Whole Food Homestead

plant. grow. reap. eat.

Category: Gardening

Inspirations from the 2017 Seed Savers Conference

Have you heard of a “seed saver”? What do you think about going to a conference for seed savers? Does it sound nerdy? Niche? I only ask because I see the slight amusement in people’s eyes when I tell them how excited I am about going to the Seed Savers Exchange Conference in Decorah, Iowa each year. Others don’t hide their reaction so well – like the couple my friend and I ran into at a wayside rest site on our way home from the conference. We exchanged stories and they asked about our travels. My friend enthusiastically answered that we were in Decorah at the Seed Savers Exchange Conference. *They literally laughed out loud.* It’s ok, I get it. But let me try to explain why saving seeds is more than a nerdy pastime for zealous gardeners.  Continue reading

Inspirations from the 2016 Seed Savers Exchange Conference


I just returned from a weekend at Seed Savers Exchange’s (SSE) Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa, rubbing shoulders with gardeners, activists, geneticists, chefs, microbiologists, horticulturists, lobbyists, lawyers, grass roots organizers, historians, and seed curators, savers and propegators – all around one devotion: preserving  heirloom seeds. The motivation is this: between 1903 and 1983, our country lost 93% of our seed varieties. Continue reading

Plant Now: Your Early Spring Garden


My favorite seven words this time of year are: “As soon as soil can be worked.” It’s a simple phrase in the planting instructions for a handful of plants that love the cold, and you can literally sow them directly into the ground as soon as the soil can be worked. That’s now!!! It may only be April, but if you’re interested in getting some early produce from your garden, now is the time to get started! Continue reading

Winter Sowing: A Low Maintenance Method for Starting Seeds

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A few years back, my dear neighbor mentioned the concept of winter sowing to me. He said I could start seeds in old plastic jugs, leave them outside in the dead of winter, and they would take care of themselves. What?? Continue reading

Indoor Gardening: Sunflower Shoots


I had one of those Target experiences the other day – where you go in to kill time and walk out with $70 in purchases. But I’m ok with that decision because my prizes included two cheery glazed terra-cotta pots to start my sunflower shoots. And this is the time of year when we can really benefit from brightening things up with a splash of color – my adorable sunflower shoots in matching pots were just the thing for me! Continue reading

Indoor Gardening: Grow Sprouts in a Jar


If you know me, you know that I value nutritious, whole food, but I am also frugal at heart, a quality I have my dad to thank for. But it can be hard balancing these two, often opposing, values – I know that keeping fresh and/or organic produce stocked in your home can break the grocery budget, especially in the winter when produce prices are higher. Of course starting a garden is a great solution, but a small step you can take now is to grow fresh, nutrition-packed sprouts in a jar on your countertop. Continue reading

Gift Guide for a Whole Food Homesteader


For those of you who are scrambling for last-minute gift ideas, or just shopping for yourself, here are a few of my favorite things! (I am not receiving any reimbursement for these listings.) Please comment below to share your ideas and favorites – I know there are scores more, plus my husband doesn’t know what to get me yet! 🙂 Continue reading

Four Vegetables Still Growing in My Minnesota Garden


Of the produce I grew this year, these are the tireless, enduring champions – the plants that are still in the ground, producing actual edible food for us, on freakin’ November 1 in Minnesota! Anyone who loves to plant and grow knows that it’s never too early to start dreaming about next year, so add these valorous vegetables to your wish list. I have not been disappointed! Continue reading

Start Your New Garden in 10 MINUTES


Starting a new garden is one of those projects that gets put off either because we think it will be a ton of work, or we just don’t know where to start. If that’s you, I have great news – just ten minutes of effort this fall will win you a fertile, weed and grass free garden plot that is ready to go in the spring! No ripping up sod, no spraying Roundup to kill grass, no tilling, no hauling in loads of compost and mulch – I’m not joking, it’s really hardly any work at all. And if you usually bag up your fall leaves, this method will actually save you time. I’m not going to make this sound more fancy than it really is – the process is simple:

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