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Gardening - What's in your yard? - Rebeccah Davis

Do You Know What's In Your Yard? I Didn't!

A few years ago I became interested in building a food storage stash by gardening. So far, this decision has helped us through lean times and is something I haven’t found any reason to regret. I get to have the enjoyable experience of planting fruits and vegetables, and watching through the year as my effort literally begins to bear fruit. Then, harvest season brings the laborious, yet rewarding experience of canning and preserving food for use through the winter.

Last year, however, I began to look around at my yard, planted end to end with grass, and started to see all that area as waste. I made the decision, as I work on landscaping, that I would only plant plants with medicinal or edible uses.

I realized it probably won’t matter what is in your yard until you need what might have grown there. It doesn’t take much to disrupt life as we know it, whether it’s an earthquake or political upheaval won’t matter. We just need what we need. So first, I decided to take inventory. I had no idea what I might already have.


Red Poppies have many traditional medicinal properties.

If your inventory takes the same route as mine, you will be very surprised! I couldn’t believe the wealth of uses the plants I already have could offer. I won’t list all the uses, because that is part of what makes this fun, but here is a short list of examples.

  • Red Raspberries: Edible and medicinal (leaves)
  • Wild Roses: Rose hips are an excellent source of vitamin C.
  • Hollyhocks: Medicinal
  • Grapes: Edible fruit and leaves
  • Peony: Medicinal (roots) plant is poisonous
  • Dandelion: Edible and medicinal
  • Red Clover: Medicinal
  • Chocolate vine: Edible
  • Thyme: Edible and medicinal

After inventorying my yard, I realized I don't have anything to make jelly, so I decided to plant some Josta berries. Another item I love which I am getting ready to purchase is a Passion Flower plant. It is medicinal, and its fruit, called Maypops can be used to make jelly too, which I'm very exited about trying. Thankfully, there is a Passion Flower variety which grows in my zone.

From here, I will likely need to slow down and see how much room I have for new plants next year. Choosing plants for their usefulness as well as their aesthetic value has really added a lot to my shopping experience. It has really zoned me in to specific types of plants and makes me think more about each purchase. This has been a great experience and I have a feeling its just the beginning.

Discovering what is in my yard has been both fun and educational, as I learn to find new, inexpensive ways to prepare my family for potential disruptions in the supply chain.

Researching my yard has been so interesting! I hope you will try it and find it fun and useful too.

For more info, here are some suggested readings:

School of Natural Healing by John R.Christopher

http://www.eattheweeds.com


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