Native Plants

Native Plant Seed Sources and Resources

After spending many hours (and frankly, several years) searching for native plant information, seed sources, and plant sources, I created this document filled with book recommendations, tools, links to seed and plant providers, and more. I hope this resource will make it easy for you to jumpstart your own projects!

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Organic Gardening & Farming

Tree Planting Startup Guide

Are you thinking about converting your yard or farm field into a lush forest filled with food-bearing native trees and shrubs? Are you interested in

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Organic Gardening & Farming

A Midsummer Day’s Feast

It is the beginning of August. The sun and the rain have been battling for dominion over our days, settling into a ferocious and unpredictable,

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Garden Fresh Quinoa Salad

Summer is the season of potlucks and picnics, and this quinoa salad is my ace in the hole. This recipe makes enough for a party, but my little family of two can polish off the whole batch in about a week. It can be a meal in itself, but it also makes an excellent side dish. It’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates, gluten free, vegan, nut-free, whole-food, and grain free*. This fresh lemony dish sparkles with the light of summer. Some of the ingredients might be growing in your garden right now!

Stages of Succession

The first year I took my land out of industrial corn/soy production, Butterweed, Daisy Fleabane, and Giant Ragweed took over. I tried to grow cover crops that year, and the Giant Ragweed was particularly difficult to work around. I was still trying to figure out what to do about these “problems” when they just…vanished. Now I have a lot of grasses and goldenrod, dandelion and violet, and lesser amounts of vine and tree volunteers. Even these plants are temporary, and eventually they’ll make way for the next stage of growth. It’s just another stage of succession in the land’s march back to its highest self.

A Year of Joy, Midpoint Update

My New Year’s resolution and my business plan for 2023 was to find my way back to joy after a year of overwork ushered in a whiff of burnout. The year is half over now, and although it has been an externally tough one peppered with extreme weather, expensive repairs, emotional losses and financial difficulties, I’m riding those waves and staying on top. I’m cultivating a mindset of abundance, a deeper connection to the land, and stronger foundations upon which to grow, rest, and live. The resulting light of joy is radiant.

Breeding Winter Hardy Kale & Collards, Year 1

Biennial plants such as kale and collards produce seed in their second year. That means they won’t produce any seeds if they don’t survive the winter, and neither of these plants is reliably hardy in my Zone 6a garden in Indiana. Most Northern seed keepers dig up their plants and overwinter them in a greenhouse or root cellar, then re-plant them in the spring for a seed crop. I’d like to try breeding a hardy strain of kale by selecting seeds only from the hardiest plants that survive winter in the ground, and this year I tried to do just that. It turned out to be a very interesting experiment! Read the full article to find out what happened.

The Raccoon Trees

Raccoons might be my favorite animals. I identify with them on a deep soul level, and I truly admire their adaptability, ingenuity, and curiousity. Their impressive cleverness is precisely what puts them into frequent conflict with the human world, a society that ironically prizes intelligence above all else. Raccoons find a way to survive and thrive no matter the circumstances, but tensions ease when there’s plenty for all. This article is about raccoons, mulberry trees, and cultivating greater abundance in our shared world.

Permaculture In Place : Bioregional Plants For Permaculture Designs

The design patterns, goals, and ethics of permaculture can be practiced just about anywhere in the world. Plants, however, are best when they are local. In this article, I will share some of my favorite native plants to fill several important permaculture niches. By growing, tending, and using native plants, we can develop a more intimate relationship with our own bioregion. We gain an opportunity to nurture an even deeper form of abundance, one that nurtures us as well as the birds, insects, wildlife, fungi, and micribiota that co-evolved with the plants of our place.

Wild Greens Wraps (Tortillas)

In this foraged recipe, wild greens make the base for raw, vegan, paleo tortilla wraps that are as delicious as they are healthful. These dehydrated wraps are an excellent vehicle for your creativity. Substitute any extra vegetables you have on hand to create vibrant healthful wraps to contain all your favorite fillings!

Bee-ginning Again

When I opened my hives for their spring inspection, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My bees were dead. I had been visiting my hives every day to observe bee traffic through the hive entrance, and there were always bees coming and going. It turns out, they weren’t my bees.

Poison Ivy : An Unlikely Ally

Poison Ivy might be the most hated plant around. Although it is a difficult plant to love, this plant has some surprising virtues, and plays an important role in native landscapes. The thing is, this plant is not really here for human beings. It’s here for everybody else. Read the full article to learn more about native plant species Toxicodendron radicans, and its beneficial role for wildlife, insects, and soil.

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