We all know plants can be pleasing, if only interesting, to the eye. Sometimes they appeal to our sense of smell, touch or taste. Wildlife depend on plants for food and shelter, too. Did you know they may help to repel mosquitoes, as well? According to Beyond Pesticides, an online resource for non-toxic alternatives to synthetic pesticides, certain citrusy-based plants help to do just that. Scented Geranium, Lemon Grass, and "herbs like Oregano, Catnip, or sweet and holy basil" may be used to create "barriers" around your property. Of course, the 'site also suggests removing old tires and other objects that may collect water. For more tips for enhancing your backyard and barbecue experiences this summer, visit www.beyondpesticides.org/mosquito, and click on "Tools for Change" in the left margin.
Green, leafy plants -- like Dandelion greens and kale -- are packed with protein, calcium, magnesium and a host of off-the-chart levels of other vitamins and minerals. Grow them organically, and you save yourself from the carcinogens inherent in synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals. Imagine: gardening with greens would benefit your body and the planet. And you don't need a lot of land (or any) to do it. Look for my upcoming article in As We Are Magazine (www.aswearemagazine.com) to be published online May 29th. In it I will address organic gardening with greens and herbs, and how to get the most of their myriad nutritional benefits.