Blog

Seed Cleaning Workshop Chicago Sep 30, 2017

Saturday Sep 30, 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM Richo Cech will be in Chicago for the 3rd “Making Plant Medicine” workshop, this one focused on saving seed of medicinal plants.  Participants will learn about growing medicinal herbs for seed, harvesting, screening, winnowing seeds, wet seed processing, optimal seed storage, and packaging and labeling seeds.  Emphasis is on learning through…

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The Survival Medicine Garden

Money doesn’t grow on trees but remedies do grow on plants, or in them, as it were. Over the years I’ve grown quite a few different medicinal plants from all over the globe. The diversity has been very interesting to study and has been a great diversion. However in a pinch when I need a medicinal plant to treat…

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Growing True Comfrey From Seeds

True Comfrey Flowers

The flowers of True Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) are generally very richly arrayed and colored dark purple.  The leaves are lance-shaped and not so broad as those of Russian Comfrey.   True Comfrey is really the nicest of the Comfrey clan in my opinion.  From the luscious leaves to the thick, mucilage-laden roots I find nothing to compare. For years…

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Chia Seed: Nutritional Value and Health Benefits

Chia seed, that powerful little bundle originating from the American Southwest and Mesoamerica, is truly unrivalled in terms of its nutritional value and health benefits. Chia is the most concentrated source of alpha-linoleic acid (Omega-3 fatty acids) in the plant kindom, making it an ideal food for those suffering from inflammation of any sort, including maladies of the nerves, eyes or…

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Tulsi (Holy Basil) Type Comparisons

How does one disambiguate a subject so complex?  Holy Basil, a plant that is gentle and healing to body, mind and spirit should bring happiness, not confusion! The commonality of all types (species/cultivars) is that the leaves may be eaten fresh, used in cooking, or best yet picked, dried, and made into tea. Taxonomy:  Vana Tulsi (a tree basil) is Ocimum gratissimum….

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Growing Wasabi from Seeds

    Wasabi is an evergreen perennial in the Mustard family, albeit one of the more sensitive and reclusive mustards on Earth.  The plant is native to Japan and cultivated there extensively, often grown in pure cold water of stream or spring. We find that the plant can readily be grown in good compost, as well.  If watered frequently…

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Echinacea species comparisons

Our 9 native American Echinacea species come from distinct habitats yet adapt readily to cultivation in the organic garden. Echinacea purpurea is often considered to be the prettiest, and is also most adaptable to a wide range of soils and temperatures.  Echinacea angustifolia is the most northerly ranging, the smallest and really the toughest, as well.  Echinacea paradoxa is the largest,…

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Mother Earth News Rags or Riches

Writing for “Mother Earth News” has always been attractive to me. It is the quintessential do-it-yourself homesteading rag, read by 390,000 people, which is a lot. My most recent article “Medicinal Herbs for Difficult Growing Conditions” was published in the April/May 2017 issue. I wanted to inspire fellow gardeners to make good use of challenging environments such as shade,…

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The Art of Direct Seeding

What could be more convenient? Sow your seeds directly in the garden at just the right season and watch them come up and develop right where they belong! Here are a few tips to make your direct-seeding experience as successful and convenient as it should be. What is it? Direct-seeding is sowing in place. One cannot “direct-seed” in a pot,…

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