The Best Plants for a Medicinal Herb Garden

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The Best Plants for a Medicinal Herb GardenEven if you don’t have the space for growing a ton of produce, you can easily grow a medicinal herb garden in your flower beds or pots on your patio.  Medicinal herb gardens are an awesome way to limit pharmaceuticals in your everyday use–most medicinal herbs look and smell amazing, which doesn’t hurt either.

Here’s my favorite medicinal herbs to grow:

  1. Lavender.  To me, lavender is a wonder plant, bees love it, it looks beeeeautiful in the yard, you can cook with it, AND use it for medicinal purposes.  Lavender has a strong scent that is still very gentle on the ol’ nasal passages.  It can be used for calming purposes in baths, it soothes burns, and can help with arthritis, headaches and sore throats.  It has literally a ton of other uses, as well.
  2. Chamomile.  Ah, chamomile tea.  I could stop it’s uses right there and be happy.  But, chamomile can be introduced into tea to induce restful sleep, calm your digestive track and ease achiness.  It is also high in calcium and magnesium.  To turn it into a tea, mix 1-3 tsp. {depending on how strong you like it} of dried herb into 1 cup of boiling water.  Let it steep and drink it down.elephant garlic bulb
  3. Garlic.  I would be happy to add garlic to pretty much anything.  I love the flavor, but as an added bonus, it boosts immunity {in fact, I read in the paper the other day that one garlic clove a day can help you stave off colds.  It might help you stave off affection from your partner too, so you might want to grow some mint :}
  4. Motherwort.  Motherwort is literally as the name implies–it helps with lady problems.  It can help to soothe menstrual cramps, helps new mothers recover more quickly, and help bring on a delayed period.
  5. Yarrow.  Yarrow will require a little more space than just a pot, but it is fantastic for inflammation.  So, instead of grabbing an Advil, you can grab a yarrow concoction instead.blueberry jam with mint recipe
  6. Mint.  I wasn’t kidding when I told you to grow mint with your garlic.  Mint is awesome for upset stomachs.  Chew the leaves or drink it in tea.  The kiddos can do this too.
  7. Ginger.  Ginger is great for motion sickness.  If you or your kiddos get car sick, grating a bit of ginger in a smoothie, or making ginger candies for the car ride, really can help.
  8. Comfrey.  When I went to the Mother Earth News Fair awhile back, one of the medicinal herbs speakers raved about comfrey.  You can use it to treat bruises and sprains–which if you have kids in sports, this is a must.
  9. Marshmallow.  No, not like the big fluffy balls of goodness you buy in the package, but the actual plant.  It requires a bit more space, like the yarrow, but it is great for treating a sore throat.fennel
  10. Fennel.  Fennel is one of those herbs that is great to cook with, but it also aides with digestion.  So, make sure to throw it into your next recipe.
  11. Valerian Root.  Valerian is fantastic for insomnia and overall relaxation.  It is a great substitution for Ambien, because while it works just as well, it is not habit forming.
  12. Echinacea.  Echinacea is commonly known as the coneflower.  It is typically purple with bright orange cone in the center, but you can find other colors as well.  It is used to boost the immune system.  When you take it at the onset of a cold, it can help to stave it off.  Though, it is not very effective once the cold has set in.

Any herbs that you grow and swear by?

~Mavis

* Please consult your doctor before treating any medical condition

If you are wondering how to prepare the herbs you grow, I recommend getting a book that will teach you to use them safely and effectively.  Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs:  A Beginner’s Guide gets a solid 5 stars on Amazon.

medicinal herbs

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Mavis Garden Blog – Making Progress

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raised garden beds

I’ve been making some pretty good progress with my backyard garden over the past few weeks and thought I would share a few pictures of it’s current state.

Last year we started off the growing season with {16} 4×8 garden beds. We are now down to 10. This seems much more manageable to me. We’ve got a busy summer planned and the last thing I want the garden to feel like this year is a chore. I love gardening but I don’t want to overextend myself with it like I did last year. Maybe you think I’m crazy, but 10 garden beds seems doable.

lasagna garden

The lasagna garden I started last fall is now about 10 inches high with compost and soil. I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to plant there yet but I feel like there is enough depth in there for whatever I choose to plant.

magnum glass greenhouse

Check out the greenhouse! Lucy the puggle dog and I like to wander out there daily to check on the lettuce we have growing in a couple of old stock tanks. winter lettuce greenhouse

It shouldn’t be too long before we can harvest some lettuce greens.garden plot

My next project: building up the garden space that sits alongside the greenhouse.

backyard garden

I plan to remove the soil from last years pea patch {and cover it with the surrounding bark} and move it up the hill to the garden plot alongside the greenhouse. Then, I’ll need to pull up the {dead} kale border along side the chicken run and spruce up the area in front of the coop.

pumpkin potato patchI plan on using the soil from last years pumpkin/potato patch to do that.

Once I’m done shoveling dirt, I hope to plant this area with periwinkle to match the hillside on the opposite side of the garden. It will take a few years to fully cover the area, but in the end I think it will look pretty grand.

Once those projects are finished… I plan to tidy up the raspberry patch.

Then… I’ll be ready to plant some seeds and get the 2014 garden season started.

Sheesh. I’m tired just thinking about it now!

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Garden Blog – Clearing Garden Beds and New Seeds

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magnum glass greenhouse

Yesterday was surprisingly productive. :)

Once I had had my fill inside working on cleaning and decluttering, I went outside to dig.
rotting cabbage

Up this mess.

purple cabbage

Have you ever smelled rotting cabbage before? Well if not it ranks right up there with the smell of old basketball shoes worn by teenage boys who don’t change their socks regularly.  Holy cats! The smell is enough to knock you out.

mavis butterfield gardenSo after removing all the slimy cabbage bits I hauled in a few wheelbarrows of topsoil from a nearby garden bed I dismantled. I was about halfway done when I heard my hottie of a UPS driver roll into the driveway.

botanical interests seeds

My seed order. OH HAPPY DAY!!!

botanical interests seeds

Not only did my online boyfriend Ryan send me all the seeds on my 2014 seed order, he also sent along a bunch of loot for me to share {I smell a giveaway coming}. How cool was that? :)

botanical interests heirloom tomato seeds

Check out all the heirloom tomatoes I’ll be growing.
pineapple tomato seeds

Want to know which seed packet is my favorite? This pineapple pole tomato. I grew these a few years ago and let me tell you Bob, they are the best tomato on the planet in my humble opinion.

botanical interests flower seedsOh, and I almost forgot. I’m also pretty stinkin’ excited to be growing Moroccan Spice Sweet Peas too! Don’t they look pretty?

Hurry up Spring, I want to start planting.

What are you most looking forward to growing this year?

Mavis wants to know.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Seattle Tilth Spring Plant Sale and Educational Classes

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unnamedI’m such a big supporter of the Seattle Tilth because their mission is simple and one I can totally get behind: to inspire and educate people to safeguard our natural resources while building an equitable and sustainable local food system. I’ve been to their plant sales, their chicken coop tour and their educational classes and I’ve been blown away by every event.

They have some great things up their sleeves this year. Here are just a few things I’m excited about:

March Edible Plant Sale

Stock-up on organic and locally grown edible plant starts perfect for spring planting, and find a huge selection of edible flowers, fruit shrubs, fruit trees, seeds, supplies and knowledge galore at their March Edible Plant Sale. It’s on Saturday, March 15th, 2014 from 9am-3pm. at the Pacific Market Center garage. Admission is FREE!

Their Classes

Make 2014 your best gardening year ever, by getting educated! Whether you plan on starting your own seeds indoors, adding chickens, bees and other livestock to your urban {or suburban} farm or supercharging your soil with homemade compost, they’ve got a class for you.

Check out their new offerings like Intro to Permaculture and Grow Fruit in Small Spaces classes, or choose from these other awesome options:

Urban Livestock Classes
Backyard Beekeeping 101 Thu., Jan. 23; 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Backyard Beekeeping 101 Sat., Feb. 1; 10 a.m.-noon (Wallingford)
Backyard Beekeeping 101 Thu., Feb. 13; 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Beekeeping 201: Start Your Hive Sat., Feb. 22; 10 a.m.-noon (Wallingford)
City Chickens 101 Sat., Jan. 11; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
City Chickens 101 Sat., Feb. 8; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Raise Baby Chicks Sat., Jan. 25; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Raise Baby Chicks Sat., Feb. 22; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Wallingford)

Veggie Gardening
Start Seeds Indoors Sat., Feb. 1; 2-4 p.m. (Mt. Baker)
Start Seeds Indoors Wed., Feb. 19; 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Smart Garden Planning Sat., Feb. 8; 10 a.m.-noon (Mt. Baker)
Smart Garden Planning Wed., Feb. 26; 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wallingford)
Organic Gardening 101 Sat., Feb. 15; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Wallingford)

Permaculture & Sustainable Landscapes
Prune Fruit Trees Sat., Feb 8; 1-5 p.m. (Wallingford)
Intro to Permaculture Sat., Feb. 8; 2-5 p.m. (Mt. Baker)
Composting 101 Sat., Feb. 22; 2-4 p.m. (Wallingford)
Grow Fruit in Small Spaces Thu., Feb. 27; 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wallingford)

View their calendar of classes or see the full list.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Friday Night at the Movies – Euphoria

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Tonight The Girl and I are going to watch Euphoria.  It’s a documentary that popped up on my suggestions list on Amazon Prime.  It’s about our pursuit of happiness–and whether or not it’s working, or even possible.  It’s kind of an interesting premise, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to check it out.  Plus, it’s FREE on Prime, so I am really not out anything.

euphoria

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Garden Blog – Fresh Dirt

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greenhouse garden winter

I don’t know what it is about filling garden containers with fresh dirt that makes my heart sing, but it does. Maybe it’s knowing spring is right around the corner and pretty soon my backyard garden will be up and running at full speed again.

glass greenhouse garden

Some days I walk around the garden and shake my head at all that needs to be done.
dirt in pots greenhouse

Other days I just walk outside not knowing what the heck I’m going to do then somehow get a ton of garden chores done. I know I should make a list, but it seem less daunting {and more fun} to just head outside with Lucy the Puggle Dog in tow and pick up a shovel and start looking around for something to do.

lasagna garden

Yesterday I spent a couple hours in the garden digging up 2 old garden beds and moving the dirt to the new lasagna gardenraised garden beds kale

Originally I was planning on replacing all 16 of my garden beds this winter, but after a lot of thought the HH and I decided instead of expanding we would reduce the size of our garden instead.

Yep, over the next few weeks we will remove 6 of our raised garden beds. This will give us a total of 10 4×8 raised garden beds, 1 lasagna garden, 1 greenhouse garden and a few containers to work with this year.
painted steel drumsIt will be our smallest garden we’ve had to work with since moving here 8 years ago but with everything going on this year I think it’s time to pull back a little.

Now, what do you think I should do with these steel drums?

I was kind of thinking they’d make a cool fire pit. What do you think?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Monthly Garden Chores for January – East Coast Edition

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This is a guest post written by my buddy Heather from Massachusetts.  I thought it would be fun this year to post Monthly Garden Chores from both the West Coast and East Coast. You can see my January garden plans for my Seattle, Washington garden HERE.

january garden choresHi everyone,

Our friend Mavis and I have often wished we were neighbors. We both have teenagers {and their busy sports schedules}, chickens, gardens in suburbia backyards, and we love DIY projects! The main difference is we live on opposite coasts and that means drastically different garden zones and garden season rhythms, plus it makes popping over for some tea, coffee and muffins a bit more difficult.

So she asked me to put together a garden update from the east coast. Here is southeast Massachusetts I’m in zone 5b, which means, for now, we have to be a little more patient for spring. But come spring and summer, absolutely everything blooms. The flowers, the bushes and the trees – the memory of spring in New England keeps me here all.year.long!

seed packetsSeeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month:

In years past I’ve started seeds in a windowsill only to have them grow spindly and pathetic in the weak New England pre-spring sunshine. I would usually struggle along with seedlings until Mother’s Day and then hit a local greenhouse like the sunshine-starved, cabin-fevered, pasty looking new englanders we are.

The last frost date is around the third week in May, but gardeners don’t dare plant until May 20th. This year Santa brought me grow lights and I am BEYOND excited, I’ve been stalking the UPS tracking website, *hopping up and down*, it should be here any day!!

ammending soild with horse manureWhat I Plan to Transplant Outside this Month:

Does snow count? Earlier in the fall I enriched my soil with horse manure, leaves and chicken poo. So for now, I gaze upon my snowy heaps and dream of the lush soil I’ll have come May! And of course, begin sketching out my garden plan.

eggs in handWhat I plan to Harvest This Month:

Eggs. My four girls are still pumpin’ out 2-3 eggs a day. We have four cold-hardy, good laying hens that we got last April. Two are Rhode Island Reds (Agnus and RoadRunner) and two are Black Sexlinks (Mr. Bubblesworth and Goldfinger). In the summer four eggs a day is enough for a dozen eggs for us and we sell the other dozen to a family in town.

potted meyer lemon treeTrees and Shrubs:

Our Meyer Lemon was brought inside in the fall and promptly produced 9 lemons! For some reason one little green lemon has gone into hybernation mode – it may or may not have something to do with the 68* house temp ;) . I’ll be ordering citrus fertilizer this month to help it prepare for spring.

Weed and Pest Control:

Last year we had a substantial problem with CHIPMUNKS. And not the cute adorable kind. The vengeful, tomato scarfing kind. One of the good things about a long cold winter is that is arrests the insects and gives us gardeners time to study up on a solution!

snow in bostonLawn Care:

The HH is really great about snow blowing paths all over the yard for me. One to the chicken coop :) , one to the shed, and one whole track around the house so our two greyhounds can get a lap or two in on those cold, snowy days.

**These garden chores are based on my Zone 5b Southeast/Boston MA location. Find your garden zone HERE.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Friday Night at the Movies – Patagonia’s Worn Wear Campaign

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A big thanks to One Hundred Dollars a Month reader Jen who let me know about Patagonia’s Worn Wear Campaign. When I was a teenager, I owned a purple Patagonia zip up jacket and let me tell you Bob, it was the coolest jacket ever. And I kept it for about 10 years before donating it to a local thrift shop so someone else could enjoy it.

After seeing this video though, I wish I would have kept it. {I think my favorite story is the guy with the board shorts}.

How about you? Do you have a favorite article of clothing that you just can’t seem to part with?

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Grow Your Own Sprouts – The Health Benefits

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how to grow your own sprouts (2)
I’ve told you all about how to grow sprouts and the awesome Botanical Interest Seed Sprouter I use to do just that, but let’s talk about why you should be eating those sprouts! There are SO MANY health benefits from sprouts and with all our healthy eating New Year’s resolutions, it’s the perfect time to start sprouting. Here are just a few of the health benefits of sprouting:

1. The vitamin and mineral content is out of this world. If your body is lacking calcium, potassium, iron, Vitamin A, B, B Complex, E, or K, get to sprouting already. It is estimated that the vitamin content increases by up to 20 times the original value within only a few days of sprouting and that there can be up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than normal raw fruits and veggies. Getting more vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids from the foods you eat will, simply put, make you a healthier person.

2. The sprouting process also makes these minerals more usable in your body when the mineral binds to the protein in the bean seed or nut.

3. Sprouting increases the fiber content in the food you sprout. If you’re looking for a great addition to your weight loss routine, increasing your fiber is where it’s at.

4. Sprouting also increases the quality of protein in the beans, nuts or seeds you sprout. Proteins change during the soaking and sprouting process, increasing the nutritional value of your food. Who needs protein powder when you have sprouts?

5. Sprouts help reduce the acidity levels in your body. Too much acidity can be detrimental to your health and in some cases, even increase your risk of cancer. Sprouts help alkalize your body to prevent this.

6. I’m always looking for ways to get more of the essential fatty acids into my diet. Well guess what? The sprouting process increases the essential fats. Problem solved with just a few sprouts.

7. You control what you sprout. There’s no danger in consuming harmful chemicals, pesticides or additives because you’re doing all the growing! As a gardener, this is probably my favorite health benefit of sprouting.234

And there you have some of the many health benefits of sprouting. I sprout all sorts of things and love incorporating my sprouts into recipes or throwing them on a sandwich. Not only are they delicious, but sprouts are so stinkin easy to grow. Even if you kill every plant you try to grow, I promise you can grow sprouts!seed sprouter botanical interests If you haven’t ever sprouted anything or are nervous about trying it, I highly recommend trying the Botanical Interest Seed Sprouter. It’s perfect for beginners and completely awesome for advanced sprouters too who want to stack a ton of trays on top of each other and grow, grow, grow.

020While you’re waiting for your new sprouter to arrive, you can always sprout in a simple Mason jar. That’s how I learned how to sprout and it works like a charm.

So tell me, why do you sprout? What’s your favorite thing to sprout? How do you use your sprouts?

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Giveaway: {2} $100 Gift Certificates to Fast Growing Trees

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fast growing trees

Just when you thought we were all giveawayed out after those crazy 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways, I’m ringing in the new year with one of my favorite giveaways EVER! I’m so excited about it I’m having trouble typing. Yep, it’s that awesome!

How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree Container

It’s no secret how much I love Lemon, my Meyer Lemon Tree I ordered from Fast Growing Trees. Lemon has been everything I hoped for in a tree and more. It was love at first sight because I didn’t have to haul her from the store, get the back of our truck filthy or worry about her tipping over on the way home. Nope, all I had to do was plop down at my computer, find the tree I wanted on Fast Growing Trees and with a few simple clicks, my tree was on my doorstep within days.  The experience was so awesome, in fact,  I was kicking myself that I’d wasted years getting trees the hard way!

meyer lemon tree in box fast growing trees

In addition to how simple it was to order the tree, and how speedy fast the shipping was, the tree was packed so well it arrived in perfect shape and ready to be planted. The root ball was in perfect shape too and there were already tons of lemon buds, which was a total bonus I wasn’t expecting!

Plus, their customer service was awesome, too! Right after they shipped my tree, Pam over at Fast Growing Trees sent me an email with planting instructions so I’d know just how to plant Lemon.

meyer lemon tree buds

And guess what? Now you can have a Lemon of your very own! The awesome peeps at Fast Growing Trees are generously giving away not one, but TWO $100 gift certificates to Fast Growing Trees to TWO of my lucky readers!! Wahooo!

So how do you get in to win? Just head on over to Fast Growing Trees and tell me what you’d spend your $100 gift certificate on if you won.
A cherry tree? A Royal Empress? Or perhaps some Lavender Rhododendron?

Just answer that one question and you’re entered to win. Life’s pretty complicated sometimes, so I like to keep things simple around here.

Rules

1 entry per person/ip address. If you cheat, you will totally be disqualified.

This giveaway ends Sunday, January 12th at 6pm. Winners will be announced in the January 13th edition of Mornings with Mavis. You will be notified via email and have 24 hours to claim your prize. If you do not claim your prize within 24 hours, the prize will be forfeited.

Good Luck! I hope you win!

Mavis

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This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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