MAKE: Nature's Late Bloomers
Nature is full of late bloomers: flowers that bloom in the late summer & autumn, plants that bloom only once after decades of living and humans who find their creative path and purpose later rather than earlier in their lives. This interview/photo essay offers a glimpse into two examples.
TREK: Why I Obsess About the Names of Plants & Animals (Guest Post)
This op-ed essay was first published in one of my favorite news magazines, High Country News. It resonated with me personally but its message is an important one: we care about the things we know and we name the things we know.
MAKE: Thirst Quenching Drinking Vinegar - Cherry Balsamic Shrub
It's cherry season - what a great excuse to avoid housework and garden chores. If you are looking for a new kind of summer drink, then shrubs are it. Learn about shrubs and try the Cherry Balsamic Shrub from one of my favorite books, Wild Drinks and Cocktails by Emily Han.
GROW: Wolf Flower Disguised as Lady Lupine
Probably the most colorful genera of the pea family in the Pacific Northwest, lupines serve multiple ecological functions: they offer protein-rich food for a variety of animals and as a legume, lupines are nitrogen fixers, improving the health of the soil. Called Wolf Flower for several confusing and differing reasons, the lupine is a lovely plant that blooms in the spring and summer.
COOK: Chive Talkin' - Chive Butter & Chive Blossom Vinegar
Chives offer the subtle flavor of onion or garlic to simple dishes like scrambled eggs and salads. But let's be honest - what would a baked potato be without chives on top? You'll find two recipes in this post: chive butter chips and chive blossom vinegar. Enjoy
TREK: Madagascar - An Island of Farmers & Tropical Herbs
A guest post from my friend, Emily Peterson, who had the opportunity to travel to Madagascar to learn and work with the farmers who grow vanilla, cacao, vetiver and ylang ylang. Most of the world's farmers live in poverty and are at the bottom of the agricultural ladder, facing many challenges to create a sustainable and profitable living. Emily's wonderful post offers a glimpse into the farmers' lives, their communities and their crops.
GROW: 3 Ways to Support Pollinators
A wonderful post from a guest contributor: One of the many hats that Dan Richardson wears is VP of Suksdorfia Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society. I serve as the newsletter editor for our local chapter and Dan recently submitted this lovely article for a recent edition. I was thrilled when he agreed to let me post it here. Lots of good information including 3 simple steps for gardeners and homeowners to do. He also included a list of resources. Enjoy!
COOK: Recipe for the Perfect Hummus
Hummus is not only yummy but nutritionally loaded with protein, Vitamins B6 & C, folate and potassium. Homemade hummus is easy and inexpensive but often is grainy. I reveal the secret to making a silky, smooth hummus. And in my search for perfection, I discovered a few fascinating facts about chickpeas.
HEAL: Alchemy of Herbs - Book Review & Recipe for the Best Damn Carrot Cake
This is the best introductory book on herbal medicine that I have read in my three decades of study. Easy to read, based on the latest research, incredible photography and most importantly, It offers delicious ways to incorporate healing herbs into your daily life. Check out my review and a recipe for Spiced Carrot Cake.
GROW: Saying Goodbye to Friends, Leaving Gardens Behind
This is a guest post from my friend and fellow gardener and herbalist, Victoria Polmatier. She eloquently expresses the emotions we go through when we say goodbye to friends. For gardeners and herbalists, our family of friends includes the plants we lovingly tend to in our gardens. In this heartfelt essay, Victoria describes perfectly the soulful workings of a gardener.