Sanctuary Spotlight: How to Grow Purslane

Spotlight on Purslane pic

When I was browsing my seed catalogs this past January, I was looking for some greens that I could grow in the heat of summer. I found two varieties of purslane in the catalog from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Because I’d heard purslane was good for you, I ordered both varieties. Little did I know just how good it is for you and how awesome it tastes. How to grow purslane!

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Sanctuary Spotlight: How to Grow Corn

Anasazi corn in one of my raised beds

Anasazi corn in one of my raised beds

When most people think about growing corn, they picture large farms in the U.S. Midwest with acres of corn being harvested by large combines. Yet, growing this crop is not outside the realm of the urban farmer or backyard gardener. You can grow enough corn for your family in a raised bed in your garden with ease. How to grow corn!

Sanctuary Spotlight: How to Grow Elderberry

Black Elderberry fruit via publicphoto.org SG

Normally, when I spotlight a fruit or vegetable, it’s one I have grown. Today’s spotlight is a little different in that I have not grown this wonderful fruit – yet. However, I just ordered two shrubs from Jung Seed (along with my new batch of raspberry canes to replace the ones I lost to disease last year). I’m very excited about growing these fruits as they are extremely nutritious and are used in medicinal treatments. Of course, in preparation for the arrival of my order, I did quite a bit of research on how to plant them, grow them, and harvest them. I figured, why not share the information with you now and give you time to order and plant elderberry shrubs for yourself? How to grow elderberry!

Sanctuary Spotlight: How to Grow Potatoes

It’s been potato mania on my homestead lately. I’ve been buying a┬álot of potatoes the past two weeks because I’ve been getting some decent deals, so there have been quite a few meals with potatoes on the plate. I’ve had dozens of seed potatoes growing eyes in paper bags in my kitchen – potatoes I’ll be planting this weekend. With all these potatoes on my mind — and because it’s potato planting season in Zone 8 – I thought this was a good time to Spotlight potatoes.

How to grow potatoes!

Sanctuary Spotlight: How to Grow Pumpkins

I admit, as much as summer is the greatest time for gardening, I love autumn and the fall planting. Fall gardening is great because of the (eventual) cooler temperatures and the decrease in pests (sooner or later), but also because of the cool weather crops that can be grown. These include pumpkins. In my area, we have two seasons to plant pumpkins – the spring and mid-late summer. I planted my first pumpkins in April this year, but the evil squash borers killed them. I planted them again earlier this month, adding an additional (hopefully, more resistant) variety to my planting. Because pumpkin pie is my all-time favorite pie, I’m determined to grow my own pumpkins – and have some ready for harvest by Thanksgiving (I hope). Have you ever thought about growing your own pumpkins? How to grow pumpkins!

Sanctuary Spotlight: How to Grow Beets

One of my favorite fall crops is beets. Growing up, I always loved canned beets. Then, as an adult, I tasted fresh beets and my love increased! What a wonderfully sweet, nutritious crop to grow. And, planting your own beets gives you two crops for the same effort. Both the roots and the greens are edible and highly nutritious. Even if you grew up disliking beets, eating fresh beets may just surprise your taste buds. Consider growing them in your garden this fall. How to grow beets!

Sanctuary Spotlight: How to Grow Turnips

Based on an article I read online, turnips seem to be a crop that not many gardeners grow. It’s a shame because turnips are a great crop for the home garden. They’re easy to grow, and they provide two foods in one – the root (the turnip itself) and the greens. It’s a fall crop that keeps well, and there are several varieties to choose from. I grow the purple top turnip that is common in grocery stores as well as the golden globe turnip (which is milder and has a buttery taste). I can’t imagine my fall garden without turnips. Planting time is around the corner. Consider growing this nutritious crop this year. How to grow turnips!

Sanctuary Spotlight: How to Grow Raspberries

If you’re a berry lover like I am, I’m sure you’ve had many times of frustration in the grocery store when you’ve seen the prices of raspberries. When I started my garden, I decided that I was going to grow my own raspberries so that I’d have an annual supply of my favorite berry without all the cost. You’d be surprised just how easy it is to grow raspberries in your back yard. How to grow raspberries!

Sanctuary Spotlight: How to Grow Tomatillos

I never thought I would be growing tomatillos. Admittedly, it’s not an everyday kind of crop. Yet, because they’re great in guacamole and in salsa, both favorites of mine, I decided to try growing them. I planted them from seed end of January, along with my tomatoes and peppers; but, unfortunately, they didn’t survive the transplanting process. However, my local Lowes had tomatillo plants for sale, so I bought two and put them into one of my tomato beds. I am so glad I did. They are a beautiful plant with fruit that is awesome to watch grow. How to grow tomatillos!

Sanctuary Spotlight: How to Grow Garlic

When I was in school, I used to joke that mosquitoes didn’t bite me very often because they didn’t like Italian blood. Come to find out, that wasn’t too far from the truth. Mosquitoes don’t like the scent of garlic that is emitted from the pores of people who eat a lot of it. And we all know that Italians eat a lot of garlic!

I love garlic – fresh, fried, or roasted. There aren’t too many recipes that I don’t add garlic to. In fact, I use so much garlic that I decided to plant it for the first time last fall. Well, the harvest came in a week or so ago, and it was beautiful! I’m so excited about my garlic harvest, I had to share this wonderful crop with you now. How to grow garlic!