View our interactive map by visiting
🐓The Farmgirl Monthly🐓
March: The Art of Crafting a Garden
Charles Dowding
How long have you been preserving the traditional art (craft) of designing, planting, growing and harvesting a garden? Do you think that taking a blank canvas of land and planting a garden can become an artistic expression of oneself?

I created my first market garden in 1982, for cropping through 1983. I realized straightaway how important it is that a farm and area should look beautiful as well as being productive. The two are synonymous and much more I think, than is commonly acknowledged.

I made raised beds by hand in those days, after rotating the soil, pre-cardboard and tarps. I shoveled soil from what became a pathway to what became a bed, and the land looked beautiful laid out in those geometric shapes. Then it became even more beautiful once the vegetables were growing.
Melanated Organics
My name is Devona, I live in sunny South Florida with my three children. I served as a law-enforcement officer for over 23 years. Those years of police work came with challenges both mentally and physically. Over time I began to suffer from depression and anxiety. In 2018, I decided to put my energy into things I love doing, in order to conquer and cope with my depression. When I was a child I had a tiny little garden with a patch of tomatoes and sweet peppers, gardening brought me so much joy and peace, so I began growing food again.

In 2020 Melanated Organics was born from the seed of thought. Now I serve others by sharing my love of gardening and healthy food.
Grow Food Grow You

Melanated Organics recently added a tea line @melanated_organicteas a natural transition from healthy food to healthy beverages.

Earthbeat Seeds
Earthbeat Seeds is small scale, Vermont based seed company specializing in medicinal herb and pollinator attractor seed sustainably grown by us, our partner farms, or is wild harvested. We are also very focused on the sustainability of our packaging, sourcing 100% recycled and unbleached paper packaging that can be composted and returned to the garden along with our seeds!

Our motto is "For the Medicine of Tomorrow" because we believe in supporting a holistic, sustainable and grassroots approach to human and planetary health. Our offerings are an invitation to reclaim your birth right to work with plants and plant medicine. Seeds are magical, they literally hold genetic material of the future. To be able to hold that in your hand is quite empowering!

The simple act of saving and starting seeds is one that will deepen your sense of independence from a system that has failed many in terms of access to health care and healthy food. Tending plants will also shift your attention toward your interdependence with the natural world.

Simple solutions are needed to complex problems so that everyone can play a role in shaping our future. By working with seeds and plants you are joining a growing movement, one with mother nature leading the way. Our role is to humbly care take for her and to show deep gratitude for the bountiful harvests she provides.

For us, seed security means many small-scale sources of sustainably and ethically grown seed. For this reason, we will continue to expand our selection of mindfully grown and sourced seed, “For the Medicine of Tomorrow.”

San Diego Seed Co.
Brijette and her husband Roger operate San Diego Seed Company from their one-acre farm in San Diego, CA. Their woman-owned business is the only certified-organic urban seed company in the United States.

San Diego Seed Company is unique in providing locally produced, regionally adapted seeds. Seeds are non-GMO, untreated, and naturally grown. Producing seeds where they’ll be grown allows food crops to adapt to local growing conditions, makes them more resistant to local plant diseases and pests, and better adapted to environmental conditions and soil. Seed on the farm is sown and harvested by hand. All seed is packaged by hand or on a specialized vintage seed packaging machine called a Ballard.

Through her Million Urban Farmers campaign, Brijette seeks to inspire, educate, and support urban farmers in all spaces, big and small, supporting regional food systems by promoting local access to healthy food.

San Diego Seed Company’s sustainable seeds are sold online and in regional nurseries and specialty shops. Their seed catalog, essential gardening tools, and classes are available on our website.

Lineage Seeds
My name is Jared Ryan Hagood and I come from a lost line. I grew up as a mostly white boy in inner city Memphis, TN with no connection to my genetic inheritance of songs, seeds, history, or story. I left my lost home at 18 and traveled the world asking the questions of who am I, why am i here, where am i going, and what is my offering. These questions led me to farming and I found a mentor that brought me into the world of seed work and being a keeper of seed. After many years working fields and farmers markets, in 2011, I was working in a seed bank and had I visions of putting seeds in clay pots. 10 years later, many fields and teachers later, all over the world, I found potters that wanted to make seed pots for the seeds I am growing. Now, we grow seeds and make pottery to put the seeds in as vessels we can all have in our home to honor each of our unique seed stories for generations to come.

Lineage Seeds is a farmers dream to put heritage seeds in clay pots to have in our homes and pass down forever. Simply put, our seed pots are an upgrade from the paper packets most seeds are sold in. We work with local potters to make the pots, we grow the heirloom seeds ourselves, and write a scroll detailing the history of the seed which comes in every clay pot.

We imagine a seed bank in every home. Stay connected to see our Home Seed Bank, coming soon, that stores the pots in a beautiful, hand made bank for your home.

Be a keeper of seeds.

A Modern Cottage Garden
A Modern Cottage Garden
Amanda J. Paul

Cottage Gardens have been grown throughout history for their beauty, functionality and practical purposes. With edible plants as a primary piece, cottage gardens today versus cottage gardens in the 1400s have remained very much the same aesthetically.

Although cottage gardens may look like they’ve planted themselves, they of course did not, but the design principles are fairly standard. Every inch of the garden should be considered with additions like herbs, fruit trees, flowers, and vegetables planted intensively for maximum yield, usefulness, pollination, and joy.

Cottage gardens are typically planted in sunny spots usually with gates, walkways, stepping stones, arbors, and arches. Rustic and natural embellishments like benches, bird baths, and sundials are also usually implemented. Furthermore, it is characteristic of cottage gardens to have deep borders of flowers, herbs, other edible plants and trees planted to promote abundance, beauty, and a relaxing retreat for the gardener.

The beauty of cottage gardens is that they should look like they’ve essentially planted themselves. Rambling, tangled, self-sowing, abundance. Create focal points and highs and lows with texture. Embrace native plants, ornamental...

Lovely Greens
The Benefits of Growing Plants with Multiple Uses

 by Tanya Anderson, author of A Woman’s Garden

If gardeners could stop thinking about their gardens as miniature farms, our growing spaces could become more productive. Though both produce food, vegetable gardens and fields of crops are two different animals altogether. They’re easily confused, though, which is why food gardening can be both hard work and expensive. If you try to emulate conventional farming practices in a smaller growing space, you’ll end up with gluts, diseases, weeds, pests, and a lot of wasted effort and money. The soil can suffer from it, too, leading our gardens down a path of lower-resilience.

Several years ago, I started experimenting with no-dig gardening, pollinator-friendly practices, and polyculture – growing multiple plants within the same space. All have succeeded in my low-cost organic garden and are smart practices that reduce effort and input and increase yield. Another method that I use to add both delight and a sustainable harvest is to grow plants with multiple uses.

In my mind, a plant that has multiple uses is more than just food. It could be an edible plant also used medicinally, for dyeing, as a companion plant, or as an ornamental. For example, what do you do with a carrot? You can eat it, of course, yet carrot puree can naturally color handmade soap, the leaves are a natural yellow dye for wool and cloth, and you can make decent wine from sugar-rich carrot roots. If you grow colored carrots, it opens up a new creative door.

Companion planting is another way that edible plants can have multiple uses. Many are familiar with the three sisters planting of...

Eating Buckets
Many people describe the moment of becoming a gardener as something as simple as planting one seed in the ground and feeling surprising joy at the first sprout of life, or tasting a juicy sweet tomato that is nothing like store-bought and wondering if it’s a different species, how could it be a tomato at all? Or drizzling olive oil and flake salt on a first bowl of assorted baby lettuces after thinning a row of greens and discovering a manna of flavor that tastes like the earth and sun and rain all in one heady beautiful bite. Farm-to-table is just a simple idea—it means grow your food and harvest it right before eating it. And it’s glorious.

​After years of gardening I finally know how to grow enough produce to feed my family for a year—and fill shelves and freezers with gourmet food. It’s been an experience I wouldn’t have known was so deeply satisfying and delicious until I actually walked the path to get here. Nor did I realize the life lessons that growing our own food would teach me—the gift of finding joy in small steps; oflearning a “seed by seed” mentality of planting and harvesting one idea and one plant at a time; of discovering the soulful benefits of having my hands in the soil and face to the sun and later filling my arms with food to eat and share; and learning how to save seeds that I will later be able to gift to all our future generations. I also didn’t know how much money we could really save until I watched our shopping bills plummet and my dreams of really saving money start to manifest themselves.

I didn’t realize that I would end up spending so much happy time writing about this lifestyle on my blog Eating Buckets ( or that it would turn into a journey of such peace, contentment, and fortitude. I have the feeling if...

The Flor•ish Co
Hi, I am Izzie, a first generation, Caribbean-American micro-farmer located in Northern Florida. I own and operate Flor-ish Farms (pronounced Flourish), a ⅛ acre micro-farm. We are a crop farm who’s main crops are microgreens, low maintenance greens such as: salad blends, kale, collards, mustard swiss chard, culinary herbs, and flowers from spring to farm. I am a firm believer in the healing powers of agriculture and the way it works with your mental, physical and spiritual well being.

There is often a stigma that comes with mental health especially in communities of Color. I believe in breaking down that stigma by using the tool in my hand, agriculture. There is a powerful connection between mental health and agriculture, there is powerful healing in the methods of gardening. I am a firm believer in gloveless gardening. Why, you might ask? There is a healthy bacteria in the soil called mycobacterium that alerts your brain cells to produce serotonin - a natural antidepressant. Gardening provides a routine which is good for those who struggle with depression, it gives them something to look forward to and connect with as well as providing grounding methods for themselves that allows them to connect with the earth/soil.

Therapeutic gardening, or garden therapy has healing properties, whether you have a therapy garden, or your garden is therapeutic for you the benefits are beyond belief. There are several types of therapy gardens, you have your sensory gardens which work on the senses and are great for anxiety, they work with the senses and grounding. Gardening for therapy is slightly different, you don’t have a blueprint but instead you are, planting your own garden and creating your own space, growing your own food/herbs and using it to help improve and benefit your mental health. When planting a garden there are lots of herbs or plants you can use to help benefit the mental health...

I live with my family in an old Victorian farmhouse on an island in the Pacific Northwest where I write my blog Eating Buckets and grow all my own food and flowers. Years ago, I lived in Italy for several months and fell in love with tra- ditional Roman zuppa di zucchine, a silky, delicious soup made with the most basic ingredients—just broth, olive oil, zucchini, salt, and pepper. This is my variation, and every time I defrost a batch from my deep freezer it’s like revisiting the harvest days of summer, so my family and I call it “sunshine soup.”

1 cup olive oil, divided
1⁄4–1⁄2 cup butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped 5 medium or large cloves garlic,
1 medium shallot, chopped
10 cups zucchini, chopped
Sunshine Soup
  1. Add 1/2 cup olive oil and butter to a soup pot on low heat and gently sauté the onion, garlic, and shallot until soft, watching carefully to ensure the garlic doesn’t overheat or burn.
  2. Add zucchini to soup pot and stir thoroughly.
  3. Add water or broth, thyme, and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and simmer at medium heat, stirring frequently, adding more broth or water as necessary to prevent sticking or burning. The soup will quickly become too thin if you add too much liquid at once, so...
SeedLinked combines the power of citizen science with accessible smartphone technology and data analytics to create a tool anyone can use to breed, source, and harvest the best seeds for a more successful growing season, and a more resilient food future.

What's Brewing? A Compost Podcast
"What's Brewing? A Compost Podcast" is a podcast devoted solely to making and using actively aerated compost tea as it relates to soil food web knowledge. This podcast series starts off with an in-depth discussion of the soil food web followed by an entire episode on creating high biology compost. The series includes episodes which cover the materials needed for brewing compost tea, setting up a brewer, a complete breakdown of brewing, as well as applying compost tea. "What's Brewing" is loaded with useful information and soil food web wisdom. Hosted by Troy Hinke owner of Living Roots Compost Tea and made available by Diego Footer's podcast network "Farm Land". Find it by searching for "What's Brewing" on Spotify or "Farm Land" on iTunes.

Help preserve the farm! FarmMade FarmSavers sole purpose is to SAVE FARMS and GROW NEW ONES.