Permaculture

I've been tossing around the word 'permaculture' to describe some of the activities Anthony and I are engaged in here on the suburban farmstead. As it's not a mainstream way of gardening (and way of life) yet, I thought it might be helpful to define it. Read more →


It's been a long, hot summer here in the Midwest, but even hotter is our big permaculture giveaway. We gifted seven permaculture books and 3 decks of permaculture playing cards to 10 lucky Brunette Gardens readers. Our winners range across the U.S., gardening in a variety of climates, and they're an illustrious lot! We're thrilled to know we had a hand in fostering this community of enthusiastic, knowledgable plant people. Read more →


We're about halfway through our loot, our booty, our SWAG, as shown above. As mentioned previously, we started out at the beginning of the summer with all this: Read more →


During one of our Wild Ones garden tours in June, we demonstrated our solar oven, the Sun Oven. But since the tour was only about an hour or so long, folks didn't get to see the finished product, a cooked pot of rice. So I thought I'd show the results here. Read more →


If it's been as hot in your neck of the woods this week as it has been in ours, the last thing you want to think about right now is wool. But from a budget standpoint, that's exactly what you should be thinking about, as summer is a great time to take advantage of deep discounts on cozy items made with this fabric, from base layers ("underwear" if you're in the Midwest) to socks to neck gaiters ("mufflers") like the one shown above.  Read more →


I'm so full of enthusiasm for the two beautiful herbs above that I hardly know how to start talking about them. They tick just about every box on the list! What are they?  American mountain mint, or Pycnanthemum pilosum (above left) Anise hyssop, or Agastache foeniculum (above right) Regular readers of this blog know I've talked previously about "stacked functions," which is a permaculture term for a plant with multiple (or stacked) uses, ranging from replenishing your garden soil to serving as your next meal. Both mint and hyssop excel in this area. But even if you're not into that permie stuff, you should know that these plants are the gifts that keep on giving... and giving. Let me break it down for you. Read more →


We're excited to announce a sweep of giveaways planned for this summer. The drawings kick off on the first day of summer, June 21, and continue in July and August, with the last to be held in September. What are we giving away? A whole bag of permaculture goodies! Read more →


Here in St. Louis, folks often quote Mark Twain as having once opined:  If you don't like the weather in Missouri, just wait a few minutes. Read more →


This year marked the first time we've reached for three full harvests throughout the growing season: early spring, peak summer, and late fall. Read more →


One of my favorite seasonal tasks when autumn arrives is to rake leaves. In mid-November, thanks to a wild windstorm here in the Pacific Northwest that left us without power for 30 hours, the final batches of leaves descended from the two giant maple trees holding court in our front yard. Read more →


This is a rhubarb custard pie, baking inside our Sun Oven. So yes. The answer is yes, you can bake a pie in a solar oven! Here's how. Read more →