Chelsea Green Blog

Gardening

woman and child wearing an okra facemask

Making Your Own Okra Cosmetics

June 18, 2019

Okra, slime is gold! This pod-producing vegetable is a nutritional powerhouse and has been used throughout history for medicinal, culinary and cosmetics purposes. Discover the benefits of okra when eaten or use the slime from okra for glowing skin, thick shiny hair and strong nails, among others. The following is an excerpt from The Whole…

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Bramble On: The Ins and Outs of Growing Raspberries

June 12, 2019

Fresh, ripe raspberries picked straight from the garden in the morning. What could be a better start to your day? According to Michael Phillips, author of The Holistic Orchard, growing your own berries is entirely possible for anyone with a bit of space and a passion for the fruit. Brambles grow from the north to…

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Okra microgreens

How to Grow Okra Microgreens

June 3, 2019

Microgreens can be used as a garnish or addition to provide great nutrients to your meals. Recently, okra joined the list of delicious microgreens. You can even grow your own at home! Okra can be grown using an aquaponics system; find a use for any gallon-drums you have left in your garage or shed. The…

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gardener in backyard

Building Your Backyard Permaculture Paradise

May 31, 2019

The award-winning Paradise Lot takes a behind-the-scenes look at how two plant geeks transformed a desolate urban backyard into a permaculture paradise. At the same time, the pair were hoping to each find their own Eve for this special garden adventure. They succeeded on both fronts–creating an urban, food-producing oasis on a tenth of an acre, and…

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A Meditation on Garden Weeding

May 29, 2019

Gardening takes hard work and it may slip your mind to take a moment, step back, and look at all you’ve accomplished. You might just come across some new ideas to improve your garden. Author Carol Deppe reflects on her time spent daily in the garden and how her actions can often transcend the moment,…

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daylillies

Daylily Dangers and Delights

May 28, 2019

Got some invasive daylilies taking over your garden? Instead of weeding them out why not eat them instead? A common vegetable in China and Japan, daylilies are more than a pretty flower. In her new book, Forage, Harvest, Feast, forager, and author Marie Viljoen describes their taste as “Green bean meets white asparagus by way…

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leafy greens

Effortless Effort—The Eat-All Greens Garden

May 23, 2019

It’s hard to imagine starting your garden in mid-March if you live in areas where it snows a lot. What could possibly grow in the near-frozen ground? Eat-All Greens. These plants are sturdy and need little management or help at all, plus you can eat almost the entire plant! Try starting with Green Wave mustard.…

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This avian pest control expert deserves a rest after a long day of helping in my gardens.

Plants & Pests: Will Bonsall’s Advice on "Wee Beasties" in the Garden

May 22, 2019

“From a plant’s point of view there is little difference between a cutworm, a woodchuck, a blight spore, and, for that matter, us.” “These are all things that in one way or another prey upon it. It is an inevitable constraint of all living things: We escape one peril only to ultimately succumb to another,”…

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compost pile

How to Start a Traditional Compost Pile in Your Yard

May 13, 2019

As a society, we make a lot of waste, especially in this culture of on-the-go single-serve disposables. As we work toward the Zero Waste Solution with Extended Producer Responsibility and other government mandated universal recycling of solid waste in the works, there is plenty you can do to reduce the amount of waste you send…

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vegetables

Interplanting and Beyond

May 10, 2019

Permaculture is more than just a way to garden, it applies systems-thinking to every facet of our relationship to the earth and each other. The three main ethics of permaculture are care for the planet, care for people, and only keeping a fair share of the yields of your productive work (gardening and otherwise). Expanding…

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sheet mulch diagram

The Ultimate Guide to Sheet Mulching

May 8, 2019

Sheet mulching is a layered mulch system that nurtures the soil. You start with a biodegradable weed barrier like cardboard, and from there build a thick, layered substrate for your garden with compost and mulch. As the materials break down, worms move in, softening the soil below, and creating a healthy, aerated planting bed where…

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Garden Planning: 48 of the Most Promising Veggies

May 3, 2019

Before jumping into planting your crops, it’s a great idea to take a step back to plan what you want to grow and observe the characteristics of the land you’re working with. Some areas get more sunlight than others, the soil is better in one area than another, and certain crops sell better during specific…

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Man sowing seeds in dirt

The Seed Series: Become A Plant Breeder

March 27, 2019

In this one-size-fits-all world of multinational seed companies, plant patents, and biotech monopolies, more and more gardeners and farmers are recognizing that they need to “take back their seeds.” They need to save more of their own seed, grow and maintain the best traditional and regional varieties, and develop more of their own unique new…

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Mini plastic planters filled with soil and seedlings

Grow Your Own Veg—How to Start Plants from Seed

March 18, 2019

Starting plants from seed does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. Sure, it will take you a season or two to get the hang of it, but after that, the process will seem simple. To get started, you’ll need a space indoors that has natural light from a window, or else a tabletop area…

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Multiple garden beds with vegetables

How to Plan the Best Garden Ever

March 9, 2019

Growing your own food is hard work, but with a few easy tips you can make it a lot easier. Just ask Carol Deppe, author and gardener extraordinaire.  Carol grows almost all of the food she eats, but with a cranky back and complaining knees she has been forced to figure out labor-saving techniques and…

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The Seed Series: Choosing the Right Seed Crop

March 6, 2019

While there are several dozen plant families that contain species of crop plants that are commonly used by different agricultural societies around the world, there are only nine families that house the great majority of seed-propagated vegetables that are the most important across most cultures worldwide. Through learning a bit about the characteristics of these…

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Gateway to a garden

Permaculture Advice For Beginners

February 11, 2019

Trying something for the first time can be intimidating, especially when it’s something as big as learning how to live off your land. But like with any new adventure you shouldn’t bite off too much at once. Instead, it’s better to take the time to properly plan and educate yourself on what it will take…

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ben falk gardening

Perennial Power: Why You Need Them in Your Garden

February 7, 2019

Keeping up with a garden can be a lot of work—especially when you start planning for the upcoming season. Luckily, there’s a secret (okay, maybe not so secret) weapon you can use to take away some of your stress! Perennials are the perfect addition to any garden and the best part is you only have…

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light coming through windows

How to Use Reflected Light to Boost Indoor Food Production

January 31, 2019

Growing food indoors or in an urban setting can be quite a challenge. You need to find the right kinds of plants, purchase or build tools, and make sure you have lots of time and patience. Oh, and don’t forget making sure your garden gets enough light so it can thrive! If your space doesn’t…

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cold frame with plants covered in snow

Get a Jump on the Planting Season: Build Your Own Cold Frame, Part 1

January 22, 2019

The trees are bare and the ground is cold, hard, and forbidding in New England. If you’re an amateur gardener who wants to grow your own food, it can be a little intimidating. There are plenty of hardy plant breeds that will grow in winter, or you can do something a little more fun and…

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growing sprouts

Simple Recipes Using Homegrown Sprouts

January 21, 2019

Gardens have long gone dormant but that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying fresh food just because the ground is frozen. Sprouts are a quick, simple, and ridiculously healthy way to keep your localvore appetite satisfied during the winter. And we don’t just mean tossing them in your salad or on top of a…

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A collection of watering cans and plastic bottles

Must Have Tools for Successful Indoor Gardening

January 18, 2019

As the weather turns colder and you hunker down for winter, don’t forget to spend some time preparing your indoor garden. The process of producing high-quality food, inside requires time and attention, along with the proper tools and accessories. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this comprehensive list of everything you need to…

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herbs in a pot

10 Herbs for Family Health

January 17, 2019

If you find yourself or a family member coughing and sneezing a little more than usual, you don’t have to rush off to the pharmacy to get cold medicine. Instead, grow your own healthy herbs in the backyard to produce your own remedies. Not only can these plants help with general wellness on a daily…

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Greenhouse covered in snow

Winter Gardening Without Heated Greenhouses

January 16, 2019

It might seem like a myth that you can grow food in an unheated greenhouse during the winter, but we’re here to prove you wrong. As long as there is sunlight there are several techniques you can use to keep your crops warm enough to harvest well into the cold weather. The key? Layers. Just…

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harvesting

How to Use Climate Maps to Navigate the Winter Harvest

January 11, 2019

Continuing to grow your crops and harvest them well into the winter months seems like an impossible task. How can they grow when weather conditions are far from warm sunny days? It’s all about adapting to what the season gives you. With the proper techniques and studying the patterns of your area’s climate, growing and…

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