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

Creating a Safe and Eco-Friendly Backyard for Your Children

Creating Eco and Child-Friendly Outdoor Spaces |

This is a guest post by Patricia Dimick Children have an innate desire to be outside to burn off extra energy and experience nature. Yet it can be difficult to send children outside if there is not a safe place for them to play. With these helpful hints, some planning and thrifty purchases, you can create your own safe and eco-friendly backyard using recycled and repurposed materials. Creating a Safe Space  When your tiny little bundles of joy get their feet under command, they are impossible to keep up with, and a fence may be necessary. Enclose the entire area with no more than five inches between slats. The open/close or locking mechanisms of the doors should be installed out of the reach of tiny “Houdini” hands. All parts of the fencing should be checked for holes or sharp areas. Look into sustainable fence options. You should get down to … Continue reading

Take the #GreenScream Challenge and Affect Climate Change

#GreenScream Challenge |

Remember last year’s ALS ice bucket challenge? That was wildly successful with donations topping $100 million in a single month. Now, in honor of Earth Month, the Environmental Media Association brings you the #GreenScream Challenge. This is totally fun because you get to sneak up on someone and scare them. And videotape it. And post it on Facebook or Instagram for the world to see. Ha. Even celebrities are doing it — watch Lance Bass #GreenScream Michael Turchin in this video. Why are we being challenged to scare someone? To spread the word on the scary impacts of climate change, which we’ve been seeing in the form of sea level rise, extreme heat, droughts, blizzards, storms and flooding. How does this help the earth? Everyone who takes the challenge needs to challenge three more people and plant an herb, flower or veggie within 24 hours. Carbon pollution is the main … 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

5 Tips for Creating an Eco-Friendly Garden

Eco-friendly Garden Tips |

This is a guest post by Rachel Jensen. We live in a time where being eco-friendly and reducing our footprint is of the utmost importance. Many people focus on green technologies in the home, which typically involves a variety of factors. In the garden, the main factor you need to consider is space. Here are five great and easy ideas for turning your yard into an eco-friendly garden. Create Your Own Compost Heap A compost heap is a great way to control the waste your household produces. To create a compost heap, simply choose an area of your yard in which to confine any food waste and other organic materials that decompose (dried leaves, yard clippings, etc.). Keep the pile moist by adding water every now and then, and make sure it is aerated by turning it over with a pitchfork. If you’re a keen gardener, a compost pile becomes … 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