Grow a Healing Garden with Medicinal Plants

Plants for Your Medicinal Garden |

I’m a lazy gardener. This means I plant crops that can thrive with very little attention, which is why our veggie garden typically consists of tomatoes, peas, beans, basil and lettuce. When I discovered herbs a few years ago, I was particularly fond of their perennial properties—plant once and they come back year after year. A lazy gardener’s dream! I love that herbs have multiple uses; not only do they add flavor to meals, many offer medicinal properties. Sage, for example, works in stews and also provides relief for sore throats or laryngitis when used in a tea. Since moving beyond food gardening to other plants, I try to choose those with multiple uses. Yarrow in the front yard gives us fern-like leaves and pretty pink blooms. It also stops my daughter’s nosebleeds. Lemon balm on our patio naturally deters mosquitoes, yet can also add flavor to drinks and salads. As … Continue reading

5 Simple Ways to be a Greener Parent

Tips for Being a Greener Parent |

At Eco-Mothering, “guilt-free” means accepting your imperfection while still making conscious choices every day. So, how do you get started on the guilt-free road to a greener family? Perhaps with one of these green parenting basics. Spend Family Time Outdoors Being in nature is an ideal way to instill appreciation for our planet. Regular family hikes, outdoor games, biking, swimming, winter activities, time to just sit and observe wildlife… all these things make nature lovers of children. And that sets the foundation of kids beginning to care for their environment. In addition, being outside recharges us, soothes us and offers all sorts of health benefits, both physical and mental. Seems like a win-win for people and the planet, doesn’t it? To learn more about kids and the outdoors, check out this interesting article on “nature deficit disorder” by author Richard Louv. Breastfeed, If You Can I chose to breastfeed because I … Continue reading

Uses and Benefits of Yarrow

Uses for Yarrow |

We added a few new plants to our Zen garden this year; one of them my daughter picked out was the yarrow plant or Achillea millefolium. She liked its feathery green leaves, and it has since grown rather quickly (probably because yarrow is often found growing wild in North America) and bloomed pretty pink-orange flowers that she can see from her bedroom window. It wasn’t until I looked the plant up online that I discovered what a highly beneficial plant Sofie chose. Staunching Wounds Sometimes known as “nosebleed,” the yarrow plant has a long history in wound treatment. Sources vary on whether the Greeks, the Romans or the Neanderthals used it first; however, yarrow was often employed by soldiers in battle to staunch bleeding. I was intrigued by this. A few weeks ago, when I cut myself with a paring knife (a small cut), it stopped bleeding almost instantly once … Continue reading

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners

Garden Tomatoes |

Even though we’ve had various forms of vegetable gardens in our yard for four years, I consider myself a novice gardener. Which means I still turn to others to answer my questions on issues such as “how can I keep annoying bugs from eating my basil” or “which veggies can I plant that will come back every year?” With this post, I’ve tried to put it all in one place for you from what to plant, where to plant and how to keep everything growing. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a very good place to start. Getting Started 10 Reasons to Start a Garden from Oh Lardy! Five Questions to Ask Before Starting your First Garden from Live Renewed Five Tips for the Gardening Newbie from Simply Healthy Home Basics of Starting an Urban Garden from Delicious Obsessions Deciding What to Plant from Montana Homesteader … Continue reading

Tips and Ideas for Gardening with Kids

Gardening with Kids | Eco-Mothering

Gardens of every kind are a delight to behold. As a sustainable source of healthy food and outdoor exercise, gardening is an ideal activity. But how do you get your children involved and make it fun for them? For inspiration, check out the posts below. Planting and Activities Gardening with Toddlers from Montana Homesteader  Egg Carton Gardening with Toddlers from Healthy Roots Happy Soul 4 Simple Tips for Teaching Children to Garden from Eco-Mothering 10 Unique Gardening Activities for Kids from Code Name: Mama 5 Growing-Themed Activities for Children from Diary of a First Child Make Stickers from Flowers from Real Food RN Creating a Children’s Garden from Five Little Homesteaders Kids Craft Window Garden from We Know Stuff How to Plant a “Miss Rumphius” Garden from Red and Honey Critters and Fairies Adventures with Earthworms from Mama Rosemary How to Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden with Kids from Natural Living Mamma Creating … Continue reading

Top 5 Unique Containers to Recycle into Seed Starting Pots

This time of year many of you are planning gardens, starting seeds indoors or making lists of what to buy in a few months.One thing you don’t need to buy is seed starting containers when there are a myriad of household items that can be repurposed as such. Save money and the earth by using any of these five unique options to start your garden growing. Loofah Sponges from Thyme Square Garden This is the coolest thing. Ever. Grow your own Loofah (I didn’t even know it grew as a backyard plant!) and then use the harvest to pot next year’s plants? Wow. Roasted Chicken Containers from Inside Urban Green My family is a sucker for pre-roasted chickens as a quick dinner. Now I have a great re-use option for the container.  (This idea also works great with Applebees To-Go containers.) Egg Shells and Carton from Free People Blog Such … Continue reading

Gardening With Flowers You Can Eat!

Edible Flowers |

This is a guest post by Linda Bailey. When it comes to gardening, you may think you have to sacrifice beauty for utility. After all, most edible produce does not make your garden burst with color. However there are some edible plants that do have great flowers. Here are five examples. Rose We are all familiar with roses, but did you know they are related to apples, cherries, peaches and plums? Rose petals are actually edible, and they lend a delicate fragrance and flavor to salads and other dishes. They can also be made into rose water or jelly. Rose hips are full of Vitamin C and make a tasty tea or jelly. Note: Never eat roses from a florist as they have been showered with pesticides. Redbud Tree This small tree or shrub is part of many landscaping projects for good reason. The redbud’s bright pink flowers bloom directly on … Continue reading