All posts tagged: Gardening

chamomile-harvest

Chamomile Scores and Woes

Each year my garden sprouts more and more chamomile. It comes earlier each year, too. This year it was all done by the end of June. This leaves a shorter harvest time, and unfortunately I can’t tend my garden in Gresham as much I have been able to in the past. This means a few long harvesting days rather than a constant, steady harvest in better bite-sized chunks (which I prefer).  This also means that a lot of my chamomile went to seed before I could get to it.

isis-and-crops

Gardening Roots

I’ve been wondering lately how I’ve got to where I am now. At times it seems like life throws random people, events or places at you with no regard to your plans or wishes. But upon closer inspection, I found that those “random” events that “happened to me” more closely resemble an orchestra finding its harmony than a lottery. This is most apparent when I think about how got into gardening in the first place. At first thought, I began gardening in college my then boyfriend (now husband) and I started a garden in the back yard our the house we rented. We borrowed a tiller, dug up the lawn, and planted squash, beans, kohlrabi, mustard greens, beets, carrots, tomatoes and hot peppers. Occasionally we watered and weeded, but mostly it kind of grew on its own. It was actually one of our better gardens. Each summer after that, our gardens evolved and grew. I wish I could say they got progressively better, too, but we had bad years and good years in no particular …

snowtrees

Longer days and already dreaming of gardening…

I hope you are all enjoying the increasing daylight and the mild weather! This time of the year my mailbox overflows with gardening catalogs and I start to dream about all the plants I want to add to my garden. Late winter is the perfect time to plan a new plot, window box, landscaping or accents. While you’re at it, why not make some of those new additions medicinal plants? Here are some places I like to get medicinal herbs: Horizon Herbs – a huge variety of medicinal, organic, at-risk seeds, root stock and plants. horizonherbs.com Jung Seed co. – a Wisconsin seed and plant company with a large variety of annuals, including at-risk         woodland plants like black cohosh, wild ginger and bloodroot. jungseed.com United Plant Savers – check out this fabulous organization dedicated to preserving at-risk plants. Members receive bi-yearly deals on live rootstock or plants that are endangered, like American gingseng, lady slipper,   blue cohosh, butterfly weed and more. United Plant Savers’ mission is to protect native medicinal plants of …

Create a Garden

Fall is a perfect time to prepare a garden bed for next year’s season. Over the winter, the prepared bed will decompose, leaving you with fertile soil ready for planting in the spring. Using this “lasagna” method will eliminate the need to dig up turf, fertilize, or pull weeds like mad next year. Cardboard is much more beneficial than the typically chosen black plastic, as it decomposes while eliminating weeds and turf. Comfrey is chosen because of its superb nutrient content and decomposability. The soil will be fertile with minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron, and more. The first step is to place carefully cleaned (no packing tape pr staples) and cut cardboard directly onthe surface you wish to transform into a bed. Cover this with over an inch or compost (unfinished works just fine). Add some leaves over the prepared dirt. Gather more than a few handfuls of comfrey from your local source (Duluth has three that I know of) and layer over the leaves. If you cannot find comfrey, use another source …

Burdock and tansy in town.

Weeds? What weeds?

One of my favorite things to do as a child was to scrounge for Blackberries. Even though I lived in smack dab in the middle of town, it was easy enough to find the thimble-sized deep purple berries in the patches of woods scattered around the river town. Once I wrote in my diary in the summer after 4th grade, “Today I had Blackberries for lunch and Honeysuckle [Columbine] for desert”. Ah, the sweet life of a 10 year old… Blackberries are still my favorite berry, though I am also partial to Blueberries. While I was reading over my notes from my internship in Vermont this fall, I came across a tidbit about Blackberry. It was from a wonderfully informative Saturday class taught by Micki called “Using Plants to Heal the Earth.” “Blackberries keep people back! Brambles are seen in area of development; warrior plants that protect the impeded ecosystem from more mindless invasion. They are pioneers, creating fungal soil as woody plants do, making the soil hospitable to forests if they ever grow back.” …