Category: plants

Can You Dig It? How Deep Soil Preparation and Structure Makes All the Difference to Your Plants

So, here’s another post about roots. This time, I want to talk about how deep soil preparation (double-digging) works to increase the health and yields of plants by giving them room to spread out. Did you know that the average carrot puts down an…

“Pricking Out”: Greatly Increase Plant Health and Yields by Transferring Seedlings from Flat to Flat Before Final Transplanting

“Pricking Out” Greatly Increase Plant Health and Yields by Transferring Seedlings from Flat to Flat Before Final Transplanting

Spring has sprung, and it’s time to get your seedlings in gear for a productive year! In keeping with the season, I thought that this would be a good time to discuss the benefits of pricking out your seedlings before you transplant them. Many…

Old Ways, New Farmers: How Native Wisdom Can Help Us Create a Better Future

Old Ways New Farmers - How native wisdom can help us create a better future

Sustainability isn’t a new concept.   For almost 50 years I have worked to create a form of agriculture that helps all people grow abundant nutritious food and fertile soil, in harmony with this beautiful earth. I know that I have been helped and…

Feed the Soil

Feed the Soil - little-known soil-building legumes and other crops, as well as enhanced descriptions of well-known ones

In the 1980s, Ron Whitehurst of ACRES U.S.A. wrote: “Central Florida is being mined down sea level for phosphate clay; and spiraling natural gas prices are making synthetic nitrogen fertilizer exorbitantly priced. Even using all the solid and liquid wastes from the cities, there…

Gardening is About Living Things!

Each year around this time, following months of freezing cold and heavy rain, Northern California experiences a “false spring” – the sun shines, the temperature is balmy and pleasant, and the grey and wintry landscape is suddenly covered in a bright green veil as…

Lost Crops of the Incas

Lost Crops of the Incas

Everyone seemed to enjoy the Lost Crops of Africa so much, I thought I’d mention another treasure from the National Research Council: Lost Crops of the Incas (published in 1989). This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in ethnobotany and heirloom varieties,…

Lost Crops of Africa

Lost Crops of Africa book cover

This 3-book series Lost Crops of Africa (Volumes I, II and III on Grains, Vegetables, and Fruits, published in 1996, 2006 and 2008, respectively) is a treasure for us all, but especially for the African continent, with the hope it presents of growing food…

Homeopathy for Plants

Homeopathy for Plants A practical guide for indoor, balcony, and garden plants

One of the most frustrating experiences you can have in the garden is to see a plant—or worse, and entire bed! —struggling with disease or pests. Conscientious farmers want to bring health to their gardens, but the chemical remedies provided on the shelves of…

Hedgerows:

“Hedgerows” is an old English term that refers to narrow planting strips of trees or shrubs that grow along field borders, fence lines and waterways. These borders serve as effective windbreaks and improve conditions for the nearby crops, forming an “edge habitat” that supports ecological diversity.

Some Thoughts on Arbor Day

Aren’t trees magnificent? They make oxygen, shade, food, building materials, fuel, habitat, and soil. They’re beautiful. They last for years – some for generations! They consume greenhouse gases and help keep our planet cool enough for us to live here. They draw nutrients from deep underground and deposit them on the surface when they drop their leaves. When they die, they form nurseries for new trees. They are a precious natural resource. Earth is currently home to ~3 trillion trees. Which seems like a lot…right? But the truth is, we could do with more. A lot more.