HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNIFER.....

LEWIS & CLARK EXPEDITION 200 YEARS AGO TODAY 12/05/1804

The Northwest Company traders call on the captains to bid farewell since they are leaving to return to Fort Assinboine in Canada. Some of the Indians returned with the traders.

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THE BATTLE CALL

Young Warriors; Should fate find you on the battlefield,
May your cause be a just one.
May your courage not falter.
May you show mercy to your enemies.
May your efforts bring the blessings of peace.
May you be triumphant and earn victory.
May your sacrifice be always appreciated.
May you endure the conflict unharmed.

Should you be harmed,
May your wounds heal.
Should you perish in the struggle,
May God embrace you and find a Place for you in his Kingdom.

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COMPOSTING IS RECYCLING THE NATURAL WAY!

Composting is a great way to recycle the plant debris in your garden, including both crops and weeds. It's easy to do--nature does it on its own all the time. But with proper management, you can help nature move along a little faster, if needed.

Greenscape Gardens highly recommends the benefits of incorporating compost whenever planting. A 50% ratio of soil to compost will encourage better rooting and plant survival.

Compost returns some nutrients back to the soil, but the main benefit is in the improved soil structure. Adding organic matter, such as compost, will increase soil aeration and water-holding capacity, as well as increase the ability of a soil to hold additional nutrients for plants to take up later.

Having a compost bin or wall structure to contain the pile can help keep the pile in neat formation, but heaping the contents on the ground can work just as well. If a structure is used to contain the compost, removable horizontal slats will help make the structure adapt to the size of the pile, as it grows or shrinks, and will allow for easier turning.

To make your own compost, construct the pile in layers, beginning with about a 2-inch layer of soil. Soil contains microorganisms, which are responsible for breaking down organic matter. Then add 6-8 inches of plant debris, such as dry leaves, lawn clippings and faded garden plants.

The microorganisms will need nitrogen to break down the carbon in the plant material. Your pile already may have sufficient nitrogen, if there is a good balance of fresh green material, such as grass clippings, along with some dried material, such as dead leaves. If the pile is mostly dried plant material, sprinkle about a cup of commercial nitrogen fertilizer over a 25-square-foot compost pile as your next layer. Manure is also an excellent source of nitrogen, and 1-2 inches of rotted manure can be substituted for the commercial fertilizer. Water the pile thoroughly, and then repeat each layer until the pile is a workable height.

As the materials decompose, the temperature in the center of a good-sized pile can reach as high as 160 F, which will kill off some disease organisms and weed seeds. The minimum-size pile for heat generation is about 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet. Moist compost will heat more uniformly, so be sure to water the compost occasionally if needed, but do not waterlog the materials, as that will drive out much-needed air.

You can let nature take over from here, if you're not in a hurry. But, for faster results, you'll want to turn the pile about every month or so to allow more even heating of the contents and to incorporate air into the center.

Compost is ready to use when it's dark and crumbly and looks very much like good-quality soil. No telltale signs of the original material should be recognizable. Depending on outdoor temperatures and how well you tend the pile, your compost may be ready to add back to the garden by next spring.