Growing an Herb Garden from Scratch

growing an herb garden

Growing an herb garden from scratch is an easy way to go about it.  Many herbs can be grown with little sunshine, and water drains off very well from their soil on the average. They also require some watering and fertilizer or compost on a regular basis and some regular garden care. Your biggest worry is if they become too prolific (as the case with mint, and a few others–just pot & gift to an unsuspecting friend).  Growing an herb garden is an awesome idea, when it comes to the true meaning of simple gardening.

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4 Must-Have (Hard-to-Kill) Succulent Plants

4 Must-Have Succulent Plants

Succulent plants are easy to grow because they have juicy leaves, stems or roots which store water. Even if you forget to water them from time to time, they will survive. You can seed succulent plants alone or together with others. There are a number of colors from which to choose, and something will be perfect to liven up your home.  Still not sure what we’re talking about? As an example, all of the cacti plant species are succulent. These plants are very easy to grow because they like warmth and dry humidity, which most homes can offer.

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The Lazy Girl’s 3-Step Guide to Veggie Gardening

The Lazy Girl's 3 Step Guide to Veggie Gardening

It pains me to say this out loud, but I am insanely lazy. If there is a shortcut to take, you can bet I’ll find it. Luckily, when it comes to gardening, there are a number of plants that acquiesce to my laziness — allowing me to have all the deliciousness of home grown veggies, without the backbreaking labor.

I’m here today to share with you my three step guide to lazy veggie gardening. However, as is so often the case with convenience, this system involves spending some cold-hard cash. If you’re looking for frugal gardening tips, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction!

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Why Keeping Bees Might Be the Best Thing You Ever Did for Your Garden

Keeping Bees Best Thing for your garden

On Keeping Bees…

I was absolutely petrified of bees as a child — like, running away, screaming, and waving my arms petrified. It wasn’t until I attended a local lavender festival a few years ago that I changed my mind about our little striped friends. As I snipped branches of culinary lavender and placed it in my basket, I noticed the honey bees swarming the flowers had absolutely no interest in my activities. They didn’t dive bomb me, nor did they sting me.

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Gardening Like a Ninja: Giveaway, Free Course, & Interview

Giveaway, e-course, and interview

The secrets to food production in landscaping are here!  You’ve got a front row seat.  I’ll wait while you go get a cup of tea.

We’ve got a fantastic giveaway and a huge announcement about how you can take an edible landscaping course for free.  So stick with me.  But to truly understand how far you can still come on your journey to food production, you just must read this interview!

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5 Foods You Can Easily Grow in your Backyard

5 Food You Can Easily Grow

This is an inspiring guest post with the effect of getting us all to start small and branch out from there.  There is so much we can do–even 10-15 minutes a day spent growing food will save you real cash and nourish your family.  Enjoy!

If you want fresh and organic options for your meals, fruits and vegetables from your home garden are a good choice. Not only does growing food save you money, but it also assures you that the foods you’re eating are not treated with pesticides and other chemicals. Start growing food today!

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Why Food Matters: Ideology, food ethics, provision, & palette

Why Food Matters

Food is my business. Not just food—I am not a chef; I can’t make my tiramisu presentable or my own puff pastry dough from scratch—but our (Wilson & my own) passion is in teaching others the importance of knowing where food comes from and how to preserve it for future use.

Maybe you’ve thought some of these:

The problem is bigger than me. 
I don’t want to know.
But it tastes so good.
I don’t have time.
I don’t know how.

If you have (and I have), then I would like for you to consider four areas of food ethics.  These four things will totally change the way to see–and taste–what’s on your plate. 

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Pantry Paratus: Garden Tour 2014

Pantry Paratus:

Garden Tour 2014

We are on a family vacation deep in the Rocky Mountains, and I am often struck at the gardening contrasts found within our beautiful country.  Ohio’s peonies are replaced with Georgia’s Gardenias; Florida’s Birds of Paradise are replaced with Colorado’s “rock gardens.”  We are a diverse nation.  I asked our facebook and blogging friends to share their favorite garden spots with us so that we can tour the nation!


Jared, a friend who happens to run J & J Acres, shares his zinnias with us.  He is a true permaculturist at heart and reminds us that permaculture means so much more than just traditional food crops.  He says, “Growing flowers, like Zinnia, has multiple uses in a vegetable garden. They are, of course, beautiful to look at, but also bring in a lot of pollinators, like butterflies. Best of all, you can even clip a few to bring inside your home as well!”

 Zinnias at J&J Acres

And just as Jared hopes to educate others to positive food production, so does Christina, who works with the younger set.  I’d like to do the garden tour if that’s okay. Christina in Oklahoma is teaching her daycare kids to grow their own food with her opus, “Little Sprouts Learning.”

Little Sprouts

 I recently found some great advice on Green Talk about how to get rid of unwanted garden visitors, and began admiring her beautiful squash, which did its part in converting her to square foot gardening–you will have to check out Anna’s blog to see all of her great pictures and advice.  I was, however, wondering why I have never tried to grow daikon radishes when I saw this picture! It’s gotta go on my garden list for next year!

Green Talk

 Halfway Oak Farm tried a new method of gardening this year – raised beds. It was such a success, they have enough harvest to fill their pantry through the winter. Next year they plan to triple the number of beds. 


Halfway Oak Farm

Donna and I have something in common this gardening season–our eggplant!  Hers are still blooming in the Phoenix desert, whereas ours are about the size of your palm in Montana. She says, “Here in the desert, eggplant is one of the few crops that grows best in August.”  Read about her gardening adventures at Sharing Life’s Abundance.

Eggplant Blossom

 Erica from says “Plant it and they will come!” as she plugs flowers into the corners of her garden beds in hopes they’ll attract honeybees to pollenate her vegetables. And hey, they’re pretty to look at too!

Mom Prepares


Along with Erica, Samantha is doing her part to encourage the birds & bees.  Samantha at Runamuk Acres in Maine plants herbs and flowers with her vegetables as part of her companion planting strategy; and also to benefit her honeybees and local native pollinators!

Runamok Acres

Vegetables combine with flowers and herbs in Teri’s garden to create a overspilling hodge podge of edibles and soul-nourishing ornamentals. This garden was created using the sheet mulching, or lasagna gardening technique, which she writes about here. This was her garden in early July!

Homestead Honey Garden

Oh, there is so much to love on this garden tour, but this next picture is the most inspiring one yet (to me personally, anyway).  One Acre Farm entered their bounty of everything from vegetables to eggs to maple syrup to extracts, in their local agricultural fair, and pulled off second place in the Farm Products Display!

One Acre Farm

It’s always great to be reminded we can produce so much even with little space! Nicole may not have a huge garden, but she is doing everything she can to homestead right where they are to help supplement their pantry! By the way, she’s pretty convinced it’s gonna be a good year for salsa. 

Little Blog on the Homestead

Andrea from LittleBigHarvest gardens in all the nooks and crannies she can find on her 1/6 acre. Her favorite spot is the sunny south wall of the house, where there are currently tomatoes, peppers, onions, kale, kohlrabi, ghost..jalapeno…habanero peppers, cabbage, green beans, and plenty of herbs! Check out her latest projects here.

Little Big Harvest

The next garden is a little closer to home for Pantry Paratus, a Montanan–Annie and her family–put in a 7,000 square foot dream garden at their new homestead and planted close to 100 tomato plants to make homemade salsa, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and more! You just have to see more of what there are doing here.

Montana Homesteader

I hope that you are inspired.  And for those who may be beginners, I highly recommend starting with herbs!  You can get nearly immediate satisfaction and a new beginner can grow and preserve enough to enjoy their bounty throughout the upcoming year.  They are practical and reap a lot of economic benefits, especially considering the outrageous price they charge for fresh herbs in the grocery store.  So, to complete the tour, let’s look at 2 herb gardens.

It’s no secret that I’m an admirer of the gardens you will find at The Organic Kitchen.  Look at these herbs!

The Organic Kitchen

My friend Tessa from has this to say when I asked her for a recommendation on getting started:

“If you’re looking to start an herb garden this year or augment your existing herbal patch, mint is a wonderful addition to the garden.  Mint is easy to grow (although it does like to be damp-ish) and, once its established, you may discover it taking over if you’re not vigilant.  The flavor of mint may just be the most widely recognizable herbal flavor in the world.  From toothpaste to candy, you’ll find mint in many edible items.  It also lends itself well to handmade cosmetics and to home remedies for tummy aches and sore throats.  With a wide range of minty flavors (chocolate and orange being two examples), every gardener is bound to find a mint variety that appeals them.”


Spearmint by Homestead Lady

Let’s go grow something,


Pantry Paratus hopes to encourage you to produce, prepare, and preserve your own harvest.  Check out our full catalog of kitchen self-sufficiency supplies!

All photos were used with permission from the blog associated with each one, respectively.  Please honor these hard working homesteaders by enjoying their photos without taking them.