Relevant Links – Herb Gardening

Thank you all for the great class last night! It was one of my favorites so far, class interaction always makes it go much better!

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The slideshow is available here.  It even has Marjoram spelled correctly and everything! ;-)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below, or shoot an email to

Companion Planting

We talked a little about companion planting last night, so I wanted to expound on the basics a little. The best uses of companion plants (in my opinion) are:

  1. ­Trap Crops – Like Nasturium to Cole Crops.  Trap crops work because certain insects have a preference for non-crop plants, but will “settle” for your produce if none are available.
  2. ­Pattern Disruption – Cabbage Root Flies 36% success on cabbage on bare soil, 7% when planted with clover ground cover. Insects tend to search for host plants in a pattern. For example, they will land on a green patch. If they land on a plant the feel to be unsuitable, they will check another in the immediate area. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they will leave the area completely and move to a different area all together.
  3. ­Chemical Pest Suppression – Essential Oils – Garlic repels aphids, Codling Moths, etc. This is how chives are supposed to work.
  4. ­Positive Hosting – Bee Balm attracts pollinators, other beneficial insects to the patch. Providing good places for bats to nest or frogs to hide can lower you insect and slug population.

Pest Control

We talked about some organic and inorganic controls, specifically Sevin (Carbaryl) and Tobacco Juice. I found a recipe for “Souped Up” Tobacco Juice spray I thought would work well.  I also think pretty highly of Neem oil in general as an organic insecticide / fungicide.

I may have got slightly sidetracked last night onto the original production of G-Series Nerve Agents and insect control (who isn’t excited about chemical warfare?), but thought you all may be interested in this article about geraniums paralyzing Japanese beetles that land on them.

You may want to also check out this list of Pest Repelling plants.


As promised, here are a bunch of great herbal formulations (just click on the name of them to go to the recipes):

Ginseng Regulations

Here are the official Illinois Regulations on Ginseng hunting. If you are wanting to get into digging, check out 

For a local dealer, contact:

Turley Ginseng Co.
1147 Hazel Dell Rd.
Greenville, IL 62246
(618) 664-2871

For other dealers, check this publication.

The Best for Last!

You’ll want to start with 2 or 3 young coons (10 lbs or less), skinned and gutted. Remove the head and feet and discard. You’ll want to remove all the glands around each joint. There should be hard pea-ish sized glands in the joints. Remove them. Trim off the fat as much as possible, the more trimmed the better your BBQ will be. This is where recipes generally diverge you can:

  1. Quarter it now if it won’t fit in your pot. Boil raccoon in a stew pot with carrots, celery and onions and whatever seasonings you like (a good pork rub comes to mind). When it’s falling off the bone, drain and add BBQ sauce.
  2. Some people go directly to the crock pot: Cook in BBQ sauce or Root Beer until meat falls of the bone, drain and then add BBQ sauce.
  3. Or another Crock pot version: Crumble Bay Leaves over the coon. Add onion, celery and bell peppers to taste. Mix a can of onion soup, cream of mushroom and water together and cook on high for 30 minutes, switch to low and cook for 6-8 hours over night until meat starts to come of bone and shreds easily.
  4. Or roast your coon at 325-350 for 2 1/2 – 3 hours until meat starts to come of bone and shreds easily.

Remember: Raccoon made it in the original edition of The Joy of Cooking. If it’s good enough for Irma S. Rombauer, It’s good enough for me.

Relevant Links – Confined Space Gardening

Notice: I will be adding on to these for several weeks after the relevant class… Please Check Back for new content as it is added.

Here is a copy of the presentation made in class

Recommended Reading:

Be careful when looking for the first book on Amazon – There is a book by someone named “Breth Markum” – It is plagiarized from free sources online.

Cool Products:

Varieties I Mentioned:

  • Beans, Bush: Royal Burgandy
  • Hardy Kiwi, Ken’s Red
  • Hardy Kiwi, Male
  • Hardy Kiwi, Arctic Beauty
  • Rat Tail Radishes
  • Bush Tomato
  • Grafted Tomato
  • Jalapenos, El Jefe
  • Icebox Watermelons
  • Grafted Peppers
  • Malabar Spinach
  • Black Forrest Zuchinni
  • Trombone Zuchinni
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • King Stopharia Mushrooms
  • Mushroom Plug Kits
  • Figs, Chicago Hardy
  • Strawberries, Fragaria Vesca
  • Patio Blueberries
  • Edible Honeysuckle (Haskap)
  • Pre-Espaliar Fruit Trees
  • Dwarf Citrus
  • Dwarf Pomegranate
  • Columnar Apples
  • Fruit Salad Trees
  • Clematis
  • Climbing Roses
  • Wisteria