Is there anyone who doesn't get excited to wander through the garden in spring to see if any plants are welcoming you?
The more I plant my own food, the more I learn about resources, nourishment, saving money, and having an endless supply of certain produce and herbs.
I have definitely had a shift in mind set when it comes to gardening and planting pots and baskets around the house. I invite you to read on and see if I can help create inspiration within yourself to think the same.
First, instead of buying that flower basket that vibrantly speaks to me, I ask myself if it has any use besides its beauty. If not, I prefer to search for a beautiful flower that holds medicinal or nutritional value and spend my money wiser. A flower that is just as vibrant, such as organic Calendula, that can be harvested and infused into oils, bone broth, or tea for internal and external healing.
Second, I now feel the need to question what goes in my garden and if it will return again. I have become quite fond of the idea of having perennials versus annuals to save money and have a free return of a nourishing foods and herbs. Chives, strawberries, lemon balm, lavender, lovage, and mints are a few of those I have planted and anxiously wait to see them return. I divide them when they are fully grown and place them in multiple places to increase growth and production... and to ensure I have plenty more if the critters sneak in.
I have also started to save the seeds of the annual flowers and vegetables to have a free seed supply for the following year.
At the end of fall, I repot plants to bring indoors to continue to have a food or herb supply for as long as the plant will survive. Some will last right through spring and get replanted. Food is medicine, herbs are medicinal. To have them indoors during the cold winter months is a wonderful feeling.
Lastly, I look at what I can grow indoors during the winter months to continue to nourish my family or hold onto in case its medicinal use is needed. Lemon Balm has always been wonderful to survive right through the winter. Chives can be split up outdoors and a batch can be potted to bring in. Other herbs and edible flowers can be brought inside. New greens planted late summer can be brought in too. Other herbs that cannot be brought indoors, can be harvested and dried or froze for later use.
Micro-greens are an amazing nutrient source, small... but pack a punch with nourishment, and do not take up much space. Micro-greens are said to have up forty times the nutrients than the mature leaves! Up to forty times!!!
When you allow your children to take part in the gardening and growing, they are also more apt to want to indulge in their healthy veggies. For the child who isn't a fan of greens and lettuce, letting them know they can add a few of the tiniest micro-greens to their sandwich for a super charge of nutrients can really get them fired up to add them. Or, just tell them when they see a leaf of green, it means you love them! It works!
I have also find that every tree or shrub I look at, I am asking if it has a healthful purpose and looking for alternatives that bear fruit or have parts with medicinal value.
Mother nature has a lot to provide to nourish our bodies and minds if we are open to thinking about it and learning more.
Teach your children as you learn so they too, can learn, do, and grow.
** Always check precautions of all herbs prior to use. Never harvest any herbs or flowers unless you are 120 percent sure of your harvest. Always teach your children about precautions and plant look a likes, some which can be fatal. **
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Jamie Michaels, Natural Wellness Educator & Founder of Children's Wellness Tree
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