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TAG : organic gardening

Lessons For Home Gardeners From an Organic Farm

  The 'Farm Walk' at Bear Creek Organic Farm. Photo by Noelle JohnsonIf you have ever bought produce at a farmers market from an organic farm, you know how delicious and fresh tasting it is. Perhaps you have been inspired to grow vegetables at home so that you can enjoy your own organic ...

5 Classic Perennial Flowers to Rescue from Old Gardens

One of my favourite ways to add classic perennial flowers to my garden is by rescuing plants from old houses, homesteads and gardens. Many of my perennials were not purchased, and instead were saved during the process of renovating nearby houses and renewing overgrown landscapes. Not only is ...

Easy Garlic

People often ask, What is the easiest plant to grow?  Although every plant brings unique challenges and joys, for my garden, the answer to this question is “garlic.”  Of course, the garlic at Heart & Sole Gardens is not like garlic one buys from a supermarket bin or grows as an annual ...

How Seed Swaps Inspire Heirloom Gardening

A few years ago, my husband and I decided to leave the big city and move to my hometown. We didn’t know what to do once we got there, but we were determined to settle down where we could breathe fresh air, hear birds singing, and see the stars at night. One snowy weekend right before we ...

Tater Tales

Tater Tunnel: Two words that struck fear in the hearts of my brother, Dale, and me when we were children.  When Dale was six and I was ten years old, my father bought an old home place in the northwest corner of our county, a stone’s throw from Blue Ridge Mountain peaks.  Fruit trees, ...

The Year of Missing Martins

Canadian poet, novelist and environmental activist Margaret Atwood said, “Gardening is not a rational act.”    Few tasks are as humbling as gardening.  After that leap-of-faith act, when a Human drops seed in soil, then cultivates growing plants and anticipates a successful harvest, ...

Potato Portal

Eyes opened the portal.  Potato eyes, tuberous knots protruding from brown skin.  I gripped the sharp knife blade, slicing it into potato flesh, carving around eyes and I could hear his voice, a sound long buried in deep memory recesses.  “Be careful not to cut through the eyes,” my ...

Fields on Fire

Looking over our Across-the-Creek field at Heart & Sole Gardens, it was obvious there was much work to be done before seed potatoes could thrive there.  Johnson grass, my arch nemesis weed, took advantage of the space, fallow for two years, and grew with abandon, leaving tall dried stalks ...

Winter Garden Foraging

For gardeners lucky enough to live in seasonal growing climates, Winter fields offer respite from intense cultivating and singular beauty that echoes growers’ time of reflection and renewal.  In my neck of the Western North Carolina woods, January is not typically a productive gardening ...

Wishful Thinking

As 2016 draws to a close, Heart & Sole Gardens is a peaceful place.  Honeybees tuck into hives, fields lie fallow, except for patches of Fall greens and garlic, and wire cages stand as sentinels, ready to contain next Summer’s tomatoes and peppers.  Dry weeds crunch underfoot and both ...

Mother Earth Gardener

Expert advice on all aspects of growing.