This Season’s Great Crop Experiment: Rice

I’m sure this has happened to you before. You’re looking through the seed catalog in the middle of winter and dreaming of how free of pests and disease your garden is going to be, how perfect the amount of rain is going to be, and how productive all your crops are going to be, and you think you can fit just one more crop in.
Every year I get inspired (or some might say duped) to buy an unusual crop or plant I’ve never tried before. This year was no different. Apparently, and crazily, rice is grown in southern Missouri. I eat so much rice I would at least like to see if it would be possible to grow it here, so I spent the $1.50 on a little packet of upland rice. This is what happened.

The Crazy, Beautiful, and Useful Tropical Plants in my Neighborhood

There’s nothing I like more than going for a botanical walk through the neighborhoods of St Pete. Some neighborhoods have mostly lawn, but some have a startling array of tropical plants on display, some useful, most just ornamental. But every walk is like a new adventure and you never know what crazy plants you will discover just a few blocks from where you are staying.

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5000 Subscribers! Edible Wild Plants at the Sustainable Living Conference

In March, I had the chance to go to the Sustainable Living Conference, a gathering of a couple hundred people interested in finding out how they can live more sustainable lifestyles. The event went on for four days and there were dozens of workshops on all different topics. Although I was only there for a day or so, my interest was piqued and I plan to go back in future years for a longer time.

An Underappreciated Fruit for the Permaculture Garden: The Gooseberry

This is a video I made earlier in the season about my gooseberry harvest. This fruit grows really well in our area so it’s a great addition to a permaculture planting as a low bush. These bushes produce abundantly and have virtually no disease or insect problems when grown organically. People often don’t realize the value of some of the more obscure or seemingly less palatable fruits.

In my experience, a fruit having this reputation usually means it can be used in many different and unexpected ways, you just have to know what you’re doing. Not every fruit can be perfect, sweet, and intended for eaten out of hand, and our ancestors knew that when they selected fruit for other uses than out of hand eating. Culinary fruits are just as useful, and add so much more to food culture and food security.