20 Medicinal Herbs You Can Grow From Seed

Is your local nursery's selection of medicinal herbs uninspiring? Thankfully, there are lots of medicinal herbs you can grow from seed.

Have you been dreaming of getting your garden started? Me, too. You’ve spent the winter with your nose in those seed catalogs, and you’ve probably placed an order or two (or three).

Do those dreams include an apothecary in your backyard? You know, a place where you can grow healing herbs to dry and store. To use for balms and teas, tinctures and oils.

Next time you visit your local nursery, check out their section of medicinal herbs. Chances are the variety will be less than inspiring. Oh, you’ll find lavender and peppermint. Maybe even chamomile and lemon balm. But if your daydreams include herbs like arnica and comfrey, you’re probably out of luck.Continue Reading

Little House on the Prairie® Prize Package Giveaway

Be sure to enter to win a Little House on the Prairie® Prize Package valued at $164!

Little House on the Prairie® Has a Website!

I’m afraid I’m in serious trouble.

Let me explain. I’ve spent countless hours watching the “Little House on the Prairie” television show. Any many more hours reading the “Little House” books. I can still remember the laughter as I read these books aloud to my children when they were young.

And of course, if the story mentioned making molasses candy in the snow, we just had to try it.

And now Little House on the Prairie® has a website!!! Where will I find the time? There is so much to learn, so much to read, so much to do! Continue Reading

Can’t Forage? 10 Foods and Medicinals You Can Buy Dehydrated

Can't forage? Here are 10 foods and medicinals that you can buy dehydrated!

As much as I’ve enjoyed learning to identify new plants over the years, I’ve been rather nonchalant about foraging, and especially about foraging enough for winter use.

My interest has piqued over the past year or two, however, and I’ve found myself in the position where I’ve grown to rely on certain foods, like elderberry, for example, but did not forage enough to have on hand all winter. Hard to believe when Mike foraged gallons of elderberry this past September.

Or take dandelion root. Now that I’ve learned to roast it to perfection, I really enjoy it and miss not having it.Continue Reading

Tips and Resources for Your Hardiness Zone

Find Tips and Resources for Your Hardiness Zone, although with information on first and last frost dates for your area so that you know when to plant.

What’s a hardiness zone and how do I find mine?

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners can determine which plants are most likely to thrive in their location. The map divides the United States and Canada into zones based on the average annual minimum temperature for that area.

This information is particularly useful when purchasing seeds, plants or trees for your garden. Each plant will bear a tag indicating the zones in which it will best grow. Trying to grow plants that are not suited for your zone will generally result in weak growth, disease, and even complete failure.

There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. Permaculturist Sepp Holzer, for example, has created microclimates on his farm that literally change the hardiness zone allowing him to grow lemons in an alpine climate. It’s exciting and encouraging to know such work is being done, but beyond the scope of this post. We’ll stick to the basics here.Continue Reading