Chain Links No. 2: Gardening and garden-based eating at empire's end
On going home again, the buzz over a rare bee, seed-saving techniques, elderberries, our giveaway, fairy butter, and more.
By Lisa Brunette
It’s been three weeks since our first roundup post, and that’s intentional. The results of our poll show most of you like the idea, but some of you don’t.
To compromise, we’re going to run these only once a month or so instead of biweekly. Only three of you voted in the poll, so that was hardly representative of what our nearly 700 subscribers might like, but we’ll ease into this just in case. And if you have strong feelings either way, please tell us in the comments below.
All righty then, onto the links!
One of the best compliments a fellow writer can pay you is to riff on your material with a hot take of her own. Over at, Stephanie Loomis writes about the challenges of going home again, referencing our series:
I really enjoy fellow Missourian’s writings. As someone who once tried to survive here in the humid subtropics without air conditioning, just like he is now, I thought Bramble captured that learning-to-cope experience well in this sizzling piece.
Time Travel Kitchen, a Substack written by Chicagoan, is the source of my next recommendation, this fun post on Wisconsin’s nostalgic supper clubs.
One of the members of Shutterbee—a citizen-science program to study bees and the effects of native-plant gardening on their population and foraging habits—sighted a rare lemon cuckoo bumble bee. Nope, it wasn’t me, though I have participated in the program for four years now. I first read about the sighting in the Shutterbee Bulletin, but it was such a big deal it was also covered in the mainstream press, for starters here, here and here. (MSN, The Southern, Webster News)
Speaking of bumble bees, a recent study found that glyphosate impairs their learning, which can inhibit bumble bees’ ability to regulate brood temperature, among other techniques needed for survival. (Phys.org)
We’ve been talking about native bees, but let’s shift over to the European honeybee, which some consider a form of livestock (not that that’s a bad thing). Their honey possesses a long list of health benefits. (Mother Earth News)
As your plants set seed here in late summer, you might want to think about saving those seeds. I’ve got you covered with instructions for saving zucchini and wild-blue indigo seeds specifically, or watch this video for a general how-to on saving flower seeds. (Heirloom Grown, Horticulture, Gardener’s World)
Vegetarians, I’m sorry to say that a recent study shows you’re more likely than meat eaters to suffer hip fractures. And yes, that’s true for both men and women. (Medical Press)
In case you missed them, check out our recent collaborations with, the latest of which features my recipe for elderberry oxymel.
We’re also in the midst of a huge giveaway.
Paid subscribers are eligible for our giveaways.
From the vault
In tandem with our recent guest posts from, I give you this vintage piece I wrote for Crosscut on a memorable trip to Whidbey Island.
I’m a fan of Joel Salatin and wish I could get to this event at his legendary Polyface Farm.
Never heard of fairy butter? It’s definitely a thing. (Gastro Obscura)
We prefer from-scratch cooking to avoid all those nasty lab-concocted additives they glob into food these days, and toward that end, here’s a recipe for burnt-honey BBQ sauce. Just don’t take their advice and use crap commercial honey, as it can contain impurities. (Food & Wine)
You had me at ‘fudge,’ and lo and behold, this one’s actually healthy. (Price Pottenger)
If you don’t want to wait to find out if you’ve won the giveaway to try Goat Milk Stuff, you can take advantage of our 20%-off coupon, exclusive to Brunette Gardens readers. Just enter BG2023 at checkout, now through September 30.
And if your summer vacations take you through Scottsburg, Indiana, stop on by the Goat Milk Stuff farm for a tour!