First of all, I want to express a belated "welcome" to all the new people discovering "The Amish Cook" via the Associated Press article by Sharon Cohen that is appearing in newspapers across the United States and Canada. Your interest in Elizabeth's writing is warmly appreciated. To learn more about Elizabeth and her column, read the About The Amish Cook section on this site. You'll then know how it's possible for a web-site to exist.

Also, I appreciate all the people who write to me asking if their local paper can carry The Amish Cook column. The efforts, however, would be much more effective if you directed them at your local newspaper. An editor is far likely to listen to one of his or her readers than to me. So, if you want to see The Amish Cook in your local paper, contact your editor. Welcome to the Times-Union in Warsaw, Indiana which added the column this week.

In regular Amish Cook-related items:

Next week, there will be a whole bunch of new reader questions answered. I took a big batch of your questions to Elizabeth on Thursday, July 27. She'll sift through the questions, pen some answers, and I'll post them back here the first weekend of August. There are some interesting questions and undoubtedly there will be some interesting answers. Also, Elizabeth has talked about her homemade "insect traps" in her column before, and someone asked a question about it in the Ask Elizabeth section of this website (for instructions on how to make one, go there). While I was visiting Elizabeth this week I took a photo of one of her homemade fly-traps as a reference. Click on the Scrapbook section to see a homemade insect trap. Also, new photo additions this week are pictures of the "bench wagon" buggies Elizabeth writes often about in her column. The wagons are used to take church benches from place to place, a necessity among the Amish since church services are held in private homes and not a formal building.

Last time I visited Elizabeth, I asked her to share her favorite gardening tips with fellow green-thumbers out there. She courteously obliged. In the coming weeks, I'll be posting some photos of Elizabeth's bountiful garden.

Following are 12 of Elizabeth's top tips:

1. To make flowers grow, soak egg shells in warm water for 24 hours. Remove the shells and use this water to water your flowers.

2. Lay black plastic (like torn garbage bag) around pickles and melons. Results: no weeds, double the yield.

3. Plant your cabbage in onion rows. By the time the cabbage plants need more room, the onions are pulled for eating.

4. Plant marigold seeds to keep away bugs.

5. Put some wood ashes on the ground where you plant radishes, this keeps away worms.

6. Wood and lime is also good for dusting cabbage for worms.

7. Pour your leftover laundry water over your cabbage, it will grow lots better.

8. If you have trouble with birds picking your tomatoes or rabbits eating lettuce, dust them with talcum powder. They won't bother them anymore.

9. Prune tomato vines by cutting off the long, shooting vines and you'll have nicer, larger tomatoes.

10. To ward off bugs and worms from watermelons, muskmelons, and radishes, drop the seeds in kerosene before planting. Fish the seeds out of the kerosene immediately with a spoon and plant.

11. Instead of buy "hot caps" to keep your plants from freezing, use lightweight plastic gallon milk jugs. Cut off the bottom and place the top over your early plants. Leave the cap off and push the jugs well into the ground to keep the wind from blowing them away.

12. Laundry water can be used in place of dusting powder for ridding your plants of insects.

Kevin Williams
Executive Editor
Oasis Newsfeatures


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