Just got back from a ‘Bucket List’ trip to Maui – 10 nights, 11 days exploring paradise with my family. Did I mention that we totally skipped the whole holiday thing? No tree, no lights, no stockings and no annual Christmas Party! Still got some of that in Hawaii, but honestly, I didn’t have to lift a finger, much less the 10’ Fraser Fir.
So, what they say is true: Hawaii is paradise. The Leis covered with orchid blooms, gorgeous purple/white dendrobium blooms hanging around your neck. Water, water everywhere – and torrential downpours at night followed by awe-inspiring sunrises and garden awaking lush and flush from their soaking the night before. No sprinklers needed at this time of year. Green, green and more green with punches of color everywhere. Fruits, flowers and herbs – passion fruit, star fruit, cherimoya, breadfruit, pineapple, bananas. Farmer’s Markets bursting with so many wild and wonderful offerings – fresh cut coconuts complete with a straw. (more…)
Trying to unravel the tangled web of species under the genus Lavandula is a challenge to event the most accomplished horticulturalist. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so dear customer, please note that there is no such thing as English lavender!
There has been a lot of cross breeding that has resulted in a huge number of cultivars, even creating a bunch of sterile plants that are humorously known as ‘mule hybrids’!
The most widely grown lavender, commercially used for cosmetics and scent, is Lavandula Intermedia. This popular variety is a cross between L. angustifolia and L. latifolia; you will find this variety growing commercially throughout France, as well as in the largest producing country, Bulgaria. Commonly referred to as lavandin, these are extremely hardy plants with long flowering periods. (more…)
22 Culinary Herbs You Should Be Growing Now
Cooler weather is on its way, and for many, the drop in temperature brings with it a pull toward the kitchen and a longing to create the perfect culinary masterpiece. Make sure that your cooking space is well-stocked this year with culinary herbs you can harvest from your own fall garden. And if you’ve never cooked with fresh culinary herbs before, you have no idea what you’re missing! Planting herbs in the autumn months means they will be growing in the cool weather they like best. Instead of scorching in the hot summer sun, your herbs are sure to thrill you with how well they thrive.
Short on gardening space? Culinary herb plants tend to love growing in unique container planters, window boxes or even on balconies. No matter how you manage to find the space, having the right herbs ready for your next foray into cooking can make all the difference. Take time to learn about some must-have culinary herbs that are sure to flourish in your fall garden, those that will grow much better in an indoor container, and herbs that are best harvested in the summer and fall, to be preserved for use during the winter months. (more…)
Patchouli is a plant species from the Lamianceae family, which also includes lavender, oregano, and mint. Although its scientific name is Pogostemon cablin, this perennial herb is more commonly known as stink weed, pucha pot, or putcha-pat. With so many names comes many uses, and patchouli’s potent aroma is what makes it a hot commodity among herb lovers today. It’s used for everything from aromatherapy to perfume and repellent.
Characteristics of Patchouli
Patchouli is native to Southeast Asia but is now cultivated throughout China, India, and parts of western Africa. It’s one of the bushier herbs and typically features a firm stem and small pale pink flowers. The plant averages two to three feet in length. (more…)
Our spring season is over, and we are busy with our fall crop. But, we are all about looking back and spend our ‘down time’ reviewing the past. We may be a ‘small business’, but we’ve always thought of ourselves as operating with the same principles as a ‘big business’. I may grow plants for a living, but my major was Business Administration and everywhere I can, those useful lessons are applied. Honestly, although our first love is growing big, healthy herb plants to fill your garden (and figuring out how to grow over 170 different types of herbs is a daunting task in itself), we also want to operate The Growers Exchange as an efficient business. That, folks, is as challenging as those plants!
Are you fond of gardening? If yes, then you must be aware of the importance of Mother Nature in any person’s life. You must be familiar with the immense joy you feel in growing tasty oregano in your backyard. So, why are you not thinking about passing this legacy to your kids?
Well, to do so, you need to teach your kids to understand the magic of nature. You need to make them realize how important it is to spend a piece of their time with nature. When we talk about nature, then the nearest place anyone can find is a garden. Go through all the information written below meticulously about how to intrigue your kids about Mother Nature. (more…)
On Saturday, April 22, 2017, we will be celebrating Earth Day. I’d like to suggest that we celebrate Earth Day every day.
What do Richard Nixon, Teddy Roosevelt and Rachel Carson have in common? No, not all presidents. We haven’t gotten that yet … a woman in the White House. So, think again. All vital participants in promoting an environmental consciousness in the US. Yes, the much maligned RMN can be credited with the creation of the EPA, as well as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Teddy spearheaded the conservation movement in the early 1900’s and Ms. Carson is responsible for ridding us of DDT.
Keep America Beautiful
By 1970, the world had reached about 3.7 billion people (sounds almost empty, right?) and there were some very big issues: water pollution, air pollution, solid waste contamination. I can remember riding down the highway seeing folks toss their McDonald’s bags out of the window of their speeding wood paneled station wagons. The ‘Keep America Beautiful’ folks, mostly beverage and packing industries who wanted to keep their industries free of government regulation, began promoting anti litter campaigns to encourage folks to clean up. It worked. Who can forget this image & PSA? (more…)
If you asked most people what role they thought that parsley plays in cooking, health and nutrition, they would most likely say that it is used as a garnish or decoration for other foods. It is that often ignored tuft of green bits on your plate that you have, for many years, pushed to the side in lieu of devouring everything else. This is done without a thought or care and those who make it a habit almost assuredly aren’t aware of what they are missing.
Parsley originated in southern Europe along the Mediterranean and prior to ever being thought of as food, parsley was consumed as medicine. Parsley is an extremely nutritious herb that can be easily grown in your own culinary or healing herb garden. Unbeknownst to most folks, parsley is the most popular and widely used herb in the world.
The biennial plant gets its name from the Greek word for “rock celery” and contains high levels of vitamins K, C & A as well as respectable amounts of iron and potassium. If you were ever curious about what parsley can do for you keep reading to find out the benefits you’ve been forgoing by pushing aside this little green herbal dynamo. (more…)
My guilty secret? Binge watching bad TV on Sunday afternoons after I’ve put the greenhouses ‘to bed’. I get the biggest kick out of the commercials, especially the one for a well-known heartburn medication. Basically, the message is this: stuff your face until your body produces so much acid to deal with so much food and take this pill so you can ignore the warning signs your body is giving you and keep stuffing your face.
We’ve lost the art of looking after ourselves. I know people who treat their cars better than they treat their own bodies. They know more about the intricacies of a football play than they do about their own emotional well being. We’ve become really dependent on other people and other properties to take care of what is ours; we are reliant on those ‘purple pills’ to feel good. We have started to treat the symptoms (acid reflux) but not the root causes (glutony).
Don’t get me wrong. I’m am both thrilled and lucky to have access to exceptional care in this age of ‘modern medicine’. And, we never, ever advocate the use of herbal remedies without the advice of health professionals. However, it is important to remember that for most of mankind’s history, natural medicine has been used as a preventative measure. I’m only pointing to the fact that there is an important role for medicinal herbs in the management of common health issues and in the maintenance of general health. (more…)
Humans are a fickle bunch, and try as I might, they are hard to figure. Say one thing, mean another. Say one thing, find out it wasn’t true. Commit to one thing, then change courses. Not saying I’m any different, but the dependability of nature (well maybe not weather) is something that brings me a lot of comfort. Cycles that repeat; you sort of come to depend on them. Geese come south, geese go north. Jenny wrens nesting in the same clay pots they used the year before. My mother in law’s daffodils emerging in late February, as they have been since she planted 30+ years ago. Even the sturgeon have decided the river is clean enough to make a comeback. We brought them to the brink of extinction, then we decided to bring them back. See what I mean? Fickle.
Well there is one cycle that is truly a wonder: the migration of the monarch. Their life cycle is equally awe inspiring but let’s focus on this trip! There are so many wondrous aspects of this flight, described as ‘epic’, so let’s start with this:
The monarch migration is the longest known insect migration on earth.
Chew on this: a monarch can leave Nova Scotia, Canada and travel to the mountains west of Mexico City, which works out to somewhere around 3,000 miles. A butterfly, mind you. Miracle? (more…)