Tag Archives: gardening

Winter Sown Seedlings

2012 8-29 Seedlings (4)_thumb[7]By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Many gardeners know the benefits of planting crops, such as garlic, in the early fall and winter months, but did you know that many common herb, flower and vegetable seeds can be treated this way, too? Winter sowing is the age-old practice of planting seeds directly in the garden sometime between late fall and mid-winter. Because they are living organisms, seeds have the ability to sense the environment around them, which allows them to determine when weather conditions are just right for germination. As a result, winter sown seeds often germinate earlier, have higher rates of germination and have less problems with seedling diseases such as damping off. They also tend to grow faster and stronger than their indoor-sown counterparts, which allows gardeners to get a jump on the growing season.  Read more!

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Seed Saving for a Healthy Future with Juice Guru Steve Prussack

Jill HendersonI had a super fun time being interviewed recently by Juice Guru, Steve Prussack.  We talked about common seed saving mistakes, the differences between GMO, hybrid and heirloom seeds, why saving seed is an important aspect of healthy living and a critical component of any disaster preparedness plan; what botanical maturity has to do with saving seed; sprouting seeds for food and more!  Saving seed is so easy, anyone can learn how in less than 50 pages using my book, The Garden Seed Saving Guide!
Listen to the entire podcast free! 
https://juiceguru.com/radio/ep-64-seed-saving-healthy-future-jill-henderson/

Pink Ladybugs in the Garden

Pink Ladybug - Coleomegilla maculataJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

Gardeners are always facing new and interesting challenges when it comes to pest management.  The first line of defense includes correctly identifying the culprit so that the right measures can be taken to control it.  I was recently talking to a fellow gardener about organic control of blister beetles on tomatoes when I happened to mention being cautious about using any kind of pesticide for fear of killing the pink ladybugs that have spent the last several weeks feasting on the pollen of nearby pepper plants.  Her immediate response was that those pink ones were just another type of spotted cucumber beetle.  I understand her confusion.  I used to think that, too.

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Moon Shine: Herbs of the Night (part 3)

moon gardenJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz
Now that you have an idea of the types of plants that can be grown in a moon garden, let’s get down to the bones! Start by selecting a location for your garden. It can be in a little used corner of the yard for privacy or meditation, or it can sit smack dab in the middle of the yard. For trip-free nighttime strolls be sure and allow plenty of room for pathways that are both wide and clear. And if you are not the type of person who really wants to wander in the yard at night, consider placing the garden near a porch or deck where it can be enjoyed in relative comfort and safety.

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Moon Shine: Herbs of the Night (part 2)

2016 8-16 MoonflowerJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~ In last week’s post (see it here), I talked a little about the history and lore of moon gardens and how they have been used by lovers, philosophers and for religious and ceremonial purposes throughout the ages.  In this week’s post I will share with you a whole host of plants that will look fabulous in your very own moon garden – some of which might just surprise you!  So, let’s get started!

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Moon Shine: Herbs of the Night

Herb Borage flowering (4)Jill Henderson Show Me Oz:  Often associated with the mystical, moon gardens have been lighting up the night for thousands of years. Adored by lovers and philosophers, these midnight gardens were places of secrecy and silence, contemplation and meditation, ritual and ceremony. The moon has always given mankind a reason to look towards the heavens in search of answers and inspiration. The cool solid stillness of night is the perfect venue to relax and reflect. The moon garden provides just such a place. It is no wonder moon gardens have become not only a popular gardening theme, but a true place of peace. Continue reading

Fenugreek: The Forgotten Herb

clip_image001Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

When I first began gardening 25 years ago, the variety of garden seeds was extremely limited.  Heirloom vegetables were just beginning to make a come back and culinary herbs were seriously limited to a handful of the most popular types.  Today, the number of seed varieties available to the average gardener is mind-boggling, which is wonderful if you love to garden.  But for all the choices available to us, there is one small herb called fenugreek that is not only hard to come by, but one that has been almost entirely forgotten by gardeners, cooks, and herbalists in America.

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Winter Seed Saving: Pumpkins and Squash

Butternut Squash with seeds. Copyright Jill Henderson

Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

With the holidays in full swing, the last thing people might be thinking of is gardening.  But trust me, the two go together like pumpkin pie and whipped cream!  In fact, if you grew your own pumpkins or squash this year and plan on using the sweet flesh to make delectable holiday pies, breads or savory dishes, now is the perfect time to save seed!

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Using Seed Screens to Save Better Seed

Seed Saving sorting black-eyed peas using seed screens.  Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

Saving heirloom seeds is really pretty easy, even for the beginning seed saver.  Of course, you need to know a few things about how plants mate and produce seed early on, but once the seeds are harvested there are a few tricks that can help you save seeds that are much more likely to germinate quickly and grow well in the garden next spring.  Naturally, the first trick for saving seed is to harvest them at the right time.  The second trick is simply to clean and sort your seeds.  There are many ways to do this, but the fastest and easiest way to sort any kind of seed is by using a simple set of seed screens.

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Don’t Toss Those Mums!

Mums are often used to dress up seasonal displays.Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

Every fall, big box stores and greenhouses everywhere display rack after rack of brightly blooming mums.  Ostensibly, the showy plants are used by homeowners and businesses to bring a little color to the ever-increasing drabness of fall and to pretty-up outdoor Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations.  Most people just drop the relatively inexpensive pre-potted plants into a larger, more decorative container for display and then forget them until they are deader than door nails.  That’s shame, because mums are actually hardy perennials that if given half a chance, will survive in the garden and provide you with colorful, showy blooms year after year!

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Fall Leaves: Good for the Garden

2013 11-22 Fall MosaicBy Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

The clear, cool days of fall are perfect for wrapping up last-minute garden chores, such as winterizing perennial herbs, flowers and shrubs.  It’s also a good time to cultivate existing garden beds or create new beds for spring planting.  But there’s one chore in the fall that not everyone looks forward to – raking leaves.  Sometimes there are so many leaves that homeowners spend weeks trying to get rid of the deepening piles.  But instead of raking and burning, or bagging leaves for the garbage, consider putting your fall leaves to use in the garden as a protective, nutrient-rich mulch.

Crafting Herbal Oils & Vinegars

Herbal Vinegars (1)Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~
for Acres USA Magazine

The summer harvest is never truly complete until I have at least a few bottles of garlic chili oil tucked away in the pantry and a handful of spicy golden vinegars gracing the windowsill. These flavorful and versatile condiments are super easy to make and add layers of flavor to your favorite dishes.

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Yellow Birch Hobby Farm: Self-Reliant Homesteading

Erin Blegen's KitchenJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

I love being a writer because I get to meet and learn from extraordinary people like Erin and Josh Blegen. This young couple grow, raise, hunt, and wildcraft a huge percentage of their own food on their small farmstead in the small village of Grand Marais, Minnesota.  One way the Blegens make the most of the very short growing season found around the shores of Lake Superior, is by employing the hügelkultur method of gardening.

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Healthful Horseradish

Young horseradish. Image via Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz
Horseradish is one of those herbs that everyone knows about, but few actually grow. Perhaps that’s because it isn’t used much in today’s cooking, or perhaps because it’s hard to process. And like mint, horseradish has a nasty reputation for overstepping its boundaries in the garden. Yet, for its flaws, horseradish is a pretty perennial that is tough as nails and easy to grow. And not only is horseradish full on flavor, but it is totally jam-packed with health benefits that include fighting cancer, improving cardiovascular health, and even reducing plaque on teeth!

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Seed Saving Time: The Float Test

Tomato seed float test. Image copyright Jill Henderson Show Me Oz.wordpress.comJill HendersonShow Me Oz
Gardeners face many challenges throughout the year, but there is nothing quite as frustrating as planting seeds that don’t germinate well or at all.  You plant and wait.  And then wait some more. All the while precious weeks go by, delaying your carefully planned planting schedule and putting your future crops at risk. I have experienced this a number of times myself. That’s why I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned about the causes of poor germination and a simple test to help reduce the chances of it happening to you. Continue reading

Controlling Squash Bugs Organically–A Simple Solution

Squash Bug image by Katja Schulz from Washington, D. C., USA (Squash Bug) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsJill HendersonShow Me Oz
If you are like me, you love squash.  I particularly enjoy rich, meaty winter squash and every year I endeavor to have lots of them stored up for the winter larder. The only problem I have with growing squash are the dreaded squash bugs – SB’s for short.  And in last week’s article, I covered most of the traditional and non-traditional ways to control squash bugs organically, including growing the one species most resistant to the effects of squash bugs. And this week, I’m going to share with you a nifty trick that I came up with to very nearly (I don’t want to say entirely, as I am a humble gardener, after all) obliterate SB’s from my squash patch! And you can, too!

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Controlling Squash Bugs Organically

By Downtowngal - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49873322Jill HendersonShow Me Oz
Squash bugs. What a pain in the arse! Absolutely nothing in the natural world preys on them, their hard outer coverings resist even the most intense organic insecticides, the little buggers are masters at hiding their eggs, and they multiply faster than fleas. On top of that, they spread devastating squash plant diseases, have the uncanny ability to know when they are being stalked, and are eerily good at evasion.  If you do manage to get a hold of one, they emit a nasty, long-lasting stink that’s incredibly hard to entirely wash off.  But after a lifetime’s worth of battling this raunchy bug, I’ve learned how to live with them.  And this year, I came up with a new way to get the upper hand.

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Drying Herbs Fast, Easy and Free!

Freshly dried thyme the fast, easy and free way! Image copyright Jill HendersonJill HendersonShow Me Oz
As a gardener, backwoods herbalist, and foodie, I absolutely love my home-grown herbs.  They are so easy to care for and even easier to put away for the long run.  I freeze a few herbs like cilantro and basil pesto, but honestly, drying is the very best way to preserve the flavor and medicinal qualities of culinary herbs. Plus, if the electricity goes out – or you need to bug out – dried herbs are the best.  And drying homegrown herbs isn’t hard or time consuming, either.  And you don’t need to buy or build a fancy or expensive dehydrator to get the job done.  In fact, when you dry herbs my way, it’s fast, easy, and free.

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Squash and Cucumbers: All Flowers and No Fruit?

Winter squash flowering, but no fruit - yet! Copyright Jill HendersonJill Henderson Show Me Oz
It happens every year. The weather warms up, the rain comes at the right time, and the squash, cucumber and melon vines have finally taken off. At last, the small baby plants you’ve coddled all spring are literally sprawling all over the place and flowering for weeks now. Yet, not one single fruit is in sight. For years I went through the same thing – worrying and wondering what the heck I’d done wrong. Eventually, the fruit would come and I’d forget all about it.  But, it wasn’t until I started saving seed that I actually found the answer as to why I had all those flowers and no fruit.

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Seed Saving Time: Radishes

Description Raphanus sativus, Wild Radish. Date August 03, 2002 Location Glen Canyon Park - San Francisco, California Photographer Franco Folini CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=722804Jill HendersonShow Me Oz – I don’t know about you, but our spring garden is never complete without at least a few rows of crisp, spicy radishes.  We love to put them in salads, on sandwiches and, of course, for snacking on while we weed!  Common radishes are super easy to grow, have few pests and diseases and can really tolerate the cold, wet weather of the early spring months.  Radishes are also among the easiest seeds to save, provided you follow a few simple rules.  As a bonus, by saving your own radish seeds you get to enjoy an entirely new round of tasty edibles in the form of the young green seedpods, which are a taste treat in their own right.  So don’t pull all your radishes just yet…

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Wild Walk: Heal-All (Prunella vulgaris)

Heal-All (Prunella vulgaris) plant in bloom.  Photo copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comShow Me Oz – Sometimes the best “wild” medicine comes from plants that are decidedly not native, but rather naturalized and occasionally weedy. Plants like these are often considered to be invasive, undesirable weeds in cultivated fields and lawns across North America.  And yet, many of these non-natives are incredible edibles and natural healers that foragers and backwoods herbalists should take note of. Dandelions, dock and comfrey are all great examples of naturalized invasive herbs.  Another of these weedy invasive plants is a lesser-known little beauty with a plethora of common names, including Heal-All, Self-Heal and All-Heal among many others.  And if a name could say it all, this one definitely does.

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Wild Walk: Cream Wild Indigo

The creamy yellow pea-like flowers of Cream Wild Indigo. Photo Copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.com

Show Me Oz – Spring is in full swing here in Oz and the vast array of lovely wildflowers are blooming in quick procession.  Most of the delicate spring ephemerals like Trout Lily, Spring Beauty, and Bluets come and go so quickly that it is easy to miss them all together.  Thankfully, we have an ocean of natives to enjoy all season long.  One of my early spring favorites is the lovely Cream Wild Indigo, which blooms much longer than most spring flowers and puts on a show-stopping floral display fit for even the most refined garden.

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Flycatchers: The Gardener’s Friend

By Peter Wilton (Eastern Phoebe  Uploaded by Magnus Manske) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsShow Me Oz – People sometimes laugh when I tell them that I always know when spring is about to dawn on our Ozark homestead – even if it’s freezing outside.  It’s not the weather, or the slight budding of plants that clue me in.  And it’s not the warmth of the sun or my local weatherman, either.  No, the way I know that spring is on it’s way is when I hear the first shrill song of the Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe).  This slim, mousy-grey flycatcher with a creamy-colored belly and a big voice has a penchant for perching on low, leafless branches and compulsively wagging its long tail up and down.  And it’s one bird that every gardener should hope for.

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A New Way to Grow Sweet Potatoes Slips

Starting sweet potato slips in pots.Show Me Oz – I have been growing my own sweet potatoes for years, but I always do it the same old way and with varied results.  The most common method of starting sweet potato slips is to root a whole sweet potato in a jar of water.  The sprouted shoots are then pulled off the mother tuber and rooted in potting soil before being set in the garden. (see Start Your Own Sweet Slips). Yet, I always seem to have trouble getting the tuber to root and send up enough shoots during the cold winter months to have the slips ready by planting time.  And I never seem to get enough slips.  So, this year I tried a new and very simple method of producing an abundance of sweet potato slips with a lot less fuss and muss.

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Garden Time: Watch Out for Early Garden Allies!

Box Turtle HatchlingShow Me Oz – Although ‘official’ spring has yet to arrive in Oz, the weather outside my door tells me it’s already here. As always, Dean and I are at it early and have already cultivated most of our garden and planted the first round of cold-hardy seeds. But while we’re hard at work cleaning up and organizing the yard and garden for the season to come, we are constantly on the lookout for sleepy, still-hibernating and just-hatching garden allies like frogs, toads, turtles, spiders, and all manner of beneficial insects and creatures that help us control insect pests in our organic garden!

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How Big Will Those ‘Maters Get?

Demystifying Tomato Sizes PosterDemystifying Tomato Sizes from the Show Me Oz archives…

Have you ever perused a seed catalog looking for the perfect tomato and been a little confused by the size descriptions? I have. And as someone who recently has had to learn a whole lot about writing short variety descriptions, I appreciate what information I do get from seed packets and catalogs. But I also don’t have time to sift through all the varied ways that tomatoes are described in terms of size. What I needed a way to compare tomato sizes at a glance: Is tomato A bigger or smaller than tomato B? So, I set out to make some sense of all the numbers, weights, measurements and obscure descriptives for comparing various sizes of tomatoes. Read the entire article and get the full-size chart here! Happy gardening! J.

Black Cumin: The Blessed Seed

AndreHolz at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsShow Me Oz – As a gardener, cook and herbal enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for new and interesting plants. Because my garden is relatively small, every single plant that makes it through the front gate either has to look fantastic, taste great or have useful healing properties.  One plant that fits all of my criteria is Nigella sativa – also known as the Blessed Seed.

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Winter Wonder: The Lenten Rose

Hellebores - copyright Jill Henderson ShowMeOz.wordpress (5)Show Me Oz

I have been gardening nearly all my adult life and have had the pleasure of knowing and growing many lovely flowering plants and shrubs.  But it was by sheer luck that I became acquainted with the hardy evergreen, Hellebores orientalis, more commonly referred to as the Lenten Rose.  These unique flowering perennials not only sport durable evergreen foliage and are easy to grow and maintain, but the softly delicate flowers appear at a the most unlikely time of the year.

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Seed Saving Time: Testing Germination Rates

 Testing seed quality and germination rates. showmeoz.wordpress.comShow Me Oz

Last week, I received my first spring seed catalog.  And while it’s a bit early for me to even think about ordering seed for next year, it is an early reminder to test some of the seed stock I currently have on hand. Checking the quality of the seed you save is just as important as saving it. After all, there’s nothing more disappointing than spending hours planting seeds that either germinates slowly, patchy, unevenly, or (gasp) not at all.  So, whether you save your own seed or lean heavily towards “accumulating” seed, you should be testing at least a portion of your stash every winter. Continue reading

Sensational Sedum: Autumn Joy

Sedum Autumn Joy flowers turn a deep maroon color as fall arrives.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Fall has finally arrived in our neck of the woods and the mild sunny days are punctuated by clear blue skies and a parade of technicolor foliage.  But for most gardeners, fall usually means that the garden is beginning to look a little rough around the edges.  Because our vegetable and herb gardens surround the house the last thing we want is to let things get too ragged looking.  Over the years we have grown various perennials around the perimeter of the garden in an attempt to screen and draw attention away from the less attractive bits.  Of the many varieties we’ve grown, our fall favorite is a lusty and beautiful sedum that is appropriately named “Autumn Joy”.

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Grow Pure Seed with Blossom Bags

IMG_4007by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Seed savers know that the key to obtaining pure seed is by controlling the pollination process.  Each species is made up of many varieties.  If two – or more! – of those varieties get too close to one another during flowering their seeds will not come true.  Of course, not all gardeners have the room to grow multiple varieties spaced far apart.  Sometimes, we just don’t know that we’d like to save a certain variety of seed in early spring and so we don’t pay any attention to the spacing requirements for purity.  If this sounds like you; have no fear!  Blossom bags are here to save the day!

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Essential Herbs: Basil

Classic Genovese basil ready to harvest.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Summer just wouldn’t be summer without a plethora of lusty basil plants flourishing in the garden.  In fact, I love the sight, smell, and taste of these leafy annual herbs so much that I always over-plant in the spring and by mid-summer wind up with more basil than I need – or even know what to do with.  Yet, every spring when my husband asks me if I think we might just have too many basil starts, my reply is always the same… there’s no such thing as too much basil!

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Make Your Own Garlic Braids in 10 Easy Steps

2014 6-30 How to braid garlic 2 (26)by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

In my kitchen, garlic reigns supreme.  I use it for so many dishes that I like to joke that I put garlic in everything but dessert! Because we use so much fresh garlic, we always grow enough to last us all year.  The only problem with growing a ton of garlic is storing it in a way that saves space, preserves quality, and allows for quick and easy removal of bulbs that develop bad spots, bruises, or those that have begun to sprout.  To solve these problems I began braiding our garlic. With garlic braids, not only can I easily choose which bulbs need to be used first, but the long strands can be hung virtually anywhere and take up absolutely zero storage space on my shelves.  Of course, garlic braids look great and they make wonderful gifts, too.  So get your garlic on and let’s braid it in 10 easy steps!

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GMO’s Threaten Seed Savers

Seed really matters!by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

There’s a wonderful feeling that comes over me when the garden I have planned and tended and nurtured finally begins to pay off.   Of course, I’m pleased with the success of producing food for my family, and I’m excited about the nutritious fruits and veggies that will grace my table for the entire year to come, but the best feeling of all is knowing what is (and isn’t) in or on the food we eat.  In years past that statement would have been all about chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  But these days, the threat of food crops infected with Genetically Modified Organisms is a major concern.   That’s why learning how to save seed is so crucial for organic gardeners and farmers.

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Seed Saving Time: What’s in a Name?

The heart of every fruit is its seed.by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

If you garden, I’ll bet you’ve talked to your plants before.  Don’t worry, I do it, too. It’s perfectly normal. Common even. People talk to all kinds of animate and sometimes inanimate things – they also give them names.  Take trees and fast cars, for example.  It doesn’t matter if anyone knows you talk to your plants or not, we’ll keep that our little secret.  But if you are a gardener trying to save pure seed, you’ll want to take those pet names and give them some botanical teeth!

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Garden Time: Walking Onions

Egyptian Walking onions in early spring beginning to set bulbils. Image copyright Jill Hendersonby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Growing up in the heart of Cajun and Creole country, I learned early on that no dish is truly complete unless it begins with a mess of sweet and savory onions.  Of course, when I began to garden it was only natural to want to grow my own.  But I soon found out that good cooking onions aren’t necessarily easy to grow. They come with very specific needs, including the perfect conditions for long-term storage, that I just couldn’t seem to provide.  For years I limited myself to the growing of onion chives and leeks to satisfy my need for easy-to-grow oniony flavor.  And then I found Egyptian walking onions.

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Seed Saving Time: Legumes

Snow peas will cross with snow, snap and shell peas.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz 

If you’re planning on saving some of your own seeds this summer, the very best time to start is before a single seed goes in the ground.  In fact, your seed saving efforts should begin with that catalog you’ve been perusing all winter.  In addition to a myriad of valuable information such as germination times, growth characteristics, suggested planting dates and so on, many seed catalogs now list each vegetable’s Latin botanical name, as well.  You know the one I’m talking about…those two  little words written in italics and perched between parenthesis can mean the difference between seed saving success or seed saving failure.

Demystifying Tomato Sizes

Demystifying-Tomato-Sizes-Poster.jpgBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Have you ever perused a seed catalog looking for the perfect tomato and been a little confused by the size descriptions? I have. And as someone who recently has had to learn a whole lot about writing short variety descriptions, I appreciate what information I do get from seed packets and catalogs. But I also don’t have time to sift through all the varied ways that tomatoes are described in terms of size. What I needed a way to compare tomato sizes at a glance: Is tomato A bigger or smaller than tomato B? So, I set out to make some sense of all the numbers, weights, measurements and obscure descriptives for comparing various sizes of tomatoes.

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Harvesting and Using the Flowers of Herbs

2014 6-27 (11) Garden Walkby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

After a long, cold winter, spring has finally arrived in my neck of the woods.  At long last, the dormant herbs in the garden have erupted in a wave of fresh green leaves that brighten the garden path.  And dotted here throughout, are winter hardy alliums, which will soon bear the very first herbal flowers of the season.  And while I will relish their beauty, herb flowers are more than just pretty – they are downright tasty, too.

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Fun in the Garden with Critters

Male Pileated WoodpeckerBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Ahhh! Who doesn’t love a spring day? The birds are singing and the flowers are blooming and it’s just a beautiful free for all.  We’ve spent a lot of time in the garden recently, planting and weeding and the general stuff.  I was standing there in the garden, when a beautiful pileated woodpecker sailed by me and beyond, into the woods.  I suddenly thought of an interesting gardening experience from some years before – and in another garden. It involved a pileated woodpecker, a hollow tree, a mess of squirrels, and me.

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BORROW…GROW…SHARE! A New Seed Library in Springfield, MO

Seed LibraryI am so excited to share with you the new Heirloom Seed Library located at the Library Station and the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library in Springfield, MO.  These folks have worked really hard to build and organize a working seed library in our state and it’s a great example for any library, or group, that would like to start a seed library where they live!  The following bit comes directly from the Heirloom Seed Library webpage.  Also, check out the heirloom seed library flier PDF that talks about the library and all the fantastic classes and presentations that are scheduled for 2015.  This is such an exciting development for our community and an incredible learning opportunity for all.   Continue reading

Are You Surrounded by Green Inside?

The gardeners soul is never far from the garden and I love the way Robbie shares his love of gardening with simple words and powerful images. Sowing the future of flitting butterflies, savory scents along the herb garden path, and warm tomatoes glistening in the sun – one seed at a time.  I think Robbie’s title has a deeper meaning in terms of the gardener’s soul. – Read on and Enjoy! Jill

Are you surrounded by green inside?

Palm Rae Urban Potager

IMG_7677-tatso

I am!!! All my spring annual vegetables, herbs and flowers are taking over my life. Hectic time of year but I love it! I am sure it is busy for all of you that are growing from seed. Years ago, I started my spring crops either too early or too late. After many years of trial and error, I have a system that works for my growing area.

IMG_7648-paper-pots-2015To my blogger buddies, please forgive me if I have not stopped by and commented the past few weeks on your posts. I will be back soon! I am not spending much time at my computer lately. The seedlings are calling! I have tables filled with plants all over my home. It is a sea of green inside my house! I don’t have much time to read blogs. I will play catch-up after I get all these plants in the ground. My…

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Why Save Seed? Patents in the Garden

Are your seeds patented?by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Another issue related to GMO’s is the patenting of life forms by the grain giants and the pharmaceutical industry. Make no mistake – the money to be made on the ownership of genetic patents is staggering. That’s why the big agriculture, chemical and pharma-giants like Cargill, Monsanto, Syngenta and DuPont are racing to patent plant genes – and not just the GMO’s they create, but all plants with any value – like the vegetable crops that you and I grow in our gardens.

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Why Save Seed? GMO’s and Your Garden

Don't let your garden become contaminated with GMO vegetables and fruits.by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Last week we discussed some of the more obvious reasons for saving your own seed: to be more self-sufficient and save money, to adapt varieties to the local environment, and to increase genetic diversity in food crops.  But, of course, I can’t talk about saving seeds without discussing Genetically Modified Organisms, (GMO’s) otherwise known as Franken-food.

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Why Save Seed? Selection & Genetic Diversity

Saving lettuce seed couldn't get any easier. Image copyright Jill Henderson ShowMeOz.wordpress.comby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

I have been saving seed for almost 20 years.  What started out as a simple way to save a buck, quickly became a passion with very deep roots.  After all these years, it is exciting to see so many people interested in saving their own garden seed.  In fact, saving seed has become quite popular. But there are those who still think it’s just a fad – another hashtag in a world of buzzwords. And perhaps seed saving is just another trend in a long line of trends – like bacon everything, backyard chickens, and kale, but for those of us who have worked towards seed sovereignty and food freedom for years, an American seed saving fetish is just what this country needs!

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Rock Pickin’ Snow!

Rocks and snow.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Even though we just had a string of lovely, sunny days, overall, it’s been a pretty gloomy winter here in Oz.  Early cold and snow, persistently cloudy skies, and a generous dose of downright gloomy days are enough to chase just about everyone indoors.  The temporary respite we just had will be followed by a weekend of snow and rain and who knows what else.  Despite all that, there are good reasons to get outside; and get movin’. My reason of late has been good ol’-fashioned rock pickin’ – a hillbilly pastime if there ever was one.

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Winter Sowing: Get a Jump on Spring

2012 8-29 Seedlings (4)_thumb[7]By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Many gardeners know the benefits of planting crops, such as garlic, in the early fall and winter months, but did you know that many common herb, flower and vegetable seeds can be treated this way, too? Winter sowing is the age-old practice of planting seeds directly in the garden sometime between late fall and mid-winter. Because they are living organisms, seeds have the ability to sense the environment around them, which allows them to determine when weather conditions are just right for germination. As a result, winter sown seeds often germinate earlier, have higher rates of germination and have less problems with seedling diseases such as damping off. They also tend to grow faster and stronger than their indoor-sown counterparts, which allows gardeners to get a jump on the growing season.

Garden Time: Chives and Their Oniony Relatives

Spring onion chives in bloom. Copyright Jill Hendersonby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

It’s mid-November and an arctic blast is about to make its way all the way to the Gulf Coast.  But even though it is really beginning to feel like winter, gardening season isn’t over just yet!  Here in Zone 7 – where we’ve already had several hard freezes – the chives and their oniony relatives are still churning out a plethora of tasty leaves and succulent stems for the kitchen.  If you’ve never grown winter onions, you might be surprised how long “stinking rose” family members last in the winter months.  And believe it or not,  early winter is a great time to plant a few seeds of your favorite onion wanna-be!

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Seed Saving Time: Drying and Storing Your Home Grown Seeds

Paper packets work great for storing most types of seed.by Jill Henderson Show Me Oz

Seeds are living, breathing, life forms capable of remaining dormant for long periods of time, germinating only when environmental conditions are just right for the growth of the plant they will soon become.  But even the best kept seeds don’t last forever.  If you save your own flower, vegetable or herb seeds, you can help increase their lifespan by following just a few simple steps.  In this week’s Show Me Oz, we’ll talk about the right way to dry and store your seeds and how long you can expect them to live.

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Winterize Your Garden for Spring Success

Rocks make excellent mulch for woody perennials like lavender.by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Winter is a fact of life and as now that fall is here, our top priority should be to prepare our perennial plants to endure whatever winter throws their way.  In the plant kingdom, dormancy is not a type of death; rather, it is a reduced pace of living. Even in the coldest climates, perennials continue to respirate, grow roots, and utilize stored food to keep them alive and strengthen them for the growing season to come.  Which is why it is so important to give them a little extra protection and care before winter’s chill takes over.

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Tree Bombs and Praying Mantises

Falling acorns. Copyright Jill Hendersonby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

With the lovely fall weather moving in at last, we can once again spend most of our time outdoors without fainting from the heat or being attacked by voracious insects. While it would be nice to sit under the oak trees and relax in the slight breeze, the squirrels just won’t allow us to. Right this minute, there are thousands and thousands of ripening acorns in the oak trees and the squirrels, looking for early fall forage, have been sorting through them one by one.

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Multiply Your Plants the Cheap and Easy Way!

2013 5-12 The Herb Garden (1)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over, but I can tell by the ragged look of the garden that fall is on it’s way.  Even so, there’s plenty of gardening left to do before winter’s chill sets in.  Among my favorite fall chores is propagating perennial herbs and flowers using techniques like stem cuttings, layering, and division to generate tons of new baby plants the cheap and easy way.

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Violets and the Great Spangled Fritillary

Fritillaries on Milkweedby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

I know I promised this article a couple of weeks ago, but between blackberry pickin’, the garden and seed saving classes, I just couldn’t get back to it.  But while we were up berry pickin’, we saw lots of butterflies – including the Great Spangled Fritillary.  Of course, I love all butterflies, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Fritillaries because of their softly muted-orange coloration and complex wing patterns in brown, black and silver.  I had been wanting to entice more fritillaries to the garden but wasn’t sure what to do, so you can imagine my excitement when I realized I had already done it!

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Tips for Harvesting Flavorful Herbs

Cilantro harvest.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Harvest and storage methods are critical components of utilizing herbs or other plant material for culinary or medicinal purposes.  Gathering, drying and storing herbs correctly a big difference in the quality and quantity of essential oils in the leaves.  This not only affects the flavor of dried herbs, but increases their shelf-life and medicinal potential, as well.   Of course, it is possible to gather herbs at just about any point in their growth cycle and still obtain a decent product, but for flavor that will knock your socks off,  consider the following tips for harvesting the best culinary herbs ever.

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Preserving the Freshness of Herbs

Cilantro is best fresh or freshly frozen.by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

I love cooking with fresh herbs, which is why when we moved here, the herb garden wound up being planted two steps from the front door.  I wanted to be able to step out and get a quick pinch of this herb or that between stirring the pot.  But even with my laid back life of no work (ha ha), it’s not always that simple or convenient to run outside when it’s raining, for example.   So, I have learned to keep plenty of fresh herbs at hand in the kitchen where no shoes or umbrellas are necessary.   But for an herb-fiend like me, that means finding a way to keep them at their just-picked best.

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Six Tips for Saving Seed

six tips for saving seed - by seed matters

It’s nearly the end of June and here in Zone 7, we’re just beginning to harvest seed from snow peas and lettuce.  Would you like to start saving your own seed?  It’s easy!  Here are a few great places to start… Continue reading

Pink Cucumber Beetle? Look again!

Pink Ladybug [Coleomegilla maculata] Image by Jim Conrad [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commonsby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

With the onset of summer, legions of gardeners will soon be out in force doing battle with bad bugs and wily critters up to no good in the garden.  But not all the bugs in your garden are bad. This pink ladybug is a real beneficial, but is often mistaken for a “pink cucumber beetle” and destroyed.  So, before you whip out the spraying wand, look again!
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The Wonderful World of Mints

The Wonderful World of Mints - ACRES USA MagazineCheck out my latest article, The Wonderful World of Mints, in ACRES USA Magazine by clicking the link below or the image to the left.

June14_Henderson

Garden Time: Temptingly Tart Sorrel – Part II

French Sorrel image copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Last week, I talked about the various types of edible sorrel that can be grown in the garden or wild foraged.  The two most commonly cultivated species are Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa) and French Sorrel (Rumex scutatus), followed by their wild counterparts, Sheep’s Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) and Red-veined Sorrel or Bloody Dock (Rumex sanguineus).  Of these, French sorrel is the most popular for cooking and fresh eating.  This week, we’ll take a closer look at how to use French and Garden Sorrel in the kitchen and then delve into the medicinal aspect of these overlooked herbs.

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Garden Time: Temptingly Tart Sorrel Part I

French Sorrel - Image copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Spring had barely arrived before we were filling our salads and sandwiches with the crisp, lemony leaves of sorrel; one of our favorite perennial vegetables.  Once used extensively in North America as a flavorful green and medicinal herb, sorrel is rarely found in herb or vegetable gardens today.  If rare in the herb and vegetable garden, sorrel is almost entirely overlooked as an ornamental, where it easily adds visual zip and vertical structure to perennial flower gardens with its verdant green leaves and small but lovely reddish-brown flowers.  If you’ve never grown sorrel, or worse yet, have never eaten sorrel, then you are truly in for a mouth-watering treat.

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Saving Seeds: Open Pollinated vs. Hybrid

Share the Seed (12)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Ever wonder what the difference is between open pollinated, hybrid, heirloom, and GMO seeds, and which one is right for you? Well, in today’s post I hope to shed a little light on the situation, but first, you might want to send the kids out of the room for this studious look at how seeds are born and why you should care what happens in your garden when you’re not looking.

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L is for Moon

Lunaria Seed Pods image by Christian Fischer [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Luna is the Spanish word for moon.  When spoken with its proper accent, the word rolls smoothly off the tip of the tongue.   It is a beautiful word that I don’t often have the opportunity to use, so each time I see a full, opulent moon I whisper to the night, “La luna es bonita.”  – “The moon is beautiful”.   So it shouldn’thave come as such a surprise that I would fall for a plant whose name is derived from the Latin word for Moon.  Continue reading

Notes From Turtle Ridge: A Year in Review

2013 12-5 Winter Storm (19)I can hardly believe that in just a few more days, the old year will end and the new year will begin.  The time has flown by so fast, I can hardly believe it’s here already.  So to stick with the theme of celebrations, I thought I’d take a quick look back at a few highlights of the year 2013 here in Oz.  I hope you’ll join me.

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Old Tractors and Sustainable Agriculture

By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

The lush forests, rolling pastures, and long vistas of the Ozarks are truly easy on the eyes, but their pastoral appearance also belies how tough these hills can be to survive in.  Although farming has been a traditional way of life in the Ozarks3 for generations, producing one’s food on this rocky bit of earth has never been easy.  Even with the modern comforts of today’s machinery, farming in the Ozarks can sometimes be best described as “hard-scrabble”.  And in the 15 years I’ve been here, I’ve seen more than one eager newcomer throw in the towel after only a few short years of backbreaking work that was resulted in little gain.

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Winter Seed Saving: Pumpkins and Squash

pumkinssmBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the last thing people might be thinking of is gardening, but the two go together like pumpkin pie and whipped cream.  In fact, if you grew your own pumpkins or squash this year and plan on using the sweet flesh to make delectable holiday treats, now is the perfect time for saving their seeds.   Extracting and drying seeds from hard-shelled squash and pumpkins is fairly straightforward, however, you must first be sure that the seeds you save now will come true to type next year. Continue reading

Good and Bad Bugs in the Garden

This is a tobacco hornworm (similar to a tomato hornworm) that has been parasitized by a tiny, beneficial wasp known as a Braconid wasp.

Parasitized Tobacco HornwormThe hornworm will live until the wasp eggs hatch and then the young wasp larva will eat their host alive.

If you find caterpillars like these in your garden, leave them where they are!

 

 

Parasitized Tobacco Hornworm (2)The hornworms generally stop feeding after being parasitized and the tiny parasitic wasps that hatch will continue to populate your garden, helping control unwanted pests.

If you’re squeamish, you might not want to watch!

Happy gardening!

Interview on Far Out Radio

Jill Henderson - Far Out Radio - 8-26-2013Check out my latest interview with Scott Teeters on the Far Out Radio Show on the Rense Radio Network.

The first hour is this interview and the second hour is from my interview in January.

http://faroutradio.com/living-the-simple-life-with-author-jill-henderson/

The Bell Pepper Sex Scandal

Bell Pepper Sex Hoax imageBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –

Have you seen this image floating around the internet claiming that one can determine the sex of a bell pepper by the number of bumps on the bottom?  Whoever posted the original image* claimed that those peppers that had four lobes were “female”, while those with only three lobes were “male”.   They expounded on their theory by explaining that “…female peppers are full of seeds, but sweeter and better for eating raw and the males are better for cooking.”  Is this true or just a mammoth hoax to burn away your precious time trying to find out?

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Rain in a Parched Landscape

On the Horizon by Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Water is the lifeblood of all living things.  Without it, hard times are sure to come.  In the Ozarks, periodic summer drought is common in the months surrounding July and August, but the prolonged drought of the last four or five years has had everyone on the edge of their seats, watching and waiting and hoping that this summer would be different.  In some ways it’s been very good.  Early moisture and much cooler temperatures have made a huge difference.  But as most summers go here, we hit the wall with a continued drought.

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Black Swallowtail Butterfly Larva

Have you seen these caterpillars in your garden?

Black Swallowtail Butterfly LarvaThese are pretty Black Swallowtail butterfly larva  that recently hatched on my dill and fennel, which are both primary food plants for this species. Without these specific plants, the caterpillars will die and no butterflies will be produced.

black swallowtail butterflyTo preserve a colony of black swallowtails in your yard, consider planting a patch of dill or fennel away from the main garden as food for these flying flowers. That way, you can relocate destructive caterpillars found on garden crops to those in the butterfly plot.  If you like butterflies, you might also like to read my article Flying Flowers: The Beauty of Butterflies.

Enjoy!  ShowMeOz.Wordpress.com

The Wonderful World of Mints Part III: The Medicinal Uses of Mint

Mortar and Pestel with Herbs © 2013 Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

In Part II of The Wonderful World of Mints: Growing & Using Mint in the Kitchen, we covered the various species and cultivars of the Mentha genera and how to grow, harvest and use them in the kitchen.  We also learned how to prevent losing the distinctive flavors of specialty mints over time by separating those that have the ability to cross pollinate.  Of course, most gardeners already know and love flavored mints for use in food and to create soothing and flavorful teas, but they aren’t just fantastically edible.  Indeed, most Mint Family members are highly prized for their nutritive and medicinal qualities, which makes them much more than just an ingredient in tea or toothpaste.

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The Wonderful World of Mints – Part I – Identifying Mints in the Garden

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Of all the plants in the garden, mints are probably the most numerous and sometimes the most notorious.  That’s why most people immediately envision sprightly spearmint, tangy peppermint, or one of the many flavorful cultivars or subspecies of the Mentha genera when mint is discussed.  But Mentha mints only make up a tiny fraction of plants that belong to the Mint Family (Lamiaceae), which contains over 200 genera and more than 7,000 species!  In fact, it might be surprising to learn just how many Mint Family plants reside in our gardens. Continue reading

Saving Seed Begins in Spring!

Cherokee Pony Peas Image copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

If you are one of the millions of gardeners who want to try their hand at saving their own garden seeds this year, spring is the perfect time to begin.  And the best way to have a successful seed harvest is by selecting the right plants, spacing them properly and maintaining control of the pollination process.  For the beginning seed saver this is sometimes a bit confusing, which is why I’ve put together a tidy list of the easiest seeds to save and exactly how to save them in your garden starting right now!

GMO’s: A Modern Disaster

Image Via: http://www.prwatch.org/news/2012/10/11813/california-gmo-labeling-supporters-confront-41-million-opposition-and-13-point-poBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

There’s a lot of talk these days about being prepared for all kinds of natural and man-made disasters.  It is not uncommon to find classes, lectures, videos and books that teach eager “preppers” how to be wholly self-sufficient should our modern-day systems fail.  After all, life without electricity and modern modes of transportation would change everything about the way we live.  But whether or not you believe that some type of large-scale disaster will occur sometime in the future, there is a man-made disaster of epic proportions occurring right now.

Avoid GMO’s – Save Your Own Seed

By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

George Washington once said, “Bad seed is a robbery of the worst kind: for your pocket-book not only suffers by it, but your preparations are lost and a season passes away unimproved.”   Of course, he was speaking of buying seed from someone who didn’t know how to save and store it properly and hence, an entire season of growing had been wasted waiting for a good crop that never came.   Back then (and for thousands of years before the founding of our country) anyone who farmed or grew their own food understood a thing or two about what good seed was.  Continue reading

A Gardener’s Dream

Our new garden. © 2012 Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Almost a year ago now, my husband and I settled down into our latest ‘new place’. We’ve lived quite the nomadic lifestyle over the last 20 years, moving to another house, state, or even country every few years.  In every case where it was physically possible, the first thing we did after unpacking our bags was to dig a garden.  We have hand dug and landscaped more acres of land than my back will allow me to remember, but each and every one of those gardens were lovingly created, tended and enjoyed by us for as long as we had to enjoy them.  And while it was always difficult to say goodbye, we never regretted a single one of them.

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Gardening With Wildlife: Beefing Up Your Habitat

By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

(Excerpted in part from A Journey of Seasons: A Year in the Ozarks High Country)

One of the coolest things about being a country gardener is that I am constantly surrounded by wild things.  These creatures are part and parcel of a healthy ecosystem and one of the rarest and most precious gifts that one can have.  However, it goes without saying that on occasion we are forced to butt heads with the very wildlife that we cherish.  Whether it’s the birds eating the blueberries, squirrels in the peach tree or a rabbit in the cabbage patch, we sometimes have to go to war to protect our share of the harvest.  And after years of living and gardening in the backwoods I have learned that all creatures are compelled to survive, and that the best deterrent for pesky garden critters is to create a place for them to do just that.

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Notes from Turtle Ridge: May 2012

Red Mulberry - Copyright 2012 Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson

The hands of time seem to spin faster during spring than during any other time of year.  This May has been disconcertingly warm, which  brought about the early bloom and fruiting of many trees and plants, including this Red Mulberry tree (Morus rubra), which normally ripens its fruit in mid-summer.   Every other day, Dean hiked up the hill, bucket in hand,  to pick the Continue reading

Start Your Own Sweet Slips

Sweet PotatoesBy Jill Henderson –  Show Me Oz
. . . .
Last week we learned quite a bit about the history and uses of the deliciously edible and  nutritiously dense sweet potato.  With a surge in popularity among homesteaders and gourmet chefs alike, this homely root with the pumpkin-colored flesh is being grown in home gardens in quantities not seen for decades.   And it’s no wonder; for sweet potatoes cover a lot of ground.  They’re easy to grow, relatively care-free and beautiful to look at.  The roots pack a nutritional punch, taste great, are low in fat, and will fill you up every time.  Sweet potatoes are a dream to cook with partly because of their uncanny ability to be prepared in so many ways.  They can be baked, boiled, steamed, mashed or fried and added to a myriad of dishes with flavors ranging from sweet to savory.  No matter how you prepare this wonderful root, it always tastes good.  In this week’s article I’ll cover everything you need to know so you can grow your own sweet potatoes from start to finish! Continue reading

Rooting for Sweet Potatoes

Sweet PotatoesJill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Sweet potatoes are an ancient food crop; a staple that has sustained and nourished mankind for thousands of years.   Highly nutritious, sweet potatoes are the seventh most important food crop in the world.  Throughout the ages these sweet, orange, red and sometimes golden roots were valued so highly by early man, that they were often used as a form currency and as a token of friendship between cultures.  Today, this weirdly-shaped “potato” is making a comeback with home gardeners – and for good reason.  Continue reading

Share the Seed: How a Seed Swap Works

Ozark Pot Luck and Seed SwapBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Swapping seeds is both fun and addictive. I remember the first time I began swapping seeds with other seed-junkies in 1999, using a then obscure method of communication known as the internet.  Back then, most of the people I knew did not have or even know what email was.  Finding a group of people who loved to trade and talk seed was like finding a long-lost friend.  I was instantly hooked, both with seed swapping and the internet!

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Essential Herbs: Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm_cropBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz  –

Lemon balm is one of my favorite herbs for many reasons.  To start, it is by far one of the easiest herbs to grow and it’s beautiful to look at, as well.  I particularly like the way lemon balm attracts beneficial insects and butterflies  to my garden.  Occasionally, even the hummingbirds find it intriguing.  I am also partial to lemon balm tea, especially on a cold winter night.  It’s deep earthy lemony flavor brings back a touch of summer sunshine and its soothing and calming properties make it a valuable medicinal herb.

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Gorgeous Green Tomatoes

GreenTomatoes smBy Jill Henderson

Fall is in full swing and November is just around the bend.  Time to say goodbye to the fresh bounty of the summer garden and tuck everything in for the winter to come.   After the particularly tough growing season we just had, you won’t want to waste a single edible thing from the garden – and that includes green tomatoes!  With a little creativity, those crispy green orbs can be turned into an amazing array of sumptuous edibles.

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Moving Herbs Indoors

gardenspadesmby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Now that summer has come to an end and the cool sunny days of fall are upon us, it is time to think about preparing the garden for a long winter’s nap.   It is the perfect time to divide and transplant perennial herbs.  But while your at it, why not bring some of that summer sunshine indoors for the winter?  Many herbs growing outdoors can be brought indoors for the winter, providing much needed freshness to both the windowsill and the cooking pot.

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Seed Saving Time: Tomatoes

Ripe tomato

Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

If you’re like most people in the Midwest, your garden got a slow start this year. With the colder than usual temperatures and excessive moisture this spring, many gardeners were late in getting their seeds in the ground. If you were among those who didn’t give up entirely this year, you’re probably just getting around to processing the bounty of your labor. And while you’ve probably got a ton of things to do, don’t forget to save some seed.

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Harvesting Culinary Herbs

2007-9--11_thumb2

by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Harvesting quality herbs is not rocket science, but there are a few simple things you can do to ensure that the herbs that will season your food and go into your herbal remedies will be the best they can possibly be.

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Propagating Herbs: Layering & Stem Cuttings

Part 2 of 2 – By Jill Henderson

In the first  part of this two-part series we covered propagating herbs through the process of division.  In this article, we’ll finish the art of propagation through layering and stem cuttings – all fast and easy ways of increasing your perennial herbs and flowers.

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Culinary Herb Garden: The Ultimate Getaway

Herb Garden (4)By Jill Henderson

Your life is completely packed with crazy schedules and pressing deadlines and that cell phone you got to help you keep up with it all is driving you crazy. Some days you just want to shut it all off and hide from everyone. You need a serious time-out but just can’t seem to find enough time or the right place to take it.

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Garden Time: Starting Seeds Indoors (Part Two)

2008-2-29 - Seed sowing (3) cropped_thumb[8]By Jill Henderson

In Part One, we discussed the nature of seeds and the merits of starting seeds in quality seed starting trays and soil, and the best way to plant seeds and thin newly emerged seedlings.  In this installment we’ll cover the four most important elements of producing healthy seedlings: light, warmth, moisture and nutrition. I’ll also discuss the benefits of repotting seedlings and how to harden off young plants to prepare them for life in the garden. Continue reading

Garden Time: Starting Seeds Indoors (Part One)

2008-2-29 - Seed sowing (3) croppedBy Jill Henderson

It’s the deepest, coldest part of winter and by now you’ve probably spent weeks pouring over stacks of seed catalogs and thumbing through that old box of seeds that you saved from last year’s garden, all the while taking notes and imagining the luscious herbs and veggies that will grace your garden rows this summer. And now that you’ve made the perfect selections, it’s time to turn your attention to starting some of those wonderful seeds indoors! Continue reading