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Pearls of wisdom.

I eat from jars--canning jars, that is. During the growing season, I plant vegetables to process for use when my garden isn't producing. Some of what I put up includes tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, relishes, and applesauce. These preserves make wonderful gifts for birthdays, Christmas, or just because.

I don't use pesticides in my gardens--instead, I control pests using natural methods. Zinnias and geraniums take care of the pesky bugs

in my beans. I plant vine crops, such as cucumbers, with radishes to discourage cucumber beetles. Borage planted with tomatoes keeps the tomato hornworms away. To prevent the apples from getting worms, I use a homemade trap to capture flying pests. I make this trap by cutting a hole about the size of a quarter into the side of a gallon milk jug. Then, I make a mixture of molasses, vinegar, and water and pour some into the trap to attract the bugs. After they're in the jug, the bugs are unable to get out. Once, I caught 2 inches' worth of bugs overnight, which I then threw on my compost pile.

By the way, I turned 101 this year. I broke my hip when I was 97 and was told I wouldn't walk again. For me, this was a challenge, but it hasn't stopped me from gardening--now I just garden at a slower pace. I credit my longevity to eating food that's not compromised by harmful chemicals.

Pearl O'Neill

Sierra Vista, Arizona

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Title Annotation:Country Lore: Readers' Tips to Live By; gardening tips
Author:O'Neill, Pearl
Publication:Mother Earth News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2017
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