Nourishing Nettle ~ Wild Food & Medicine & How to Harvest without the Sting

Sometimes Nature has an odd sense of humour. Take Stinging Nettle – Urtica urens here for example: at a glance she looks rather unassuming, even inconspicuous. Now, take a closer look: see those fine hairs? Well, if you’ve happened to brush past stinging nettle, you will know what I am talking about: those hairs sting as they come into contact with the skin – and not just a momentary prick but a lingering stinging and sometimes itchy and almost burning…

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A Shout-Out to Nasturtiums ~ Beneficial in the Garden & in Medicinal Food Recipes

One of the most beautiful things about the winter garden has to be nasturtiums. We have grown to love her bright orange, yellow and even red blooms and her big, round leaves that rise up to dance in the breeze.They bring with them some winter brightness as well as the pollinating bees to the garden. Our kids love to pick a nasturtium leaf that has a few droplets of water nestled in it’s centre and watch how it rolls around…

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Self-composting beds & New life ~ June ’17 Round Up

Hello fellow Growers! We hope you have been enjoying the season as much as we have. Last month we showed you our progress with putting up our fence and gathering supplies. We also started our indigenous and medicine garden and set up our earthworm farms and started composting. Quite a lot has happened since then: from landscaping and prepping self-composting beds to starting nurseries and making liquid fertilizers – even growing some food! Our garden is situated between two long…

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Making Herbal Oil Infusions ~ for Culinary & Medicinal Use

We really enjoy preserving our cuttings from medicinal shrubs and flowers in the garden by infusing them in oils for later use: be it in the kitchen or for our herbal remedy chests. Today we are going to speak about using herbal oil infusions for culinary & medicinal purposes and show you how you can make them at home. What & How In herbal oil infusions, the beneficial properties of specific plant materials are extracted into an oil using a…

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3 Ways to Make Your Own Banana Peel Liquid Fertilizer

Using banana peel fertilizer to add minerals and nutrients to specific plants in your garden is a great way to not only reduce waste but also to work with nature while being an active participant in the growing of your garden: and the bonus is you are saving money at the same time. It is so easy to go out and buy a “quick fix” but for the home gardener, who wants to derive pleasure from learning and growing, this…

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Natural Ways to Lower the pH of Soil

Here are some plants that enjoy a more alkaline soil: blueberries asparagus leeks Lima beans Swiss chard artichokes spinach Mushrooms also grow well in alkaline soil, as do grape vines, oranges, cantaloupes, pecans, peach trees and some cherry varieties. Organic substances frequently used to reduce soil pH are – rotted manure rotted leaf compost shredded evergreen bark pine needles home-composted leaf and vegetable refuse coffee grounds (with the exception of asparagus) Be prepared for some trial-and-error with organic acidifiers. Test…

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Glorious Leaf Mould

Leaf Mold is the organic material left behind after leaves have undergone fungal decomposition. Leaf mold is the term used to describe the result of only decomposed leaves that haven’t had any other ingredients added. Letting leaves decompose separately from other organic matter yields a wonderfully beneficial soil conditioner that is dark brown to black, crumbly textured soil amendment with a pleasant earthy aroma. Leaves mixed in with compost take longer to decompose via aerobic bacterial action than other organic materials…

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Roast Balsamic Beetroot with Honey & Rosemary

Here is a beautiful, simple beetroot recipe that is great hot or cold. Of course, there is nothing better than using beetroot and rosemary fresh out the garden! Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 30 – 45 minutes (depending on size of vegetable chunks) Ingredients 6 cups washed beetroot cut into small chunks Balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons Olive oil 2 tablespoons Honey 2 tablespoons Crushed garlic 2 teaspoons 4-6 sprigs of fresh Rosemary Salt and pepper to taste Optional Extra…

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Companion Planting with Leeks

Leeks are part of the Allium family. For the purpose of companion planting, leeks should generally be treated like onions. Leeks are related to onions, garlic and chives. They prefer full sun though partial shade is tolerable. They require moderate water and nutrients. Companion Plants should have similar soil, sunlight and watering requirements as well as an additional attribute such as pest or disease suppression, flavor enhancement or so forth. Leeks, chives, onion and garlic all emit a pungent aroma…

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From the Medicine Garden: Indigenous & Medicinal Lion’s Ear

Leonurus leonotis aka Lion’s Ear is an annual indigenous plant that grows very tall very quickly and likes full sun. Flowers occur in globes which are slightly prickly to touch with thin leaves immediately underneath. Flowers are orange and tubular with four stamens with white filaments.  The stem is very rigid and square. Lion’s Ear is common in fallow fields and is drought resistant and water wise. It likes a well drained soil but I have found it not to…

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