Tag Archives: how to

Take Back Your Health – Detoxing from Glyphosate

herbicide-587589_640Jill HendersonShow Me Oz

With a score of recent legal victories against the makers of Round Up (glyphosate) herbicide for its role in causing cancer, there can be no more doubt about what activists and independent researchers have been saying for the last two decades: glyphosate is deadly!  Not only is it the most-widely used herbicide in the world but one that is pervasive in our food, water, and air. Over 98% of people tested in the US had significant levels of glyphosate in their blood and urine – including pregnant women and their unborn babies. Despite both Monsanto and Bayer’s claims, glyphosate does not break down readily or quickly in the environment leaving untold millions exposed to this cancer causing herbicide. Today, we’re going to talk about how you can start to detox your environment and your body from this cancer-causing herbicide. Continue reading

Gifts That Grow: Making Plantable Botanical Paper Part Four

JImage By Phase.change - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63914438 Photo of "red pigmented flax fiber on a paper mould..."ill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

If you have been following this four-part series, you’ve already got a good idea of the types of materials that you want to use to make your own plantable botanical paper. If you missed any of those posts just zip on over to Gifts That Grow: Making Plantable Botanical Paper Part One and work your way back here. For those who have been following along, get your supplies together and get ready to make paper! Continue reading

Gifts That Grow: Making Plantable Botanical Paper Part Three

flower-picture-143498_640Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

In the first two parts of this four-part series on making your own plantable botanical paper, I covered making and using molds or deckles as well as discussed in-length the various kinds of paper that can be used to make your paper with. This week, I’ll show you the different ways to bring your beautiful hand-crafted paper to life using textural elements, botanicals, and yes, seeds! Continue reading

Gifts That Grow: Making Plantable Botanical Paper Part Two

recycling-2755131_1280Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

In part one of this four-part series on making your own unique plantable botanical paper, I covered the various tools you will need to start your project and how to find, repurpose or make your own paper molds and deckles. This week I talk in detail about the materials you will need to start crafting your botanical paper including the various types of waste paper that can be recycled and how to add texture and color to your homemade work of art.

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Gifts That Grow: Making Plantable Botanical Paper Part One

Paper_making_Burma_5Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

Making paper is one of the easiest and most rewarding forms of arts and crafts – and a great way to pass the long winter days indoors.  Not only can you use recycled materials found around the house to make beautiful paper of all kinds, but when it is done you will have a piece of art that is unparalleled in its unique beauty and functionality. And by simply adding a few special flower or herb seeds to your lovely hand-crafted paper, it will become a plantable gift that keeps on giving! Continue reading

Fantastic Fennel Part Two

Fennel SeedJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

Fennel is a wonderful and gentle medicinal, an extraordinarily versatile vegetable and spice and a tall graceful herb that should be planted and used much more often than it is.  Last week, I covered the various types of fennel available to the home gardener and a couple of handy tips for growing this finicky herb. This week’s post is all about how to use fennel as a culinary herb in the kitchen and and and as an effective herbal remedy for every member of your family! Continue reading

Fantastic Fennel Part One

fennel in flowerJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

Among the many wonderful herbs available to the gardener, no honest-to-goodness herb garden is truly complete without at least one tall, stately fennel plant.  I say that because fennel is not only edible, medicinal and downright gorgeous, but it also attracts hordes of beneficial insects and butterflies to the garden, too. What more could any gardener, cook or herbalist ask for? Continue reading

Protect Yourself from Electromagnetic Radiation

Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared with you just some of the damaging effects that disharmonic sounds and electromagnetic frequencies can have on the human body including sleep disturbances, anger, depression, ringing in the ears, headaches, memory loss, reduced fertility, and many others.  Today, I’d like to share a few tips on how you can start taking control of the EMF’s in your environment to protect your family from destructive levels of electromagnetic radiation (EMFs) starting right now! If you want to check out the damning report by the Navy Medical Research Institute, entitled, “Reported Biological Phenomena (Effects) and Some Clinical Manifestations Attributed to Microwave and Radio-Frequency Radiation”, then read on!
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Natural Beekeeping with Dr. Leo Sharashkin

Leo Sharashkin with honey comb.Jill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz
Acres USA May 2017 issue

If you have ever dreamed of keeping bees but found the process complicated, expensive, or the potential for losing your investment to disease and pests all too real, then you have never met Dr. Leo Sharashkin, a prominent wild bee enthusiast, educator, and apiarist who practices an ancient method of catching and keeping wild bees in specially-designed horizontal hives. If you have had the good fortune to meet Dr. Leo or to hear him speak to a room full of enthusiastic beekeepers or the crowd that inevitably gathers around his Horizontal Hive booth at grower’s conferences across the country, you already know that his encyclopedic knowledge of bees is boundless and the methods he uses to keep them, truly inspiring. Whether you are a budding beekeeper or an experience apiarist, you can keep happy and productive bees with less work and money than you ever imagined possible and do it in a sustainable, eco-friendly way.  Read more…safe PDF opens automatically

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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Stair Building 101–Flanking Stones

Stair building 101 Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

When you live on the side of a hill like I do, everything is either up or down.  There’s almost no flat, straight way to get anywhere.  When we first moved here, the entire site was denuded of nearly all low-growing vegetation and the earth was eroding and sliding down the hill with each rain.  As we developed the gardens around the house, it became obvious that we were going to need some stairs to make getting up and down a little less treacherous.  Six years later, we have four nifty sets of stairs entering and leaving our garden space.  If you have ever wanted to try your hand at building stairs but were worried about the outcome, I’m here to tell you it’s lots of hard work, but also much easier than you might think.

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How to Clean and Crack Black Walnuts

Black walnuts on the tree. Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz ~

The Ozarks are blessed with an abundance of wild food, including the oh-so-delectable black walnut.  Each fall, the huge green fruits come crashing down into parks, yards, and a multitude of public spaces, making them easy game for any wild or urban forager.  Indeed, why pay $5 for a 4 ounce bag of nutmeats when you’ve got black walnut trees around?  That’s just nuts!  The problem most people face isn’t acquiring enough nuts to make it worth their while, it’s the cleaning, cracking and picking that really gets them.  So, if you’ve never done it before because you’ve heard how hard they are to deal with, I hope this post will make the cleaning, cracking and picking of black walnuts just a little bit easier.

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Seed Saving Time: Watermelon

Saving watermelon seeds. Image copyright Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpress.comJill HendersonShow Me Oz
Whether you like it seeded, juiced, sliced, cubed, or just straight off the rind, there’s almost nothing better on a hot summer day than a big ‘ol chunk of juicy-crisp, sweet-ripe, just-from-the-garden watermelon. M-mmm.  Of course, if you grew that melon in your own garden, the level of satisfaction rises even higher.  But if you really want to reach gardening nirvana, try harvesting a watermelon that you not only grew, but grew from seed you saved yourself.  And the best part? Saving your own watermelon seed is soooo dang easy!

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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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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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Seed Saving Time: Flowers and Pollination

2014 7-1 Straight Eight Cucumbers (2)Show Me Oz – No matter where you live in the country, you are either itching to get your hands in the dirt or are already in the garden digging, planting and dreaming! If you want to save seed this year, you have come to the right place! Because today we are talking about flowers and how they achieve pollination – and what those two things have to do with saving pure quality seed. Understanding these things not only helps you reap a larger harvest of fruits and vegetables to eat, but also ensures that the seeds you harvest from those fruits will come true in next year’s garden. So, let’s get right to it!

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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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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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Seed Saving Time: Harvesting Dry Seeds

Freshly harvested lettuce seed ready to be cleaned.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

For gardeners, the most rewarding part of the season is when the harvest begins and all those luscious fruits and veggies really start to add up.  For seed savers, that joy is doubled when, in a few short weeks after the fresh harvest begins, the handful of fruits or plants that are purposely left on the vine to mature begin to set seed.  After a long season of planning, cultivating, monitoring and harvesting the bounty of the garden, the reward is more than bountiful!

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Don’t Let Your Garlic Die! Make the Most of Your Winter Stash

Don't let your stored garlic go to waste!by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Every summer, Dean and I spend a measurable amount of time harvesting, cleaning, curing, and braiding the organic garlic we produce in our garden.  We use garlic in almost every dish we prepare at home and often utilize its amazing curative powers, as well.  I like garlic braids because they are beautiful to look at and compact enough to hang in the kitchen pantry without cluttering things up.  But no matter how and in what conditions you store your garlic, there comes a time when the living bulbs begin to sprout and slowly rot. But you can salvage the wonderful flavor and medicinal properties of garlic before it’s too late…

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Garden Time: Starting Seeds Indoors (Part Two)

Are you starting seeds indoors? Enjoy Part Two of this in-depth two part series on how to start quality vegetable plants at home from our trusty archives!  Don’t forget to follow the blog for free via email, Facebook, Twitter or Word Press using the multiple options on the sidebar!

Garden Time: Starting Seeds Indoors (Part One)

An oldie, but a goodie from the Show Me Oz archives…

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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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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Washing Herbs: The Good, the Bad and the Messy

Thai Basil sm_thumb[6]by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Now that the weather has finally warmed to normal summer temperatures many of the late-flowering herbs in the garden have exploded into a tangle of arching stems and resinous leaves ready to be harvested for drying and storage.  But before I begin cutting, I want to make sure that they are relatively free of dirt and debris.  But should herbs harvested for drying be washed at all, and if so, how and when does one go about washing them?

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

Free Seed Saving Class

Seed Saving Class Ava LibraryJill Henderson – Show Me Oz –

Have you always wanted to learn how to save your own garden seed?  Then check out my fun, no-nonsense how-to at the Douglas County Library, Ava, MO, on July 17th and start saving your own garden seeds!  The class is free and open to the public!  See you there!

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

ACRES USA: Seed Saving Begins in Spring

Seed Saving Begins in Spring - Jill Henderson - Acres USA May 2014Seed Saving Begins in Spring – Jill Henderson – Acres USA May 2014

Check out this PDF of my latest article for ACRES USA magazine;  The Voice of Eco-Agriculture.  This is a great read for anyone who wants to grow crops or raise livestock in a natural and sustainable way!

 

 

Seed Saving Time: Spinach

Garden spinach (Spinacia oleracea). Image via Wikimedia Commons.By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Spinach is one of the very earliest crops planted and harvested from the garden in spring.  As a member of the Amaranth family (formerly classified as the Chenopodia family), spinach is naturally packed with fiber, protein, and high levels of essential vitamins and minerals.  If you’ve never grown your own spinach or had freshly prepared spinach, you are in for a real treat!  And if you already love spinach and grow it in your garden every year, then why not try saving your own seed?  You’ll not only be rewarded with oodles of eating pleasure, but you’ll save a ton of money, too!

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Wild Food: Bearded Tooth Mushrooms

Bearded Tooth mushroom Jill Henderson showmeoz.wordpressBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

It’s been a busy year here on Turtle Ridge.  And just when we thought all our sowing and harvesting were done, fall arrived with its bounty of wild food just begging to be gathered.  So like all creatures preparing for the Great Sleep, Dean and I have been busy squirreling away delicious and nutritious fruits, nuts, and mushrooms for our winter cache. Continue reading

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

Stalking the Wild Mushroom

2012 10-23 Ringed Honeys (4)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

It’s been a long summer here on Turtle Ridge, but we are more than thankful for the bounty of the garden and of the wild plants and trees in our forest and meadows.  And with the recent rain and cool fall temperatures signaling the arrival of fall, wild foragers like myself can’t wait to hit the woods in search of delectable wild fungi.  After posting a few pictures of my own ‘ground scores’  last year, many readers wanted to know more about how to identify and use the fabulous fungi in the Ozarks.  This is for all you budding mycologists out there!

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Seeds & Spice: The Abundance of Herbs

Corriander Cilantro By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

If you grow  herbs in your garden for seasoning food, then you already know how easy and rewarding they can be.  After all, herbs season and preserve food and can be used for medicinal purposes, as well.  But did you know that many common herbs also produce spice in the form of fruits or seeds?  These seeds are not only flavorful and medicinal, but they can also be used to  start more herbs in the spring, as well.

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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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Weeds That Heal: Chickweed

Chickweed FlowersBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

There was a time, not so long ago, when almost every woman in charge of a household sought out the wild plants that we generally refer to as weeds.  Rich in vitamins and minerals , many of these plants were welcomed to the table as nutritive spring potherbs.   Others would be gathered and made into healing teas, tonics, infusions, poultices and salves that could be used treat many types of injuries or illnesses.  One of the earliest and most versatile weeds that homesteaders and healers gathered in early spring was the lowly and much maligned chickweed.

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Sweet Nesting Solution for Flycatchers

Eastern PhoebeBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz  –

Excerpted in part from my book,
A Journey of Seasons

Along with the more obvious firsts of the year, I am always glad to welcome the return of our nesting pair of Eastern Phoebes (Sayornis phoebe), also known as common flycatchers.  These little brownish grey birds are easy to overlook until they begin building their mud and grass nests on porch lights, windowsills and other protrusions beneath the eaves of houses, garages, barns and other structures.  I’ve always loved having phoebe’s around to eat bugs and cheer me up, but cleaning the mess they create while building their nests can sometimes be a drag.  If you’ve had the same experience, I’ve got a sweet solution to keeping both you and your flycatchers happy.

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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!

Here Come the Bluebirds!

A male Eastern bluebird.. Image by Ken Thomas (KenThomas.us (personal website of photographer)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons;By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

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

With all the cold weather we’ve had of late, it might seem a bit early to be talking about getting ready for bluebirds, but in our neck of the woods, many have already begun their search for spring nesting sites.   In the winter, bluebirds flock together in large groups of mixed adults and fledglings from last year’s broods.  But just about the beginning of March, the large groups begin to break up into smaller family groups and pairs.  So, if you would like to invite a nesting pair of bluebirds to your yard, late February and early March are the best time to put out the welcome mat.

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Sustainable Solutions: Timberland or Healthy Forest?

Winter ForestBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Throughout the history of mankind, humans have used and manipulated the natural landscape for their own ends.  Here in the Ozarks, we are blessed with an abundance of forests that, at times seem to grow like weeds.  Because of that ill-perceived notion, good quality Ozark woodlands are becoming thinner, rarer, and spaced further and further apart.  Fortunately, many landowners are learning how to properly manage their woodlands for timber, recreation and wildlife.  Continue reading

Winter Blahs? Let’s Feed the Birds!

Male Red-breasted Nuthatch By Daniel Novak

Feeding and watching birds in the summer, spring and fall can be an enjoyable family pursuit and winter should be no different. While many of the birds we often see at other times of year travel to warmer climates for the winter a few hardy souls remain. Inasmuch as feeding can attract a plethora of birds for our viewing enjoyment it can actually be integral in seeing our feathered friends through a tough time of year when other food sources may be scarce or absent. Here are a few basic winter bird feeding tips that will keep birds happy and coming back day after day.

Garden Time: Multiply Your Herbs & Flowers

The Herb Garden copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Now that summer is almost over, it’s time to start thinking about repotting, transplanting and dividing perennial flowers and herbs.  So often, we wait until spring to move or propagate new plants.  But by taking care of those chores now, you not only sidestep more work during the busy spring season, but you also give your new plants a big head start on next year’s growth.

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A Successful Community Seed Swap

2012 3-1 Seed Swap - Let the Swapping Begin (2)smallOn March 1st, the community of West Plains, Missouri, held their first-ever community seed swap!  It was a fun and busy day with over 35 people in attendance.  Dubbed the Ozarks Pot Luck & Seed Swap, my dream was to bring together area gardeners to share their knowledge and experience with other gardeners and to promote the concept of saving one’s own seed.   I was understandably nervous in the hours leading up to the swap, but all that quickly flew out of the window when I walked into the facility to find a room full of friends who had arrived early and were already setting up the tables!  Continue reading

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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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