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I am a Master Herbalist, Master Gardener, suburban farmer and owner of an organic, herbal body care company. I am obsessed anything having to do with plants, particularly herbs and native plants. I am a seedsaving advocate and founder of the Garrestson Farm Community Seed Bank in Fair Lawn, NJ. I am very interested in permaculture and all aspects of sustainable farming and gardening as well as sustainable living in general.
Hops (Humulus Lupulus), is a vining, perennial plant native to most Northern temperate regions, with three varieties native to North America. I was surprised when I recently discovered that it is related to stinging nettle, though I had already heard that hops and cannabis (including hemp and marijuana) are cousins, both being in the family […]Read more »
Let me start out by saying that I’m not a medicinal herb farmer on a commercial scale, though I grow and use many medicinal herbs as an herbalist and owner/producer of an herbal body care business, Blue Lotus Botanicals. The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer, written by Jeff and Melanie Carpenter (Melanie is the stepdaughter of […]Read more »
Comfrey (Symphytum officianale) is an attractive and useful plant, with large, hairy leaves and bell shaped, purplish flowers. Native to Europe and temperate parts of Asia, it is in the same family as borage and forget me not. Comfrey can be grown almost anywhere and in most types of soil, but is happiest with some […]Read more »
Now that this long winter is finally over, I try to check my garden daily to see what herbs are popping up. While I know I won’t see some, like milkweed, goldenrod and St. Johns wort for a little while, early bloomers are popping up. Among them is yarrow, almost as common a “weed” as […]Read more »
I’ve always been fascinated by colors, and I love the idea that the beautiful pigments of the plant world can be used to dye a variety of handcrafted items. As a soap maker, I only use natural colorants, and often look to my herb garden for shades of green, red, brown and purple. Not every […]Read more »
If you live in the Northeast, like me, or any of the other frigid places around the country, you may be combating the winter blues by dreaming of a spring garden. Since it’s too early to plant even the hardiest cold season plants outdoors yet, growing herbs from seed will give your garden a head […]Read more »