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Rosemary Indoors

I am having a lot of fun with rosemary. It is one of my favorite herbs to grow in our garden. I started rosemary in 2020 and I fell in love. Have you ever just taken your face and moved your face between their leaves? It is the greatest experience.

Also this is another perennial for my area. One thing I learned is that perennial doesn’t mean that it will live forever. It only gives the promise of three or more years. The more you know, right?

Rosemary is evergreen that boosts the immune system and helps blood circulation. This plant is high in antioxidants, improves digestion, enhancing memory and concentration, neurological protection, protection against macula degeneration, and many other amazing uses. They have this disclaimer that says: do not bulk up on rosemary and try to just eat all of it. Eating rosemary in bulk can put you into a coma and many other not so cool side effects.

This has been one of the easiest herbs that I have been able to grow. Rosemary can get between 1.5 and 3 meters tall- which is awesome. It can be used as an anti fungal remedy as well.

Fun Fact: this is a beneficial herb to help prevent scurvy and certain cancers.

I love that it is one of the many herbs that grows well in containers. I enjoy the smell and that is an evergreen. It is so pretty. Smells good, tastes good in food and has all of the benefits a humble farmer could want. It makes an excellent border shrub and repels certain insects.

I have dried out a large amount of rosemary and I am really excited about grinding it down. I have been making it into a powder and putting them in cork bottles. One day I plan on doing a lot with it. Unfortunately, my plants aren’t producing large quantities of rosemary just yet.

I have been thinking of it’s uses because I do not use powdered rosemary for cooking. Who knows, but the uses are endless.

Not recommended for women who are pregnant, nursing or wish to become pregnant. If you are taking medications that are prescribed or provide long term medical care always consult a physician before adding rosemary to your diet on a regular basis- as in more than 4 nights a week.

Just putting that out there so that if people see it prevents cancer they don’t eat three pounds, put themselves in a coma then sue me. I don’t have time for all of that nonsense.

Just know rosemary is easy to grow, does well against cats using it as camouflage to attack one another and my children love running their fingers through it and it doesn’t die. I can forget to water it and it doesn’t act dramatic.

Healthy Hopefuls: Endive and Arugula

After 5 days. They are still babies.

I started planting endive and arugula. I was told I should plant them in January, they can’t be transplanted until after the front but they need a little bit more time.

At 8 days we had a few more popping up. This is a mixture. One side is arugula and one side is endive.

I think we should start with endive. I should let you know that before this I had no idea what endive was or that it was a thing. You should know that I am new to this and I am trying everything.

Still 8 days. They are just now coming out of their seeds you can see that on this one. It’s lovely.

We planted endive because it can take longer to mature than other plants. It grows like lettuce. They are a leafy green that can be placed in salads for a bitter taste [which is allegedly good in salads].

11 days and we are strength training our sprouts with a fan to over the stove. I know it sounds silly but it helps us thin out weaker sprouts and they are strengthening their stems for our windy area.

The primary reason we are growing it is due to the fact that it is high in fiber and endive glycemic index is very low at 15, which can help prevent spikes in blood glucose after meals. I do not have diabetes but it is a beneficial plant to keep in your garden just in case. Plus we’ve never tried it before. It could be a delicious addition to our salads.

11 days from the top under their grow light. I swear one day the cops are going to come over with a warrant and be very disappointed to find lots of herbs and plants.

Now arugula has this tangy flavor and is also known to help lower blood sugar. It is known to lower the risks to cancer, osteoporosis, assists in preventing insulin resistance, improves the heart and rich in vitamin K. Remember when dealing with vegetables that are high in vitamins similar to K that you should slowly introduce as this vitamin helps assists in blood clotting.

Day 15 and these babies are busting out. You can really see how putting the fan on them for a couple of hours twice a week has caused their thin stalks to thicken and some of the taller sprouts have fallen away.

They say that arugula is said to have a peppery taste as well. It can be chewed to combat sour breath so I have read. Again, this one is new to me but have you see the benefits? I am really impressed. I can’t wait to find out how arugula tastes. They say you can put it in salads, smoothies, and omelets. I am sure that there are a million ways to make it.

More day 15.

I enjoy learning about these cool foods are out there and how having them might benefit my family. I feel like I am missing a lot of useful information. I am hoping that I can continue to learn amazing things that we can all benefit from.

An from the top picture of my plants. From the top boys is all I said and they started posing. Look at Arnaldo, he is so proud of himself growing from the side.

Healthy Hopefuls: Endive and Arugula

After 5 days. They are still babies.

I started planting endive and arugula. I was told I should plant them in January, they can’t be transplanted until after the front but they need a little bit more time.

At 8 days we had a few more popping up. This is a mixture. One side is arugula and one side is endive.

I think we should start with endive. I should let you know that before this I had no idea what endive was or that it was a thing. You should know that I am new to this and I am trying everything.

Still 8 days. They are just now coming out of their seeds you can see that on this one. It’s lovely.

We planted endive because it can take longer to mature than other plants. It grows like lettuce. They are a leafy green that can be placed in salads for a bitter taste [which is allegedly good in salads].

11 days and we are strength training our sprouts with a fan to over the stove. I know it sounds silly but it helps us thin out weaker sprouts and they are strengthening their stems for our windy area.

The primary reason we are growing it is due to the fact that it is high in fiber and endive glycemic index is very low at 15, which can help prevent spikes in blood glucose after meals. I do not have diabetes but it is a beneficial plant to keep in your garden just in case. Plus we’ve never tried it before. It could be a delicious addition to our salads.

11 days from the top under their grow light. I swear one day the cops are going to come over with a warrant and be very disappointed to find lots of herbs and plants.

Now arugula has this tangy flavor and is also known to help lower blood sugar. It is known to lower the risks to cancer, osteoporosis, assists in preventing insulin resistance, improves the heart and rich in vitamin K. Remember when dealing with vegetables that are high in vitamins similar to K that you should slowly introduce as this vitamin helps assists in blood clotting.

Day 15 and these babies are busting out. You can really see how putting the fan on them for a couple of hours twice a week has caused their thin stalks to thicken and some of the taller sprouts have fallen away.

They say that arugula is said to have a peppery taste as well. It can be chewed to combat sour breath so I have read. Again, this one is new to me but have you see the benefits? I am really impressed. I can’t wait to find out how arugula tastes. They say you can put it in salads, smoothies, and omelets. I am sure that there are a million ways to make it.

More day 15.

I enjoy learning about these cool foods are out there and how having them might benefit my family. I feel like I am missing a lot of useful information. I am hoping that I can continue to learn amazing things that we can all benefit from.

An from the top picture of my plants. From the top boys is all I said and they started posing. Look at Arnaldo, he is so proud of himself growing from the side.

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Tonasket, Washington

Another lover of plants like myself is out there living the dream. She has sent us pictures of three different plants that are amazing and I can’t wait to look into and mention some cool facts about these amazing plants.

Contributed by Lisa Swinson

First, we have our Thanksgiving Cactus which is native to Brazil. These are primarily house plants. They are known by many names and there are only around 6 to 9 species of this genus. I found that to be very cool.

Contributed by Lisa Swinson

First thing that drew me into this picture was the amounts of snow. I could not imagine or survive such a large amount.

Amazingly, the Douglas Fir can. This tree has a hardiness of zones 4 to 6 and is number one in the lumber industry. If you couldn’t see this tree is an evergreen and absolutely amazing looking in all types of weather, but it really seems as though this tree enjoys the freezing temperatures.

Contributed by Lisa Swinson

This lovely cactus is unknown for now, if you have the answer comment below and I’ll update it. This was an anniversary cactus so we will call it a love cactus or a cactus of love. This commemorates 5 years of marriage and 2 beautiful children.

Greetings from Tonasket, Washington.

Beneficial Grants: Texas Monarch Butterfly Grant

I live in Texas. Howdy.

I was looking into things that could boost my permaculture food forest without costing me any money. As I was looking through the many grants. It all started with the Monarch Butterfly Grant.

This is a very small personal grant that cannot exceed past 400 per person/group. This grant can only be used to purchase plants (which is all I want- free plant money). So there are some rules to this particular grant that go further than that: they have to be native to Texas. I want Butterflies

As I wait for winter to be over I plan. My close friend LD always has a beautiful yard and I want to shine too. This has inspired me to look for money to supply my hobbies.

Challenge accepted.

I want all four hundred of those dollars so that I can expand my already amazing dream permaculture food forest. So I looked into it.

Agarita is one of the native plants. I hadn’t thought about this plant before -primarily because I was so narrow minded on the idea of a permaculture food forest- but I love that we have so many milkweed plants in my pasture because it attracts the butterflies.

That’s also how I happened upon this grant because I decided I wanted to start a butterfly garden to attract even more. The agarita has the nectar that the butterflies crave. If I have this lovely blossoming flower it will give the mom butterflies plenty of food – these plants also are great for other pollinators like bees. Keep that in mind.

It is a shrub that is pointy. I like pointy shrubs because they make good barriers to keep animals away from my property. Sold. They are an evergreen, drought tolerant and they also produce tasty berries (and makes delicious jelly). Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

These are my end game goals guys. I want to be on this list.

Flame acanthus also known as the hummingbird bush. This is absolutely beautiful and another shrub. This is considered a ‘profuse’ bloomer. It allegedly is a huge bloomer and that is exciting because it attracts not just monarch butterflies but also hummingbirds and bees. (It’s also a deer resistant and drought tolerant)

Kidneywood is so beautiful. I had no idea, they are allegedly really fragrant and attract bees and butterflies. They have many branches and they can get up to be 12 feet tall. That is amazing because it is also drought tolerant and can survive cold and heat. (Clay soil is acceptable here). I am digging it. Sounds like it will be a great place for butterflies to settle in and eat some nectar.

Cone Flower is something we already have but would love to have it planted everywhere. Who knew that it was a native Texas plant? Now I know and you do too. This is a perennial and has beneficial properties which I will probably go over at a later time. They bloom from April until September so this will give my early pollinators a snack before the rest bloom in May or June.

The application is online and the application and process seems very easy.

They say purple cone flower can be aggressive- I sure hope so. So keep that in mind.

Cenizo is just a cool name to have. If I get another pet (fingers crossed I don’t but if I do) I am going to name it Cenizo. Regardless, it is made for our zone. It flowers and can take the heat but it does need to be watered. They can get to be up to 8 feet tall. Sounds live privacy fence material to me.

Cenizo goes by another name Texas Sage. Amazingly enough I already have a couple growing. I had no idea. Also this plant does not appreciate heavy pruning- I’ll have to keep that in mind.

The fragrant or pink mimosa is another thorny shrub great for deer resistance and a nice barrier around my property (I hear it smells good too). Another early bloomer but it ends earlier too (March to July). The flowers are lovely and I would love to add them to my butterfly garden (or barrier I haven’t decided). Here is even more Information.

They will check up on us and I can’t wait. This adventure will be really exciting. I can’t wait to start.

Texas Lantana is something I already have growing and they are amazing. I kind of want more of them because they make a beautiful groundcover. All parts of this plant are poisonous and it is considered deer resistant.

Lantanas are perennial shrubs that can grow 2 to 4 foot tall. Wow, they just don’t seem to be scrubbing out for me. They’re just creeping across the ground. That is strange maybe next year they will perk up, regardless I would love to have more. One more link: Texas Lantana. Just in case you’re considering it. It is really beautiful.

Last but not least is Salvia texana and I want this one. If I got that grant I would definitely get this plant. This is a perennial herb and it grows to be up to 2 feet tall. It is drought tolerant and does well in clay or rocky soil (bonus i won’t need to modify the soil I have). Salvias are a perennial flower and have more than 75 species including autumn sage. That is something we already have in honor of my eldest child: Autumn Sage. This is a rabbit hole I’ll have to go down another time, but every new flower or sage that I have gets me more excited.

I have murdered lavender every single year I’ve tried it but look at her growing it like it’s nothing. I am so jealous of her naturally green thumb.

I will, of course, get more milkweed but that will place where where I want them primarily and have a large area in the middle of the garden. That sounds absolutely beautiful.

Can’t wait and I hope I get it, but I already have some of these plants. The milkweed does grow naturally and I want to entice Monarch butterflies. I want them to pollinate all of my fruit trees and attract all of the bees. I understand the importance of planting native plants and I can’t wait to get started.

I will share more grants as I come across more information.

My Collection: Discounted Aloe Vera

Yes, my guilty pleasure is buying fifty cent aloe vera plants from Walmart and saving their lives. I have not named them. We haven’t gotten very close.

You can see that some were suffering and others suffered for a little bit here before truly coming to life.

I do not know what is happening with this one but I like that he is a little weird.

Some are smaller but I am sure they will grow out. They seem to be doing a lot better lately and I don’t know what I am doing but I will take it

None of them were looking like they would survive but at the price they were getting rid of them at I couldn’t pass them up.

Now I have to push for more aloe vera and I want it to line my driveway. Until next time when we add new stuff or update on the old.

Update So Soon: Morning Glory and Bachelor’s Buttons

I am much happier during the early growth season. Here I am planting new seeds right before it starts to get chilly. I know I will bring them in and I already have the best idea for where I want to put them, but for right now I have them outside basking in the sun.

I am just so impressed with the growth on these babies. They are absolutely popping up. The larger plants are the morning glories and they love the sun, they love the water and they enjoy the cool breeze on their hair.

The buttons seem a little insecure and they don’t seem to grow as fast but I am excited to see what they are all talking about. They are allegedly perennial in my zobe, but we shall find out. Something i have determined is that zones are Excellent indicators but do further research. Not everyone who blogs is personally killing plants and documenting it for your entertainment so that I’ll be able to look back on it when I am old and don’t remember anything.

I am enjoying these plants and i plan on bringing them inside and hanging them in my windows in order to get the most sun. I think that sitting back and watching the plants grow is the best way to spend my time. It is amazing to see how much joy watching a plant not die can give you. Regardless i hope my morning glories and bachelor’s buttons make it through the dark and cold and spooky winter inside my home with my whole family. Whose to say what is good or bad? Will my plants survive or will they be trampled, eaten, destroyed or any number of other terrible things? We shall see.

Zone 8a: Ten Odd Plants

So i went to the Almanac and starting looking into what will actually do well in my area. Yes, I would like some sort of mutated version of Permaculture, Agroforestry, and pretty things that attract bird and bees and things to my property.

Yes. I would absolutely love to have exotic fruits and vegetables that make people say oh-la-la, but I truly want to produce enough to feed my family and not get mad at the birds for trying to survive.

My losing battle against a blueberry bush

I often have to remind myself that nature happens. So, after long debate, I have decided that I was fewer plants that will not survive well. Also did you know that a grown blue berry plant can drink anywhere between 10 to 20 gallons of water a day. Each source is different but they all tell you blue berries require a lot more attention.

My juniper bushes are doing well. I just added fresh dirt to it. She was young when I got her and she has not given any berries. My other juniper was murdered by my dogs. I feel successful because this one doesn’t have any brown on it. I call that a solid win.

I can do a lot of apples, that is on the list and there are a lot of kinds of apples that grow in Zone 8a.

Blackberries are doing amazing. I have first hand knowledge that grapes do as well. Online they say pomegranate, persimmon, peach, apricot, pear, banana, and citrus. There are tons more.

Here is the list that I have came up with and found grow here (that I never thought and I find to be a little Odd):

1) The Arabica coffee plant- this plant is responsible for sixty percent of coffee production. It is a shrub and takes seven years to full mature.

2) The Camellia Sinensis plant- is tea, but it is pretty clear you should be careful of which one you get and make sure that it fits into your zone needs. I thought that was pretty cool. It isn’t cold resistant, but with extra winter care it can be an amazing addition in zone 8.

3) Ginger – and to be clear I mean Zingiber officinale, the edible ginger. These are tiny plants that usually don’t grow taller than four feet. They do better in zone 9 to 12, but you can grow them in 8a. Fun fact: if you let your ginger grow for 2 to 4 years you’ll get flowers on your little plant. As you know ginger is a useful plant and a great spice too.

4) Sassafras tree– is not just a tree with an amazingly cool name. This tree also has many uses. The roots can be a tea and the twigs and bark are edible. I don’t know if they are delicious, but I have never had sassafras tea before. Sassafras is also a spice and can be added to dishes.

5) Peppercorn– this is a perennial vine and it is marked as 8b, but with care anything from 8b can be grown in 8a. Here were are some fun facts about the history of the perennial. I just want black pepper and it just seems cool.

6) Cascada Hops– they are vines and have launched the modern Craft beer revolution. It allegedly grows fast and produces earlier. They don’t need anything special because their zones are 3 to 9. Make some beer or wine.

7) Yerba mate– it can be brewed similarly to tea. It can get huge at 28 ft tall and has uses (not including shade).

8) Turmeric– in zone 8a we are in the low end of growing zone. It says 8, but we all know that means 8b. We are a little cold

9) Red Leaf Tea plant– full of antioxidants, this is like the tea above but this one is equally amazing and a specific breed of the one above. They are drought hardy and fit perfect in my zone

10) Star Anise– starts growing in zone 8 and ends in 10. In our zone it’ll need full to partial shade but it is a fun, uncommon thing we can grow in zone 8a

So at the end of the day I want three of each. I am excited to get some of these growing.

I am still looking but this is a great start.

My Zone: 8a

Good day fair citizens. Doing research about my blue berries has led me to dig deeper and find out wow, blue berries need a lot of water and that I need to find out more about Zone 8.

It is fun to Click Here and find out where your land lands on the chart. Do not get me wrong, I am hip. I am in Facebook groups. I’ve seen people put 7a and 8b but I didn’t know.

For all I knew they could mean literally anything and at that point I wasn’t interested enough to investigate. I probably should have done this sooner.

Frankly, at this point we all see that i am just flying by the seat of my pants on this and have started way too many projects that I work on here and there as I can.

Here are some things I learned while I was snooping around about my new land status:

First, I knew that zone 8 consisted of temperatures from 10 to 20 degrees as the average minimum temperature. Zone 8a is just 10 to 15 degrees. I didn’t know why they split those were split up and if being in different subzones might change what i am planning on doing.

Second, I had no idea that the zones were from the typical low temperatures. I figured it was more of a yearly average. It was my confusion.

Third, the temperatures can dip below during harder winters but that is generally the colder temperatures of each season.

Finally, some genius pinpointed our first frost dates. Ours is October 11th to October 20th (for us it’s actually towards the end, but I’ll start documenting our first frost from here on out to get a more accurate account. The last frost falls between March 21 and March 31, which is cool because I did not know any of this information. If you want to know about your frost dates go HERE. It has information that might be helpful.

I have quite a bit more reading to do now that I know what I am looking for. Having doing a little more research into my particular zone has made me have a whole new outlook.

Yes, having fancy plants is nice, but there are so many great things that thrive in my hardiness zone. One thing that I have noticed in life is to work smarter not harder. I feel that with this new information I will be able to do great things with my fresh canvas. Maybe this information might be helpful to you as well.