Seeds And Plants
Sorting through seed catalogs is one of the most entertaining tasks we have here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. These garden seed catalogs come in handy when searching for just the right variety of heirloom veggies to grow, and they're fun to look at too!
Tom Newmark won't rest until he's helped establish 10,000 seed sanctuaries--living gardens devoted to propagating and nurturing endangered plants--across the world. He came a step closer this week with the establishment of a sanctuary in India.
Finca Luna Nueva's Sacred Seeds Sanctuary is a living laboratory to nurture tropical and native species through the next 10 years of climate change.
Heirloom vegetables are multi-use crops that have been passed down from gardeners for decades, sometimes centuries. Respected author and gardener, William Woys Weaver, discusses his reasons for using heirloom plants and saving seed.
Readers share their favorite garden seed companies for a chance to win a gardening prize.
A gardening expert discusses what you should do with your seedlings after they sprout in their indoor greenhouse containers.
A reader inquires about how to set up a community seed swap.
Swap seeds at the Mother Earth News Fair Community Seed Swap at the Green Festival in Washington, D.C.
Readers share information about new varieties of fruits and vegetables they plan to grow this year, and why.
Advice on good online plant and animal databases.
Get prepared for the season with useful tips for seed saving with Art Davidson, expert from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.
Here are five great companies to buy seeds from.
On the eve of Southern Company (NYSE: SO) holding its annual meeting of stockholders in Pine Mountain, GA., the nonprofit Green America released a report ranking the major U.S. power producer as “the United States’ most irresponsible utility.”
Japanese beetles feed for six to eight weeks, and in that time, they are able to feed on over 300 plant species. Although collecting beetles may seem like an exhausting every day task, you're plants will appreciate it.
Learn how to start seeds indoors using inexpensive fluorescent lights.
Organic seeds have benefits for your garden. Learn what our expert recommends and how to find organic seeds to plant.
Comstock, Ferre & Co has operated for almost 200 years and, with the help of new owner Jere Gettle, is undergoing a revival.
Bring your best heirloom veggie or other unique saved seeds to the Seed Swap at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR taking place Sept. 25 and 26 in Pennsylvania.
A long-time gardener describes the seed-saving technique for cucumbers.
An interview with Jeremiah Gettle, discussing his thoughts on and solutions to pressing environmental issues facing the world today.
To ensure we have a full productive garden, each spring I start a habit of carrying a packet of seeds in my pocket every time I head to the garden!
Get advice on all things garden seed, from organizing seeds and ordering seeds to understanding seed catalog terms such as open-pollinated and F1 hybrid.
The staff at MOTHER EARTH NEWS plants tomatoes and peppers during a seed-planting project at the office.
Highlights from the catalog of Fedco Seeds, by the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Learn what to do when you come across onion flowers and garlic flowers in your garden.
Planting a water-smart garden with native plants can help you save water when temperatures heat up.
A University of Georgia study finds that common houseplants can remove toxins and improve indoor air quality.
Tips on how to celebrate National Wildflower Week, May 6-13!
Though it reuses a waste material, fly ash concrete contains traces of mercury and other chemicals from coal-burning power plants. Do you want that in your home?
Creating tomato grafts may be a great way to grow tomatoes organically. Tomato grafting has emerged as one good way to bring resistance to soilborne diseases to susceptible heirloom varieties.
Diospyros virginiana, the wild American persimmon, is a native fruit that is ready to harvest in autumn and even early winter. Here's how to identify, gather, and eat wild persimmons.
Put together your own mini-indoor garden with these clever ideas.
Information on World Wetlands Day and their benefits and tips on how to protect your local wetlands.
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
Annuals to plant for a drought-tolerant or pollinator-friendly garden.
Redbud's bright pink blossoms are one of the glories of spring, but they're not just eye candy. Those lovely blossoms have a delicious flavor that is like a green bean with a lemony aftertaste.
A tiny teacup and an even tinier cactus make an adorable planter that’s easy to assemble. Small children’s toys, pebbles and other little decorative items add a whimsical touch.
Homemade transplant pots from newspaper save money and reduce waste.
Many gardeners save seeds from their plants for use the following year, but this technique doesn't work equally well with all vegetable varieties. Here's what you need to know to figure out which plants in your garden you can save seeds from.
Highland Kale (Brassica carinata – aka Ethiopian Blue Mustard, aka Gommenzar) is not quite a kale and not quite a mustard. It is a very versatile, and delicious “winter” green, that’s also not just for growing in cool seasons.
Homegrown.org blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares tips for deciding which seeds to order — in other words, which vegetable varieties to grow.
While some proclaimed benefits of chia seeds may be a bit exaggerated, these seeds are packed full of vital nutrients like fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and should not be overlooked as a healthy addition to your diet.
As fall nears, sunflowers are beginning to die off and it's time to harvest their seeds! In this post I bring you through the steps to harvest and prepare your sunflower seeds for eating!
In July and August, it’s time to start thinking about planting crops for fall. But how do you get good seed germination when the soil is so hot?
Interested in seed saving but worried about mistakes? Have questions about seed saving? Here’s the chance to give your input in a new seed saving class!
A native southwestern milkweed seed is now available, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Terroir Seeds, The Xerces Society and Painted Lady Vineyard over the past 2 years.
A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.
Puhwem Native American corn was the mother corn of native people. It's one of the best corns for making corn flour.
Seed Savers Exchange, which many MOTHER readers say is the best seed company, has won the Gold Award for its great seed catalog.
Yes, spring is finally here. Time to start farming.
A description of what a seed library is and suggestions for why you might want to be involved with one. Links are included for more information.
In addition to my taste for shelling peas, I also want to get the first taste of the season to show off my gardening prowess.
Planting heirloom, non-genetically modified seeds is a great way to help preserve endangered plant varieties--and the planet's very ecosystem.
Tips on how, when and why to grow your own seedlings.
Hemp seed is a powerful source of protein, Omega-3, vitamins and minerals, and has a delicious nutty flavor!
If you think it's important to prevent Monsanto and other corporate giants from controlling the seed supply, you may want to consider donating to Organic Seed Alliance. Here is a short video about the work they do.
We are creating two neighborhood nurseries where we'll raise trees and plants to share with neighbors to develop a neighborhood food forest.
It’s time to start garden planning for spring 2015! An uncomplicated way of collecting and organizing your information during those long winter days is to get some index cards, scissors and tape. Cut out the plant varieties from catalogues that you find interesting, with the pertinent information tape this information to the index card to take along to the nursery come spring.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
Let packages of heirloom seeds say how much you care.
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
This blog tells you how to test seeds that you’ve saved from last season to see if they are worth planting.
Blossom-end rot is a perennial problem – meaning we will deal with it every year in our gardens. This doesn't mean that it can't be successfully minimized, with a jump start and some knowledge that gives us a leg up for next season. We will show you what causes blossom end rot and both the prevention and treatment to make sure that you minimize your losses this year.
With GMOs seemingly everywhere you turn, it’s hard to know where to buy non-GMO Seeds. Here’s how to keep GMOs out of your garden.
With spring on its way, I am thinking about gardening, home grown food and what it takes to grow plants from seed.
The process of training and pruning blackberry plants is demystified by a gardening expert from Gurney's Seed.
Lamb's quarters, also known as wild spinach, is an abundant wild vegetable. It's a nutritional superstar with a delicious, mild flavor.
Birch trees are easy to identify in winter thanks to their distinctive bark, and they offer a hot drink, aromatic flour and sweet syrup to cold weather foragers.
Installing a rain gauge can help determine how much water your plants really need.
Do you love strawberries? It is hard to decide on the best way to manage them if attempting to grow them. I want strawberries bad enough to try to figure out what method works best for me.
What a nice surprise it can be to notice new spring babies emerging from where their parent plants grew the year before. Volunteer plants are a wonderful gift!
The future of the Pavlovsk Station in Russia is in jeopardy due to a pending housing development project. Find out what you can do to help save the world’s largest holding of rare berries and trees.
Former first lady Lady Bird Johnson will be remembered for her significant conservation efforts, especially with wildflowers and the preservation of native plants.
How to avoid contacting poison ivy and poison oak.
Expert advice on adding single nutrients, such as Epsom salts, to your garden and house plants.
Many gardeners take lettuce off of their summer planting lists, but shade covers can put garden-grown lettuce on your table more than a month sooner this fall.
Michelle Corbett's grandmother and great-grandmother taught her to use a natural compost consisting of eggshells and coffee grounds.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
Hidden inside the stinky orange pulp of the fruits of the ginkgo tree is a delicious, pistachio colored edible seed. Here's how to identify and prepare ginkgo (without the stinky parts) by foraging for ginkgo nuts!
Ground cherries were once a popular staple in backyard gardens. Urbanization and lost space to grow our food led to ground cherries falling out of favor. Though older folks may remember eating ground cherry jam, they’ve only recently begun reappearing at farmers markets and in seed catalogs. Ground cherries are easy to grow and pack an unusual flavor punch in jams, pies, savory sauces.
"The Wild Wisdom of Weeds," by wild-foods advocate and author Katrina Blair, is the only book on foraging and wild edibles to focus on thirteen weeds found all over the world, which together comprise a complete food source and extensive medical pharmacy and first-aid kit. Blair’s philosophy is sobering, realistic, and ultimately optimistic: If we can open our eyes to see the wisdom found in these weeds right under our feet, instead of trying to eradicate an “invasive,” we could potentially achieve true food security and optimal health.
Birds are survivors. Learn about different adaptations birds have to thrive during the dark, cold winter days. And, what you can do to support winter bird survival in your backyard.
A new approach to conventional agriculture would unite not only row crops and prairie plants, but farmers and environmentalists.
How to use henbit, a wild green available most of the year even in cold-winter areas, to make a delicious fresh pasta.
Henbit and red dead nettle are two tasty leafy greens that are available even when there is snow on the ground. Here's how to identify them in the field and use them in recipes.
Please don't let the common name mislead you. Virginia Bluebells are native to just about the entire eastern half of the U.S. and Canada, and there are 18 different species of “Mertensia” in the U.S. alone!
Using the right component improves the chance of success when gardening.
The Living Seed Company is working to preserve genetic diversity in our food chain, through the distribution and growing of open pollinated seeds and preserving the ancient art of seed saving.
Do you know about the magic of milk and molasses in improving your garden? Yes, plain old milk of any kind – whole, 2%, raw, dried, skim or nonfat – is a miracle in the garden for plants, soil and compost. Molasses only boosts the benefits! Let’s see how and why they work.
When lettuce is mentioned, many think of the standard iceberg lettuce found in supermarkets and restaurant salads. That is changing with the growth in popularity of the different types of lettuces from Romaine to head and leaf-type lettuces, mainly due to the flavors and colors that they offer from deep red to almost white and noticeably sweet to tangy and slightly bitter.
Make homemade tahini paste in your kitchen.
The Living Seed Company is creating a platform to inspire gardeners and gardeners to be.
Don’t let the cost of gardening keep you out of the dirt this year. Cheap gardening can be fun and easy. With these tips for gardening on a budget, you’ll save on seeds, make your own fertilizer and impress your friends with your gardening know how.
Check out our time-lapse video of peppers growing from seed to sprout.
Barbara Pleasant offers a step-by-step plan to starting seeds.
This article takes an insider’s look at how the seed business works, and what you can do to get the best-quality seeds.
Kids get to have fun, learn about gardneing and start veggie seeds at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
Deciding where to buy seeds can be a perplexing challenge. How does a conscientious gardener choose seeds that will grow well, look lovely and taste great, but also support sustainable seed farmers and healthy environments?
Highlights from the catalog of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, by the editor in chief of Mother Earth News.
Learning to save seeds from one harvest to the next takes you a step further towards self-sufficiency and helps to save genetics of plants needed for the future.
Enjoy healthy blackberry and raspberry elixirs and teas, blessings from the brambles of Summer!
A new study finds that generating electricity from coal costs taxpayers $345 billion each year, making renewable energy start to look like a bargain.
The mild winter has led to an earlier than usual spring growing season and plenty of surprises in the way of plants making it through the winter that normally would never survive the cold season. Here's a peek at what's growing in my spring garden.
A brief summary of the vast amount of data we've compiled over the last few years on experimenting with rotational chicken pastures on our homestead.
Hawthorn fruits are in season in late summer and early fall. They are delicious, and also heart-healthy — eat your medicine!
I’d like to introduce the words farmden and farmdener into the English language. I wonder if there are any other farmdeners out there. And just what is a farmden? It’s more than a garden, less than a farm. That’s my definition, but it also could be described as a site with more plants and/or land than one person can care for sanely. A gardener and garden gone wild, out of control.
Herbs are versatile plants that enhance our lives by adding beauty, aroma, nutrition, seasoning, and a varied landscape. Because they can be grown indoors, or outdoors in pots, as part of landscaping or in the garden, everyone has room to grow herbs.
Spring is here and those tomato plants that were started in January are settled into their new hoophouse home. I have hopes for early tomatoes; will a late freeze stifle this goal?
Herbicide residue can linger in soil and ground water for years. Use these proven methods of strategic burning, grazing, cover crops, mowing and “frost interseeding” to establish your native prairie, and avoid harming wildlife.
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
A National Resources Defense Council analyst calls proposed standards “the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.”
Before beginning construction on their new home, this couple is taking steps to prepare their land for their impending move-in by planting perennial natives, building some walking trails, cutting firewood to dry, and more. They’re having a blast!
Confused about the difference between hybrids and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Learn more about how cultivating hybrids is different from developing GM vegetable varieties.
Tasty whole-grain crackers — simple to make, quick to disappear.
A chainmail fillet glove revolutionizes a cook's potato-peeling technique. Plus, get recipes for potato and pumpkin curry soup and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Roasted pumpkin and squash seeds are a yummy, healthy treat. And it's easier than you think. Here's how to roast squash and pumpkin seeds in just four easy steps.
Collins hails milestone of the company becoming employee owned.
Jessica visits the 890-acre farm belonging to the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange, the largest nongovernmental seed bank in the U.S. and a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our nations heirloom seeds and biodiversity.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.
How far along are your tomatoes? Ira Wallace gets inspired by gorgeous gardens in Asheville, North Carolina, and shares a quick, easy recipe for tomato sauce.
Giving your ornamental and vegetable garden a thorough cleaning in midsummer not only leaves the landscape looking better, but can help prevent damage from diseases and pests by removing the conditions in which they thrive.
Goats are terrific weed eaters, and do a great job clearing land for you, why not utilize them for clearing your pastures!
So, what do you do if you neglected to start your veggies way back in January or February? You had good intentions but there always seemed to be something that stole your attention. Now it’s the planting season and you have nothing to plant...
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
Just as libraries transformed society by giving everyone access to books, the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library is providing all citizens the opportunity to borrow seeds and grow their own food. Start a seed-lending library in your town!
As organic industry leaders urge consumers to take action against GMOs--the biggest threat the industry faces this year--soapmaker David Bronner gives $25,000 to seed an anti-GMO march on Capitol Hill.
Tips for learning to grow and spin cotton.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
Read this excerpt about heirloom beans from Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Growing, Seed Saving and Cultural History by William Woys Weaver. This book will help you re-discover heirloom vegetables from our American culinary and gardening roots.
Growing some of the most delicious and sometimes expensive gourmet vegetables doesn't have to be hard. Artichoke, bronze fennel, kohlrabi, leek, and savoy cabbage are among the vegetables that grow well from seed.
"Organic farmers have the right to raise our organic crops without the threat of invasion by Monsanto's genetic contamination and without harassment by a reckless polluter. Beginning today, America asserts her right to justice and pure food."