How To Ripen Tomatoes

How to ripen tomatoes even when you live somewhere with a short growing season.

Lasagna Gardening 101

What is Lasagna Gardening? How to build a “lazy garden” in 3 easy steps.

Strategies For Urban Land Access

Urban land access can be difficult but there are ways to get past this barrier.

Seed Saving For Beginners

Whether you are an old expert at seed stewardship or a new gardener with a budding curiosity, saving seeds from your home garden to grow and share can be one of the most rewarding experiences of the season. By Heather Jo Flores This old-world skill is best learned experientially, and within a community of fellow seedpeople. But here are some tips to get you started, even if you only have a small...

Reasons To Grow Calendula

If you’re brainstorming the coming season’s garden and are looking for a low-maintenance, multi-use, beautiful, and long-blooming flower, look no further, grow calendula!

Food Not Lawns! How And Why To Turn Your Yard Into A Garden

By Heather Jo Flores and your neighbor’s front yard…and the local park…and…and… ​Lawns use more equipment, labor, fuel, and agricultural toxins than industrial farming, making lawns the largest (and most toxic) agricultural sector in the United States, so grow food, not lawns.​ Growing food at home is hardly a new idea. But in this culture, where more people know how to take the perfect selfie...

How To Grow Tomatoes In A Temperate Climate

By Heather Jo Flores Tips for cloudy skies tomato gardeners In a foggy, temperate climate, most of us know the drill: Start seeds indoors in early spring and use grow lights if you have ’em. Plant in fertile soil with plenty of space in mid-June. Trellis, water, prune and pray and maybe, just maybe, get some ripened homegrown tomatoes before the rains come again in September, when what started...

Ten Medicinal Flowers That I Always Plant In Every Garden

By Heather Jo Flores I am primarily a food gardener, but there are a handful of flowering medicinal plants that I always include in my garden. Not only useful for home remedies, they provide beautiful cut flowers, improve soil and attract beneficial insects. Many of the plants listed here are commonly bred and crossbred to produce ornamental variations, so be sure to note the species and choose...

What Do Weeds Indicate About Your Soil?

By Heather Jo Flores What Weeds Indicate About the Condition of Your Soil “Weeds are weeds only from our human egotistical point of view, because they grow where we do not want them. In nature, however, they play an important and interesting role. They resist conditions that cultivated plants cannot resist, such as drought, acid soil, lack of humus, mineral deficiencies, as well as a...

How To Prune Fruit Trees

By Heather Jo Flores Most basic pruning, especially on young trees that haven’t been previously damaged or badly pruned, can be done by anyone with some basic information Should I Stay or Should I Go? The main reason for fruit tree pruning is to increase air circulation, which protects against insect infestation and disease. An air-congested tree will also stop fruiting, so it generally makes...

Container Gardening Basics

Whether you live in a dense inner city or way up in the mountains, you can benefit from growing all sorts of plants in containers.

Botany For Everyone

Aside from the bean growing experiments in primary school and the occasional plant part identification ditto sheet, many of us have not had any formal botanical education in botany.

How To Grow A Pollinator Garden

Need to attract a more diverse group of insects and pollinators? Here's how to grow a pollinator garden.

Seed Saving: If Not Us, Who?

What does the 2008 crisis, illegal drug cartels, your mental health and seed saving have in common? A lot more than you’d think.

To Bamboo Or Not To Bamboo, And Is There Such A Thing As Non-spreading Bamboo?

By Heather Jo Flores I recently received an interesting question from a reader,and it seemed like a great topic for this month’s column. She writes:​“I just bought a house whose lovely raised garden beds are being strangled by invasive bamboo. What can I do?” First off, let me say that bamboo is a grass. And like Bermuda grass, Couch grass, and most other rhizomatous plants, it can be almost...

Big Yields From A Small Garden: Growing Food In Small Spaces

There are plenty of good reasons to develop a skill set for growing food in small spaces. By Heather Jo Flores There are plenty of good reasons to develop a skill set for growing food in small spaces. Maybe you only have a tiny balcony with sun for half the day? Or a hot, paved driveway but no other yard? Perhaps you’re in student housing? Or maybe it’s more of a time constraint: You’d like to...

12 Plants To Grow When Gardening With Children

By Heather Jo Flores By no means an exhaustive selection of great plants for gardening with children, the following twelve plants can all be direct-sown, grow quickly and easily, and are fun to harvest for food, cut flowers, or seeds.​Corn.Popcorn is always a hit with children, and many varieties grow quite well in a home garden. There is also a vast array of interesting Indian corns available,...

Pets In A Permaculture System

Here are some tips for including pets in your permaculture design so that they bring joy instead of causing trouble!

Bring Us A Shrubbery! Best Plants For Edible Hedges

A baker’s dozen of easy to grow and disease-resistant perennial hedge plants. By Heather Jo Flores No garden is complete without a yummy patch of edible, perennial shrubbery! Even a small garden can squeeze in a few brambles, berries or ‘chokes. To create a low-maintenance food forest with a year-round harvest and multiple layers of plants, a mid-sized perennial understory is an essential piece...

Plant A Living Playhouse With Sunflowers

By Heather Jo Flores Grow a place for the kids to play! It’s the middle of May and time to plant sunflowers! There are many beautiful varieties to choose from, and they are easy to grow — just work up a spot in the soil, poke some holes with your fingers, and toss the seeds inside. Generally, the more space you leave between them, the larger the sunflowers will grow. My favorite varieties are the...

Mulch Much? The Benefits Of Mulching

By Heather Jo Flores It’s always a good day for mulching your garden! Mulch builds humus. The word “human” comes from the same roots as humus, meaning earth, and in fact our bodies do contain many of the same elements and microorganisms as fertile organic soil. Soil health is linked to our own health, and soil communities bear remarkable resemblance to the flora and fauna in our own guts. A...

Marigolds As A Companion Plant

Why you should be growing marigolds in your permaculture garden By Heather Jo Flores What do you think of when you hear the word marigold? Maybe you imagine those 6-inch-high borders of orange and yellow flowers that your grandmother planted around her rose beds. Did she buy them by the flat, already blooming? Maybe she knew they helped repel insects from the roses. Or maybe she just liked the...

How To Grow Melons: Tips And Tricks

By Heather Jo Flores a little ingenuity goes a long way If you’re a gardener and you feel like melons are easy to grow, please, message me! I want to learn your methods. I have found this crop to be one of the most challenging of annual vegetables. If it were anything else, I’d probably have given up by now. But nothing can replace the sweet sticky pleasure of a summer afternoon spent eating a...

Benefits Of Prunella Vulgaris: Self Heal, The Wonder Weed

Learn the benefits of Prunella Vulgaris. Self heal, heal-all, woundwort, heart-of-the-earth, carpenter’s herb, brownwort and blue curls are just some of the names this flower go by.

10 Benefits Of Having A Greenhouse

they’re easier to build than you might think By Heather Jo Flores Ten reasons to build a greenhouse: Start seeds early (and late!) Many seeds need warmth to germinate and develop into healthy seedlings. If the growing season is short, getting ahead can make a big difference.​Protect tender perennials and grow exotic plants. Increase your yields by extending the range of plants you can grow in...

Cold Hardy Figs And Why You Should Grow Them

Delicious, drought-tolerant, easy to grow…what’s not to love? by Heather Jo Flores I can’t stop eating them. There’s a fig tree at the place where I am staying and I can’t seem to keep them out of my mouth! It’s a huge tree, maybe 50 years old, sprawling across the low wood fence and dropping down into the neighbors’ yard. They don’t mind. Every October, both houses get more figs than they know what to do with, just from the one tree. It’s a Black Spanish, and it’s famous among fig aficionados as being one of most prolific, cold-hardy and easy…

My Wintering Over Experiments

It's an experiment: I'm wintering over a bunch of plants from my summer containers, hoping I can grow them again next year, even bigger and better. I know I don't have ideal conditions, but I won't know what works and what doesn't unless I try.

Leeks: A Good Vegetable for Northern Gardens

This is leek soup weather. Most of the trees have dropped their leaves, and the larch are enjoying their final glory before they drop their needles. When the days grow shorter, when we've had several freezes (and even a dusting of snow), and when we finally concede it's time to drain the hose and close down the storm windows on the last remaining screens-that's when we begin to harvest the leeks.

How we made a garden of edible delights: monoculture to permaculture

Maddy Harland on growing an extraordinary range of food when a field of poor soil was transformed into a permaculture paradise

Growing Great Tomatoes: Planting 'em Out - Milkwood

Growing great tomatoes is a skill available to just about anyone. But there are a few tricks to getting things right, including the planting out stage. So grab your tomato seedlings, sit down and do a bit of planning before you plant.

Mumbai Woman Shares How to Grow 30 Edible Plants in Apartment Balcony

Tomato, brinjal and beans to spinach, ginger and turmeric — all grown without any kind of chemical fertilizer or pesticides!

How to Design a Front Yard Raised Bed Vegetable Garden | SHIFTING ROOTS

Space is at a premium in urban centres, and you might not have enough space in your backyard to plant as many vegetables as you like. But have you ever thought of going out into your front yard? In some neighbourhoods, the front yard space is even larger than the backyard space, and can easily […]

Video: How To Grow Mushrooms in Buckets (and a wild fungi foraging guide) - Permaculture Living - Milkwood

Ready to learn the way of the mushroom? Here’s a How-To and downloadable guide, for growing mushrooms in buckets at your place!

How To make a Mobile Forest Garden - with Wicking Bed

Here's how we built a bunch of mobile micro forest gardens for the 107 Rooftop Garden - complete with wicking beds.

How Rainwater Harvesting Transformed My Front Yard Garden

Catching water in the landscape is often more efficient than using rain barrels. Here's how rainwater harvesting transformed my front yard garden.

These Oakland Women Opened A Plant Nursery To Prioritize Peace Amid Protests - Blavity

It’s been said in recent months that Black people are in the midst of two pandemics : racism and the coronavirus outbreak. As the killings of Breonna Taylor , George Floyd and countless other Black Americans have sparked a summer of protests, Blk Girls Green House co-founders Kalkidan Gebreyohannes and J’Maica Roxanne realized the importance of Black folks cultivating sacred, peaceful spaces.  On Saturday,  Blk Girls Green House , a West Oakland-based open-air plant nursery and home goods shop, opened for business.  “We realized that it was paramount that we prioritize how our spaces make us feel,” the co-founders told Blavity. The way Black people have had to process trauma and stress around everything that has been happening carries such a heavy weight. Creating spaces for ourselves that fosters peace, joy, pride and beauty can literally translate into sanity during a time when things are so misaligned and unjust for our people. The duo's sheer love of greenery — there are a...

How to Grow, Harvest, and Make Medicine with Elderberry

Elderberries are enthusiastic and energetic growers that can never be tamed. They are extremely useful shrubs that are magnets to incredible amounts of wildlife, medicine makers, foragers, wine mak…

How to Garden in a Cold Climate • The Prairie Homestead

It’s mid-May. The grass is green. We had snow last week. The neighbors north of us got four inches of HAIL a couple days ago. And this is totally normal. There’s really no sense complaining about it, since that’s just how we roll in Wyoming. But hey, I figured this is perfect timing, so let’s talk […]

Fertile Ground: Farming for Feminism

Blame it on Laura Ingalls Wilder: Deep down, I always wanted to be a pioneer.  I wasn't raised on a farm, and when and if we did have a yard depending on where we moved, it was always pretty small.  I remember reading one of the Little House books, perched by my window, where Laura and her sis...

Elderberry Everything: wine, vinegar, medicine more - Milkwood

If you forage just one thing from the wilds (or your backyard) each year, please let it be elderberry. Free medicine, wine and dessert vinegar could all be yours. Such an incredible plant!

Permaculture magazine

Bess Miles-Duncan makes the most of her surroundings, experimenting with growing potatoes in sand, rotting compost and the garden.

8 weeks to Victory! An 8-week veggie patch from scratch, in a rental - Milkwood

Are you starting a veggie patch right now? Take heart! 8 weeks ago, our backyard was just scruffy grass, with not a thing to eat. Now, it's feeding our family daily. And yes, we're renting. Come and take a look - soon, this could be you.

Making and Using Compost for Your Garden • The Prairie Homestead

“Well, my favorite manure is horse, followed by goat or rabbit….” I was on a call with the members of my HOMEGROWN mentorship program and those were the exact words that came out of my mouth right as a friend walked through door. I wonder what on earth he thought? ? And this is why […]

Cold-Climate Vegetable Gardening for the Complete Beginner | SHIFTING ROOTS

The beginners guide to growing a vegetable garden in a cold climate. Lots of gardening tips to get started and learn how to grow your first garden

Stinging Nettle; Urtica dioica

Article exploring the extremely nutrient dense Stinging Nettle. Learn harvesting tips, food uses, medicinal uses, and how to grow it in your own backyard. Explore different culinary applications li…

Grow Your Own Oyster Mushroom Garden!

Have you ever thought about growing your own mushrooms, but hesitated because it seems difficult, mysterious, or expensive? Well I’m here to shatter all of those preconcieved perspectives and…

Permaculture magazine

Josephine Hall visits Windsor Hill Wood and discovers how they are using the healing powers of nature and community to improve mental health.

The Mulberry as Placemaker Community Resource

The Mulberry as Placemaker Community Resource - thoughts on abundance, and community. And fear, and certainty.

12 Perennial Crops to Grow in Wet Soil

Wet soil can be a challenge for even the most experienced gardeners. Here are some tips for growing in wet soil and 12 perennial crops to try.

Acorns: A Fundamental Food of Our Past and Future

Learn how to harvest, and process acorns. Hot method, cold method, how to dehydrate, storage, giving back, how to grow Oak trees, nutrition of acorns.

How to Preserve Kale - My Down to Earth Life

Too much kale? Learn how to preserve kale so you can enjoy it all year long. This guide covers methods for freezing, canning, and fermenting, along with tips and recipes for using your preserved kale.

33 Fruit and Nuts You Can Grow in an Extremely Cold Climate (Zones 1-4)

It is an abundant world of fruit and nuts out there, even in a treacherously cold climate. Here in my home in Northern Ontario, I’ve compiled a list of fruits and nuts that not only tolerate …

Making a Mini Greenhouse (or even a big one!): Milkwood - Permaculture Living

No matter if you’re gardening on a tiny patio or an acre or two, there is a mini-greenhouse design that is right for you! Greenhouses are a great way to extend your growing season, AND build your household resilience at the same time.

15 Ways to Preserve Zucchini: Freeze, Can, Ferment, and Dehydrate

When zucchini season is in full swing it can be hard to know what to do with all of it! Here is how to preserve zucchini so that you have some for later.

Ruth Stout: The No-Dig Duchess -

I learned three ways to garden: the right way, the wrong way, and the easy way.  The easy way was Ruth Stout no-dig duchess' way.

Growing Comfrey in the Permaculture Garden

There are many benefits to growing comfrey. Learn how to grow this perennial herb and why it's making its way into permaculture gardens everywhere.

7 Wild Herbs for Growing Your Own Pharmacy

Wild herbs have long been known for their medicinal value. Learn about a number of wild herbs to grow in your garden to have your own free pharmacy.

Ruth Stouts System | MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Learn how to use mulch to cut down on weeding and heavy labor in your garden by using the Ruth Stout gardening method.

Plantain; Plantago major

It is interesting how Plantain (Plantago major) helps to heal the earth and human beings in astonishingly similar ways. When the Earth is trampled on and scarred, Plantain is one of the first who a…

'Inherit it or Marry it' - women accessing farmland with Dr Ryanne Pilgeram — The Female Farmer Project

A discussion with Dr. Ryanne Pilgeram about her decade long research about women in agriculture and the social, financial and other barriers they contend with including the acquisition of land. Women have historically been excluded from owning land and locked out of the successorship of generational

Permaculture magazine

Jane Campbell speaks with a range of women, including Barbara Jones from Straw Works, about becoming a natural builder in a male dominated industry.

Leafy brinjal; Women’s tradition of heterogeneous seed conservation - Climate South Asia Network

There is a prevailing tradition among women farmers of the country to conserve rare and diverse varieties of plants in accordance with their food recipe culture. The leafy brinjal (eggplant) is one such rare variety belonging to this women’s tradition of conservation. The socio-cultural trend had got evolved with the process of adaptability to fluctuations…

Kitchen Garden Basics: How to Start Growing Food Today

Discover the joys and benefits of homegrown food. Learn from how to plant a kitchen garden of your own with Nicole Burke, author of Kitchen Garden Revival.

How To Attract Thousands Of Ladybugs To Your Garden & Keep Them There

Not only are they cute, but ladybugs are counted as the number one beneficial insect in the garden. They help with biological control of aphids and other garden pests. A welcome sight in any garden,

Learn 5 Wild & Useful Plants Near You - Permaculture Living 2020

This everyday action is all about observing and interacting with your local neighbourhood - by gathering and then learning about five wild and useful plants, that grow near you.

12 Groups of Companion Plants to Make Your Vegetable Garden Thrive

Some plants help each other enormously, while others hinder their neighbors – use this cheat sheet to ensure harmony in the vegetable plot.

80 Favorite Plants for Permaculture Guilds in the Midwest - Midwest Permaculture

Our 80 Favorite Plants It is not necessary or even helpful to make permaculture plant designs complicated. When it comes to designing different planting systems we inevitably come up with many of the same plants, project after project. This is no surprise as there are certain species that most p

5 Herbal Allies for Women by Moon Phase - Joan of Sparc

Women have been working with plant medicines throughout history to heal and maintain balance. Call upon these five herbal allies during the phases of the moon. Including a recipe for Women’s Moon Tonic Tea.

Permaculture magazine

Joanne Walby visits Yunnan Province in China and learns how one woman has transformed an entire region; encouraging regenerative agriculture and repopulating the community.

100 Canning Recipes from A to Z (How to Can Everything)

Once you start canning food at home, you'll want to find canning recipes to put up everything in a convenient shelf-stable package.  Home canning is easy, but it can be hard to find quality canning

Biodiversity stewards hold key to food security

A UN report on the state of world biodiversity for food and agriculture links rising food insecurity and chronic hunger to threatened habitats and ecosystems. But traditional female stewards of biodiversity offer hope.

5 Things For Your Fruit Tree Guilds

Which plants you should put into or leave out of your permaculture fruit tree guilds…depends. But here are some guidelines to get you started.

Creating a Resilient Garden: with pollinators, good bugs, lizards and more - Milkwood

For a resilient garden, diversity is key. But it’s not just about planting different kinds of veggies! By actively increasing your garden’s diversity, you support your wider ecosystem - which we are all a part of, each and every day, whether we realise it or not.