In the case of hops, Humulus lupulus, there is too much goodness to not consider this addition to the homestead. The quick answer? Hops provide excellent shade, prolific forage for animals, superb medicinal benefits and, of course, they are great for home brewing beer and cider.
Selective weeding can result in finding delightfully surprising volunteers in your garden. I’m sure most of you have heard some version of the old adage, “A weed is simply any plant growing in an unwanted place.” When combined with “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” you can sometimes have eye-opening conversations (especially with neighbors).
Mulberries are delicious and one of the earliest fruit harvests of the year. Here's how to forage mulberries and turn them into a delicious chutney.
“Golden” will be the first word to enter your mind when you see the roots, rhizomes and dormant buds of Hydrastis canadensis. You’ll understand immediately why the common name is “Goldenseal.” This very useful native woodland plant will not only charm and entertain you spring, summer, and autumn — it can even heal you.
Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive edible plant that is often compared to rhubarb. Here's a recipe for sweet and tangy knotweed bars that will help you conquer this weed by eating it!
Last weekend I spent an afternoon studying different bushes, trees, and herbaceous plants in order to design the newest guild on our Permafarm.
Polypodium virginianum aka the "Rock Polypody" is native to just about every state east of the Mississippi, Alaska, almost every province in Canada and all the way north up to Greenland and Iceland. To grow it requires no master's degree in gardening or landscape architecture or any particularly colored thumb. It's really quite simple! This is the perfect fern for any shade garden or along the path of any shade border.
Cymophyllus fraserianus is the perfect Hosta replacement for any native plant garden or any shade garden, especially if you have a deer problem as this is one plant that isn't on Bambi's menu or wish list.
What is the Cape Gooseberry? Understand this delicious, easy-to-grow South American golden fruit with many names, many benefits, and many uses.
Native to 35 states and 3 provinces of Canada east of the Mississippi, Partridge Berry is rarely seen in the trade. I fail to see why, as it's very easy to propagate by rooting cuttings or from seed. In fact, it forms adventitious roots as it gently winds its way around the garden. It could never, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered aggressive or invasive.
How to identify wild burdock, a common garden weed, and turn its roots into a delicious stir-fry.
The emergence of the long-lasting flowers of 'Uvularia grandiflora' is something I really anticipate every spring. And every spring, my robust stand of ‘Large-Flowered Bellwort’ slowly opens their large, pendulous, bright golden yellow flowers that resemble inverted flowing candle flames. Learn how to grow and where to find this ornamental native flower.
There are probably over 100 reasons that you should be growing shade-loving and native ‘Tasslerue’ Trautvetteria caroliniensis, but the main reason that you aren't growing it is because you've probably never heard of it, let alone had someone offer to share some with you. All that's about to change.
In the months before our move, I did extensive research to familiarize myself with gardening in Guam. I found Amot TaoTao Tano Farm and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a free tour of the farm to learn about native plants grown to educate the public about traditional healing practices of the Chamorro people. Here I share some of what I learned.
Is it possible that plants can actually respond to pain?
Plantain is probably growing in your lawn right now. Instead of cursing this common weed, use it for both tasty food and herbal first aid!
Juneberries, or serviceberries, are one of the first wild fruits to ripen each year. Here's how to identify and harvest them, plus a recipe for juneberry pie.
Planting seedlings from large garden centers often delays production as plants must overcome neonicotinoid insecticides, hormones, and chemical fertilizers when planted in your garden. Learn more about the toxins used by large growers and then support small producers for a healthy garden.
Are your tomato plants putting out side shoots? Learn whether you need to prune tomato plants to keep them productive.
A story about Indigenous women taking care of their land in the Pacific Northwest by restoring the native ecosystem.
Japanese knotweed is a voraciously invasive plant and the bane of many gardens. It is also a delicious and versatile wild food.
"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.
Using the right component improves the chance of success when gardening.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Annuals to plant for a drought-tolerant or pollinator-friendly garden.
How to use henbit, a wild green available most of the year even in cold-winter areas, to make a delicious fresh pasta.
Put together your own mini-indoor garden with these clever ideas.
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.
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.
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.
A new approach to conventional agriculture would unite not only row crops and prairie plants, but farmers and environmentalists.
How to effectively remove seeds from vegetables, fruits, flowers or herbs isn’t always obvious. Or easy. Sometimes you have to get creative.
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.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
Hawthorn fruits are in season in late summer and early fall. They are delicious, and also heart-healthy — eat your medicine!
Enjoy healthy blackberry and raspberry elixirs and teas, blessings from the brambles of Summer!
Planting a water-smart garden with native plants can help you save water when temperatures heat up.
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.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Learn what to do when you come across onion flowers and garlic flowers in your garden.
The process of training and pruning blackberry plants is demystified by a gardening expert from Gurney's Seed.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Michelle Corbett's grandmother and great-grandmother taught her to use a natural compost consisting of eggshells and coffee grounds.
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...
Tips on how to celebrate National Wildflower Week, May 6-13!
Pruning perennials is essential for plant health and vigorous production.
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.
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?
Installing a rain gauge can help determine how much water your plants really need.
The best low cost (semi-reliable) options for getting animals and plants onto your homestead!
Information on World Wetlands Day and their benefits and tips on how to protect your local wetlands.
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.
How to avoid contacting poison ivy and poison oak.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
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.
To better accommodate the planting schedule of gardeners in the southern United States, California’s Natural Gardening Company will make a dozen varieties of tomato transplants available by mid-August.
Advice on good online plant and animal databases.
Old strains of holiday cactus are easy to grow, but updated varieties rebloom more often and produce bigger, showier blossoms.
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.
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.
Expert advice on adding single nutrients, such as Epsom salts, to your garden and house plants.
Former first lady Lady Bird Johnson will be remembered for her significant conservation efforts, especially with wildflowers and the preservation of native plants.