Heirloom Gardener Winter 2016-17

Winter 2016-17Features

Elizabeth White: The Blueberry Queen
Elizabeth Coleman White made it her life’s work to bring her beloved blueberries to the mainstream agricultural market.

Fetching Flax: Plants for Fiber, Beauty and Seeds
Connect with the ancient flax flower’s sky-blue blooms and enjoy an heirloom harvest of fine flax fibers and nutritious oilseeds.

What is an Heirloom Seed?
The staff at Seed Savers Exchange discusses the origin of the word “heirloom” and how they differentiate heirloom seeds from others on the market.

Revitalizing Shiso
What is shiso? Beloved in Asia, yet rarer in the United States, the mint family’s fast-growing shiso benefits our health and adds an interesting flavor to dishes.

Bitters: The Missing Flavor
Include more bitter foods in your diet to jump-start sluggish digestion, balance appetite, and support healthy liver function.

How to Grow Nasturtiums
Add a pop of color to your garden and a spicy tang to your food by growing and cooking with peppery nasturtiums.

Lead in Urban Soil
Learn about safe levels of lead in soil, testing soil for lead, lead remediation, and how to take a few simple precautions to take when gardening in urban soil.

Crosnes, Salsify and Skirret: Rare Root Crops
Grow crosnes, salsify and skirret this winter.

How to Make a Flower Press
Build a simple, wooden flower press to preserve the color and integrity of your favorite plants. 

Seed Savers Exchange: Annual Conference and Campout
Every summer, members and friends of the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange gather in the Bluff Country of northeast Iowa for a weekend of gardening workshops, facility tours, and seed swapping that’s sure to make any seed lover’s heart skip a “beet.”

Marvelous Mirabelle Plum Trees
This plum of a tree bears heirloom fruit that’s perfect for jams, jellies, tarts, and brandy.

How to Clean and Repair Garden Tools
Don’t give your garden tools the cold shoulder this winter. Use this time to provide some well-deserved maintenance for your hardest working tools so they’re ready to swing into action come spring.

Growing Magnificent Microgreens
Small in size but big on flavor, learn how to grow microgreens for a year-round crop that’s perfectly at home in the kitchen.

"Sure Cure": Folk Remedies for Smallpox, Snakebite and More
Preserved in a museum archive, a 150-year-old medical log spells out old remedies that predate our modern understanding of diseases, their causes, and their cures.

Saving Pepper Seeds
Spice up your vegetable garden by mastering these simple methods for saving your own pepper seeds to plant next year.

Edible Heirloom Alliums
Make every savory dish a little bit tastier by exploring the flavors offered by these edible bulbs.

Types of Poppies for a Showy Spring
Colorful explosions of early spring poppy blooms are sure to prompt countless conversations regarding the poppy family’s long and fascinating history.


Field Notes
Cuddling Catalogs

Mark your calendars; here are the dates that gardeners and naturalists alike won’t want to miss for winter 2016/2017.

Botanical Bulletin
National GMO Labeling Bill Signed into Law
State of the World's Plants

Roots Rx
Explore the benefits of sage and Echinacea for sore throat, respiratory ailments, and more.

Harvest Kitchen
Learn all about growing, storing, and cooking with parsnips and pears, and try these delicious recipes.

Sage Advice
Our expert team answers readers' questions about storing canned goods, using tobacco in the garden, and growing rogue tomato seedlings.

Why isn’t a cashew a nut? Learn the answer to this question and more in the second installment of our Herbarium department, in which we explain the different types of plants and the scientific logic behind their classification.

Family Heirlooms
Readers share generational tales of treasured plants, including grapevines, apple trees, rue plants, and Hoya.

Our editors recommend their favorite garden and kitchen tools on the market, including Weck canning jars, EcoForms planting pots, heirloom paperwhites, and more.

"And don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." — Rumi

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