Wine Cap Mushroom Cultivation: Wood Chips, Garden Beds, Recipes, and More

The Druid's Garden

How many times have you seen your neighbors getting tree work done or had tree work done yourself? The landscape company often comes with the big wood chipper and truck and then, after cutting up the wood, hauls that beautiful pile of chips off to some unknown location. Last year, our electric company came through and was doing tree work along our driveway and road to prune and cut trees too close to the power lines. We asked them to dump the wood chips on our property, and they were happy to do so. A lot of times, companies have to pay or go far out of their way to dump wood chips, and they see them as a “waste”; they will almost always dump them for free if you ask!  But a pile of wood chips are harldy a waste–they can offer you multiple yields over a period of…

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Edible Flower Biscuits

Wylde and Green

I always think there is something wonderfully decadent about eating flowers. They make any plate of food come to life with colour and a sense of the unexpected. I have wanted to make real flower biscuits for a while, but I had to wait until I had the right flowers. This weekend was perfect, we had a grey morning to fill and I had a small team of eager helpers. Firstly you need to pick the flowers. A simple list of edible flowers is below, pick the flowers when they are dry.

  • Borage (Starflower)
  • Broad Bean flowers – in season at the moment
  • Calendula
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Cornflower
  • Courgette Flower
  • Daisy
  • Elderflower
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lavender
  • Nasturtiums
  • Pansies and Violas
  • Pinks
  • Rose
  • Sage
  • Snapdragons
  • Wild Primrose

b6337084-24a2-4e48-92b1-b8d2f5d7edcaIngredients List;

  • For the biscuits —
    125g butter
    55g caster sugar
    180g plain flour
  • To decorate —
    icing Sugar
    egg white
    edible flowers
    caster sugar

Method:

  • Heat…

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Chunky Rose Petal Pesto: Summer Savour — Gather Victoria

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” Maud Hart Lovelace It’s been a whole year since I first started working on the “Gather Cookbook” for Gather Patrons. And since I’m going to be adding some new summer solstice recipes to the cookbook this…

via Chunky Rose Petal Pesto: Summer Savour — Gather Victoria

Tuscan Garden Kale Soup

Wylde and Green

I have a bumper crop of Kale at the moment, this recipe is perfect for cooking and storing the best of it, with soup being brilliant to freeze. It also has a lovely Mediterranean flavor so is a good soup for the summer months.

1 carrots chopped

  • 1 celery chopped
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • handful of kale – stalks removed
  • 1 diced onions
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 100g farfalle pasta
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 tin of canned cannellini beans
  • 1 tin of canned chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Cook the onion, celery and carrot for 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and the herbs, cook for one minute. Pour in the tomoatoes, veg stock, pasta and cennellini. Cook for 10 minutes with the lid partially on stirring occasionally.

Add the kale and cook for an…

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Drying Herbs for Infused Oils

Wylde and Green

I can sometimes find the world of growing and making your own natural products a little overwhelming and complex, so I really wanted to share what I believe is the very easiest and best way to start. And that is growing and drying some herbs, and then infusing them in oil. It is a simple, lovely process that will reward you with an oil that is easy to use, and full of  many beneficial properties.

Oils feed and nourish the skin, leaving it soft and smooth, and many of the components in essential oils extracted from the herb in the infusing process are small enough to travel through the skin and into the body. So, rather than using a bought body lotion in the mornings or after a bath and shower, it is a great alternative to use a home grown and infused herbal oil. It is an even better idea…

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Violets are Delicious

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Beth Schreibman-Gehring, Chairman of Education for The Western Reserve Herb Society unit of The Herb Society of America

violet bouquetOne of the loveliest flowers of spring is the Viola odorata or as it is commonly referred to, the “Sweet violet.” Violets have been used in herbal healing remedies for centuries, in fact St. Hildegard of Bingen, the famous 12th century German mystic and healer, was said to have made a healing salve of violet juice, olive oil, and goat tallow for its use as a possible anti-bacterial.

I use violets whenever I can for their healing virtues, and they are also an absolutely delicious ingredient in salads, drinks, and desserts. Back in the day, violet flowers, and leaves mixed into salads were one of my favorite spring remedies for pre-menstrual melancholy. When chopped liberally into extra virgin olive oil with some fresh comfrey leaves, they make a poultice that can…

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Growing Medicinal Herbs in Pots: 10 Healing Plants for Your Container Garden

By Juliet Blankespoor and Meghan Gemma
Photography by Juliet Blankespoor

You can grow a respectable herbal apothecary in pots. In fact, some of the most beneficial medicinal herbs will positively thrive in containers placed right on your porch or patio.

Many can even double as attractive houseplants, the likes of which may arouse the botanical curiosity of friends and neighbors.

These ten hand-picked herbs will round out any medicine chest and add beauty to your home. Adaptogens, first-aid herbs, digestives, and relaxing remedies are all represented.

We’ve included hearty medicinal tidbits for each plant, alongside the “green thumb” information you need to shower your medicinal herbs with proper TLC.

Need more guidance? For a fleshed-out primer on selecting containers and understanding the sensitivities unique to potted medicinals, visit our blog on Growing Medicinal Herbs in Containers.

Curious where to find herb starts and seedlings? Take a wink at our catalog of Herbal Seed Suppliers and Nurseries.

*Please note that this article’s discussion of medicinal uses is introductory in scope. We’ve provided safety guidelines for each plant, but we recommend that you research any new herb and consult your health care providers for possible drug/herb contraindications and precautions before ingesting.

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) receiving a harvesting "haircut"

1. Gotu kola (Centella asiatica, Apiaceae)

Parts Used:  Primarily leaves, may include small amounts of stem, flowers, and fruit

Medicinal Preparations: Tea, tincture, infused oil, nibble, infused ghee, milk decoction, powder, broth, poultice, compress, green smoothie, and fresh juice

Herbal Actions:

  • Vulnerary (wound healing)
  • Diuretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)
  • Nervine
  • Antibacterial
  • Alterative
  • Secondary adaptogen*

View remainder of article at: Growing Medicinal Herbs in Pots:
10 Healing Plants for Your Container Garden

Children’s Garden opens at Kew Gardens helping kids to learn about what plants need to grow

Life & Soul Magazine

A new Children’s Garden, which provides an interactive space for kids to learn about the elements and everything a plant needs to grow, is opening at Kew Gardens this weekend [Saturday 18 May].

The garden, set in a natural setting the size of 40 tennis courts wrapped around a 200-year-old oak in the centre, is a space for kids aged 2-12 to learn about the things that plants need to grow – essentially the elements: earth, air, sun and water.

In the Earth Garden children can weave through a living bamboo tunnel, explore a jungle of large leafed palms and slide down ‘worm-hole’ tubes. Through this experience, there’s opportunities to learn about earth science, from germination to plants with interesting roots.

Through a ring of sunflowers and pink candy floss grass, sits the Sun Garden with its windy and twisted paths. Cherry blossoms from a row of cherry trees and hoop frames…

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Let Us Stroll the Primrose Path of Dalliance

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Kathleen M Hale, Western Reserve Herb Society

20190505_163700The botanical family name of the common or English primrose, Primula, comes from the diminutive of the Latin word for “first.” And the common name “primrose,” derived from prima rosa (“first rose”), is also a reference to the primrose being one of the first flowers of spring. This is not the evening primrose (Oenethera), or any of the other, more ornate, forms of Primula. This is the quintessentially English cottage garden flower.

Of course, it is then described as “vulgaris.” Sounds harsh. But this is not a matter of judgment of the primrose’s character. It’s just that, where the primrose is happy, it is very happy. It grows and spreads in abundance in cool, moist places.

This does not describe the micro-climate in most of our homes when primroses beckon so invitingly from the grocery store aisles shortly after the winter holiday…

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Herbs for Your Windowsill

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Like the idea of growing your own medicinal plants? Look no further than your windowsill or patio garden for these four standbys of ours: lemon balm, sage thyme, and peppermint. These herbs are familiar to us from grandma’s recipes and as lyrics in songs, but they may be less familiar as medicine. Lemon balm, also known as “hearts delight” and the “gladdening” herb, has long been treasured for its ability to soothe the nerves and uplift the spirit. An old Arabian proverb says that “balm makes the heart merry and joyful.” From ancient times, though, sage was used for digestive troubles, heartburn, depression, and even dementia. Thyme is excellent for treating sore throats and bronchitis. Make thyme tea with honey to soothe those colds and coughs. And women listen up, for bloating and digestive issues associated with our monthly cycle thyme is an excellent soother and diuretic. Another great herb for digestion…

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