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The Permacultivator - Journal of Cool Climate Permaculture
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Autumnal Herbal

by Robyn Brinkley

In the Garden

• Improve the health of your apple trees by growing chives around the base. The chives will prevent apple scab.

• If your trees are already infected with apple scab, spray with a chive tea now in the autumn. I use a handful of chives steeped in a cup of boiling water. Then I strain it and spray it. I also add a teaspoon of ti-tree oil to the recipe for good measure. Spray again in spring at budding. This is also effective against downy mildew on gooseberries.

In the Home

Lip Salve for Autumn Lips

This salve will soothe and heal chapped lips even in harsh weather conditions.

1. Make camphor oil by dissolving 3 level teaspoons of camphor crystals in 1/4 cup of safflower oil. Leave to dissolve for a few days.
2. Melt 12g (1/2 oz) beeswax in a small saucepan over low heat.

Add 6g (1/4 oz) cocoa butter and melt slowly.
Add 1 teaspoon of lanolin and melt while stirring.
Add 1/4 of the camphor oil and mix well. Remove from heat and cool to body temperature.
Mix in 1 teaspoon of glycerine well and pour into tiny jars.

Using Autumn Leaves

by Ralph Long

I am always disgusted in the Autumn to see people raking up leaves and burning them. These people should be charged with polluting the atmosphere. Autumn leaves are a very valuable source of humus. They are a little harder to compost as they are low in nitrogen and should be mixed with manure or green lawn clippings or weeds etc. If shredded they will decompose quicker. However, if you cannot do either of these, you can build a cage of wire netting to store the leaves. Dampen and trample them down, then leave (no pun intended) the leaves until next Autumn, then you can remove the netting for the next leaf harvest. Use the leaf mould whenever it is ready. Some leaves take longer to break down.

Oak leaves may have an inhibiting effect on some vegetables so make sure they are composted fully or use elsewhere. Walnut leaves scattered around the house or dog kennel repeal fleas, although I imagine that you would need them all year round. Pick them as needed, that would mean fewer leaves to rake up too.

Autumn Organic Tips

by Ralph Long

Did your stone fruit have a very bad dose of Leaf Curl or Brown Rot? If so spray the trees with Bordeaux or Kocide at leaf fall and again just before bud burst. If only a mild case then spray in the winter. In all cases remove all mummified fruit from trees.

If apples and stone fruits showed sign of Bitter Pit then apply limestone or dolomite to the soil now.