New England

August, 2009
Regional Report

Web Finds

Green Cone Composters
The literature describing Green Cone composters says that you can add meat, dairy, and bones -- things you normally wouldn't add to a compost pile. It also says that you only need to empty them every few years. I have a feeling we'll be seeing these popping up in back yards in the near future. Learn more about them here:

Green Cone
Solar Cone
Green Cone Tips

Favorite or New Plant

Calendula
You may have seen calendula listed as an ingredient in lotions or baby products, but you may have not made the connection to the actual plant -- a cheery annual with colorful blossoms, sometimes called pot marigold.

The botanical name for the plant is Calendula officinalis, alluding to its potential as an herbal rememdy. (The species name officinalis was often given to plants believed to have medicinal properties.) Even though I don't use them medicinally, I love that fact that, if I wanted to, I could make a tea from the flowers or make a soothing lotion or salve. Or add colorful calendula petals to my salad.

There are numerous varieties of calendula. One of the most popular is 'Pacific Beauty' mix, with bright yellow and orange flowers. My favorite is the 'Touch of Red' mix. The flowers are cream, yellow, apricot, and orange, all tinged with mahogany red, giving them an antique look that is hard to describe.

Calendula make fine cut flowers -- although the stems are covered with fine hairs that make them feel sticky.

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