Resilient Gardens

...change creates unpredictable weather, and unpredictability is a terrible thing for a gardener. Ensuring success, I think, will have to do more and more with identifying and perhaps even breeding tough-ass, locally adapted plantsPlants that are known survivors can form the backbone of your garden. Each year you can try to plant tender favorites, exotics, delicate plants of all sorts, whatever you want–and if the roll of the weather...

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Deadly Nightshade vs. Black Nightshade

...at deal of superstition when it comes to toxicity. Remember that many Europeans considered tomatoes to be poisonous well into the 18th century. Even today tomato leaves, used by my Filipino neighbors as a seasoning, are still labeled by many as poisonous. An interesting article in the New York Times “Accused, Yes, but Probably Not a Killer” busts the tomato leaf toxicity myth. Atropa belladonna – don’t munch on this...

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Saturday Linkages: Beer Caps n’ Plants

Beer cap floor via Dude Craft. DIY Beer Cap Bathroom Floor http://www.dudecraft.com/2013/04/beer-cap-bathroom-floor.html … Lecture on stone-wall building, with miniature stone wall built: http://boingboing.net/2013/04/02/lecture-on-stone-wall-building.html … Plants! Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land http://j.mp/12r218m Transmitted light photos of houseplants: http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/2013/04/exceptionally-pretty-pictu...

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More On Preventing Plants From Falling Over

...ze. The randomly strung network of twine will support the fava as it grows. You can see from my own fava bed below that I could have benefited from this low tech solution: While I didn’t lose any fava in the storm, the plants are sprawling all over the adjacent, narrow path making it difficult to harvest. As Jeavons says, the expert is the person who has made the most mistakes!...

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Favorite Plants- New Zealand Spinach

...n California’s heat. New Zealand spinach can be grown in the summer when other greens may not grow so well. My front garden be is pretty much all New Zealand spinach now. The drip watering system broke and most of the plants withered and died or were mercilessly attacked by bugs. But this plant kept on going strong. I have been growing it for many years and find it a reliable plant. In The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping, Rosalind C...

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Saturday Linkages: Talking Plants, Microbes, Groundcovers, Shaving Rituals

Maybe Prince Charles was right after all: British scientists reveal plants really do talk http://bit.ly/Lr30hj Finally, A Map Of All The Microbes On Your Body http://n.pr/M2V5FQ   Groundcovers for gaps: http://ow.ly/1NEm0w Unique Shaving & Grooming Rituals from History and Around the World | The Art of Manliness http://artofmanliness.com/2012/06/07/shaving-rituals/ Handlebar Bicycle Hanger Suspends Your Ride from the Wall | Designs &...

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Natural Products Expo West: The Good and the Ugly

...8220;natural” (whatever that means) food industry suffers from the same problems that plague our food system as a whole. Most of the products at the expo are highly processed and high in sugar. Just because something is labeled “gluten free” or “GMO free” does not make it healthy. Getting beyond the nutrition issues most of these “natural” processed foods also taste, frankly, terrible. Out of the hundreds...

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Harvesting and Drying Calendula

...rd are older than that. I think some herbs keep their properties longer than others, but in general you should try to use them in a year or so. Like spices, the are best fresh, but usable, if not as potent, as they age.  Label and date all your herbs. Even if you think you’ll never forget, somehow or another you will, and at some future find yourself standing at your cupboard, holding a jar full of strange plant matter and saying to yo...

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Tree Tobacco as a Stinging Nettle Cure

...your pocket. The classic herbal antidote to nettle stings is Jewelweed, but I don’t believe it grows in the southwest–at least I’ve never seen it. Tree tobacco is a good substitute for folks in our region Native Americans smoked Nicotiana glauca and used it as a topical medicine. It is poisonous if taken internally. A late note from Kelly, who is out of town and so didn’t get to consult on this post before it went up: ...

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A Primitive Bow Workshop

...to make one that will work repeatedly without breaking. A bow is actually a very complicated tool, something that should inspire respect for our distant ancestors. Paul Campbell author of an excellent book Survival Skills of Native California was along to co-teach the class and help us all shape our bows. The first step was to find some suitable wood. We used willow, a wood used by Native Americans in our region. It’s plentiful and makes...

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