

Filed under importance of organic seeds, organic, preservation, Safety, seeds