What is Biodynamic Farming?

I have heard the term "biodynamic" and wondered what was involved. Some consider biodynamic gardening or farming as voodoo science and quackery — or simply a scam. Others feel it is holistic, natural way of gardening leveraging mystical forces. The description I like is defines it as organic permaculture with a spiritual twist.

My 2016 Midwest Edible-Garden Plan

For this year's edible garden, I have my standby's I plant every year and new varieties to try. I plant a combination of vegetables, greens, herbs and flowers in my garden. Read on to learn which ones work best in the Midwest.

What's Growing in the Early-April Edible Garden

This is the time of year that salad greens and herbs shine in the edible garden. Lettuce, chard, parsley, cilantro, mustard, corn salad, and many other greens love the cool and moist spring days.

10 Super-Easy Veggies to Grow

Afraid you have a brown thumb? Here are worry-free veggies that can be grown in pots or in the garden. Try one or two or all ten for your first garden!

Start Your Own Easy Kitchen Garden

It is easy, fun and a great time saver to have a small kitchen garden at your door. Follow these 6 steps to start your own kitchen garden this year.

Seed Saving: Fun, Easy and a Cost Saver

The seeds you save from your favorite or best producing plants will with each season become even more adapted to your garden, growing more robust for your specific conditions with each passing year. It is super simple to do and a great cost saver, too.

An Heirloom Sicilian Kitchen Garden

My grandfather emigrated from Sicily and loved to cook. A recent trip back to the island by my mom, sister and cousin triggered a desire for me to learn what would be in a typical kitchen Sicilian garden. Much research later, this is what a heirloom "l’orto biologico" you would see growing in Sicily at the time my grandfather left his homeland for America in the early 1900s and is being brought back to life through efforts like the Slow Foods organization today.

Preserving My Tomato Harvest (with Tomato Paste Recipe)

So, what to do when you are eating tomatoes at every meal and still have them coming? It is time to preserve them! There are 3 easy ways to preserve the tomato harvest for fresh from the garden taste year round: freezing, water bath canning, and drying.

Permaculture Companion Planting on Steroids

Permaculture premise is creating a self-sustaining garden that has a nurturing relationship with your yard’s environment and symbiotic relationship among the plantings.

Basil Basics: Growing, Harvesting, Preserving

Basil is a favorite Mediterranean herb that is super easy to grow in the garden or container. There are simple ways to preserve for year round enjoyment of this flavorful herb.

This Year's Garden Plan

Here is what I am planning on growing this year in our garden. Some tips for how to choose what you should plant this year, customized for your space and what you like to eat.

5 Tips for a More Productive Garden

Five tips for increasing your garden's productivity and yield. Utilize every inch, get the most from your space, and use all three seasons.

Troubleshooting Your Compost Pile

Having problems with your compost? Unusual smells? Growing mushrooms? Here are tips to fix any issues you are having with your compost pile.

March Garden Planner

March heralds the coming of spring and gardening. It is a great time to start your seeds and plants for veggies that thrive in cool temperatures.

Control Grasshoppers Naturally

Grasshoppers can be devastating in a garden, an insect in the locust family. There are ways to control them naturally without chemicals.

Indoor Seed-Starting Calendar

January is the time to start your indoor seeds for spring planting. Here is a calendar for starting your spring and summer seeds.

Listing Of Most-Nutritious Vegetables And Fruits

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study on the nutritional value of vegetables and fruits. Check out the top "powerhouse" vegetables and fruits to add a few to your garden this year.

How to Supercharge Your Soil with Minerals

Your veggies contain the nutritional content that the soil can provide the plant. Saying a plant only needs NPK is like saying all humans need is carbs, fat and protein. It is much more complicated than that.

Pre- and Post-Frost Garden Tasks

The first frost of fall is a significant change in the garden. It is a sign of summer vegetables finishing and cold crops coming into prominence.

Make Your Own Teas From Garden-Grown Herbs

Herbs have so many healthful properties. It just makes great sense to take advantage of their benefits and taste in warming teas. The only limits to homemade tea from homegrown ingredients is your imagination!

Onions: Everything You Need To Know to Grow 'Em

If you are confused about what type of onion to grow in your garden, this blog will give you the info you need. Onions are perennials, easy to grow, and have little to no pest problems. A must have addition to every garden!

October Garden Planner for Growing Cool-Season Crops

Though summer vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, basil and cucumbers grow at a reduced pace in the fall, cool season crops like lettuce, carrots, radishes, peas, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are coming into maturity throughout October and into November.

Grow Chard for Year-Round Steamed Greens

Chard is a wonderful green, chock full of vitamins. It can be eaten when small in salads. The large leaves can be harvested for steamed/cooked greens. It is a perennial that with cover can be harvested all winter.

Canning Summer's Bounty: Easy And Low Tox

Canning is a great way to preserve your own harvest. When canning acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes or anything using vinegar or sugar, you can likely use only a water bath. There are many chemical free canning jars available today for low tox canning.

What to Do With All That Zucchini

The zucchini harvest overflows. Learn how to preserve zucchini for year-round enjoyment and creative ways to eat it now.

September Garden Planner

End of summer is a great time to tidy garden beds and harvest herbs. Now is the time to plant your fall, winter and overwintering transplants.

Preserving the Tomato Harvest

With bumper crops of tomatoes coming, there are some simple ways to preserve the fresh off the vine taste year round, no special equipment required.

All About Lovely Lavender

Lavender has many uses, from culinary to medicinal. It is a beautiful plant and easy to grow.

Summer Garden Tips

Tips for keeping your summer garden producing at top output. This is the time of year that warm season crops are at their peak. These 7 tips will give you continued bountiful harvests through the heat.

Easy Ways To Make a New Vegetable Garden

Starting a new vegetable garden bed doesn't have to be a long, tedious, back breaking job. There are a few different ways to get the job done quickly and relatively easily!

July Garden Planner

This is the time of year for harvesting the heat lovers like tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, fava beans, green beans, all types of peppers, garlic, basil, along with other Mediterranean herbs.

Permaculture In a Midwest Garden and Yard

Permaculture is about a self sustaining system that provides the food, nutrients and water in one yard. It is easy to adopt many of these approaches in your own yard and garden in the Midwest.

Top 10 Tomato-Growing Myths

There are many tomato tales out there. If you want to know which farmer stories are true, read on to get tips on growing great tomatoes.

June Garden Planner

June is a beautiful and bountiful time in the garden. It is also not too late to put in a garden! With a few tips, you can get the best harvest ever.

Growing Fabulous Lettuce and Greens

If you love salads, lettuce and greens are a great vegetable to grow. They do great in pots or in garden beds. With a few pointers, you can grow salad ingredients for the entire season.

All About Zucchini

Zucchini is a summer crop that keeps on giving all season long. They are easy to grow.

May Garden Planner

May is a busy time in the garden for planting. Frost-free weather is the time to get summer veggies in their pots or garden spot.

Midwest Perennial Vegetable Garden

You can plant a perennial vegetable garden in the Midwest. Perennial vegetables you only have to plant once and they come back year after year.

April Garden Planner

What to plant in April for your vegetable garden, and what sized pot you need for your vegetable plant.

March Vegetable Garden Planner

Overview of the activities of a garden in March. How to prepare the soil for spring. What varieties I am planting this March in our Zone 6 garden.

Mediterranean Diet Garden

You can grow your own Mediterranean Diet garden in the Midwest. Even a small garden can provide the staples of a Mediterranean kitchen garden.

Four Season Garden Explained

If you have wondered what a four season garden is, the definition is simple. It is a garden that you can get produce from all year long through spring, summer, fall and winter.

Choosing What to Grow in a Small Yard

With a small space, how do you choose what to grow? You can grow an amazing variety and amount of vegetables and herbs in a very small space, integrate veggies and herbs into your flowers, and maximize the use of pots.

The December Garden

The December garden is still full of life, both in the beds and under cover, providing fresh ingredients for home cooked meals. Winter farmers markets and CSA's are a great way to learn what grows well in your zone.