How My First Herb Garden Evolved Into Something For Others

How My First Herb Garden Evolved Into Something For Others
As an adult, I lived in big cities for years, perhaps to balance out a childhood in a small town in central Alaska. I went to Berkeley for law school, San Francisco to take the California Bar, and never really went back to rural life for many years. I traveled a lot and, when I settled down for a while, lived in urban centers like Paris, New York, Anchorage and Washington DC. My gardens, during that period, were pots of herbs grown on sunny kitchen windowsills. These were my first adult gardens. Even now, I keep the herb garden tradition going by making and gifting herb gardens. Growing Herbs is Easy, but… In general, herbs are tough, resilient and tolerant plants. But even though herbs are generally easy to grow, you still need to learn something before you jump in. I patterned my first herb garden after the Simon and... Read More

Community Garden Sites – Helping To Build A Pea Patch

Community Garden Sites – Helping To Build A Pea Patch
Giving is a process that benefits both the giver and the receiver. It really is a two-way street that affords opportunities for both sides. Community gardens are open to those who apply and can be a way for those with no land or outdoor space to grow their own food. Often called pea patches, community garden sites are usually donated spaces that rely on volunteer effort to shape them into usable garden space. Developing these spaces is a way of giving to your community and sharing the fruits of everyone’s labors. Community Pea Patch Volunteering Some of my best times were spent helping to build a pea patch in my community. I was looking for a position as a garden volunteer in a capacity that would help my neighborhood. I needed a flexible volunteer position, as I still had work and my own chores with which to contend. It turned... Read More

Growing Your Own Food – A Great Way To Share With Others

Growing Your Own Food – A Great Way To Share With Others
I was once upon a time a chef. The cooking world is hard on the body and often lacks a sense of appreciation for all the toil that goes into making a lovely meal. Since I no longer do that, I have a greater love and gratitude for the cooking process. And nothing is more precious to me than using the food I grow – especially when I can share with others. Growing Your Own Food As holidays come and go, I have to give thanks for my ability to grow food. It is pure enjoyment and a joy to plant and harvest what I have grown. The practice also allows me to control what is in my food. No pesticides, herbicides, or other icky items are in my garden. Sometimes that results in fails. Like when the grasshopper population eats all my baby plants. But mostly, if I overplant,... Read More

A Different Spin To Cooking With Plants From The Garden

A Different Spin To Cooking With Plants From The Garden
I love to garden, but it’s been years since I had a vegetable garden (other than tomatoes in pots). I’d rather grow wildflowers and other native plants that deer don’t bother. I try to co-exist with the deer, but sometimes it’s a major challenge. So, I don’t do a lot of cooking with plants from the garden and I don’t have many garden recipes, although I plan to add a herb garden this year. I’m also not a very good cook, and I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time in the kitchen, which means big get-together meals, like Thanksgiving and the like, just don’t happen. This is why I thought an electric pressure cooker might be a good investment. I’ve only had my new gadget a couple of weeks, but I love it! My favorite things to cook in my electric pressure cooker (so far) are root vegetables… Read More

Giving The Gift Of Gardening Gratitute

Giving The Gift Of Gardening Gratitute
I read some months ago that gratitude is good for your health – that if you take time every day to be grateful, you are less likely to get sick and more likely to flourish. Now I’m about as eager to flourish as anyone I know, and I take my health seriously, but I have found a daily gratitude session to be really hard this year. I think have found a solution to this: one place where it’s easy to be grateful, and that is the garden. Gratitude Is Good for You Gratitude is good for your health, they say. Okay, mental health I thought. But no, friends told me, all kinds of health. Since I am both an attorney and a writer, I was skeptical and did some research. It was amazing what experts had to say. That is, gratitude is supposed to do the things you might expect,... Read More

Reasons To Shop Local – Supporting Small Businesses

Reasons To Shop Local – Supporting Small Businesses
By Tonya Barnett | November 28, 2020 Planning is often one of the most anticipated parts of creating a beautiful and dynamic garden space. I know I’m not alone in saying that I can easily spend hours browsing through the plants offered at my local plant nursery. While many plants in my yard have been ordered online, I’m consistently surprised by the quality and selection of flowers and vegetable plants that I am able to find being grown in garden centers in my own city. In many cases, shopping at local lawn and garden shops can offer the best quality, and at an affordable price. Supporting small businesses helps us all. Worried about Covid? Most businesses have safe shopping practices put in place, and remember to wear your mask. Do Your Garden Shopping Locally Everyone should do their garden shopping locally. Here are my top reasons to shop local … Read More

Finding Good In The Garden, Even Among The Weeds

Finding Good In The Garden, Even Among The Weeds
Gardening has long been celebrated for its potential to alter mood, improve health, and ease at growers closer to nature. Though these attributes are considered true by many; this does not mean, however, that the growing process is without trial, stress, and disappointment. It wasn’t until I began exploring the “larger picture” in my own garden that I was able to truly appreciate and be grateful for each growing season and the harvest that came with it. Grateful for Each Growing Season As a beginner gardener, I frequently found myself worrying about the ever-growing list of chores and tasks which needed to be completed. As if overnight, the weeds had doubled in size and the roses were covered with aphids. With so many types of pests and diseases with which to contend, I was quickly discouraged and often felt overwhelmed. As my garden continued to expand, so too, did … Read More

Carving Pumpkins For Pie – Homemade Pumpkin Pie From The Garden

Carving Pumpkins For Pie – Homemade Pumpkin Pie From The Garden
My mother loved to cook and holidays were her shining glory. Until a few years before her death, she continued to put on a Thanksgiving feast that paralleled none. My sister and I have both tried our hands at making her secret holiday recipes, but it’s not the same. So we opted for a new tradition. Thanksgiving buffets were our favorite. The ease of eating out, without the work. With Covid, this has changed. Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner The tradition of cooking Thanksgiving dinner now falls upon my generation. As I gear up for this new responsibility, my garden will play an important role. Homegrown potatoes, sweet potatoes and whatever veggie did amazingly well will be my star side dishes. But there is one Thanksgiving tradition that’s been my shining glory for decades. The one thing I would bring to my mother’s amazing holiday dinner was homemade pumpkin pie from … Read More

Thanksgiving Vegetable Dishes From The Garden

Thanksgiving Vegetable Dishes From The Garden
Almost everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving dinner. Sure, it’s your loved ones that make the day special, but how about the food! The feast differs from family to family and region to region, but there are a few general staples that feature in almost everyone’s meal – turkey side dishes that I grow every year. So let’s talk turkey and take a stroll through my Thanksgiving vegetable dishes from the garden. Homegrown Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey is the centerpiece at our table and what is turkey without sage? Fresh sage, of course. With that in mind, when I moved into my house, one of the first things I did in the garden was start an herb garden and, yes, it has sage and other hardy perennials like rosemary and thyme. What else goes in my roasted turkey? Some of the aforementioned sage as well as fresh thyme sprigs, garlic… Read More