Plant Allies

Deepen your knowledge of and connection with plants through in-depth profiles about our favorite homesteading allies. Each profile delves into the plant’s botanical background, qualities, growing guides, food / craft / medicinal uses and folklore.

  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

    Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

    Dandelion is the ubiquitous, quintessential weed that everyone and their mother knows by her beautiful golden blossoms and irresistibly puffy seed head. Most of us remember blowing upon dandelion seed heads, just for the joy of it as children, watching the seeds magically float off to unseen worlds. In fact, many of us still find…

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  • Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

    Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

    Nettle, aka Stinging Nettle, is one of my top beloved permaculture homestead plants. And so I am very excited to share some time dedicated to Nettle with you today! Nettle has been called the “seaweed of the Earth”, because like seaweed, her leaves are packed full of minerals and nutrients. Nettle offers massive nutritional benefits…

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  • Perennial Kale (Brassica oleracea var. ramosa)

    Perennial Kale (Brassica oleracea var. ramosa)

    Perennial Kale is easily my favorite permaculture homestead plant. I am grateful that my path crossed with Chris Homanics, the breeder of Homesteader’s Perennial Kale some years ago. After giving it a chance, my relationship with kale has never been the same! In fact I no longer grow any other variety of kale. Every member…

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  • Aronia Berry (Aronia melanocarpa)

    Aronia Berry (Aronia melanocarpa)

    Aronia is a genus of fruiting shrubs native to the east coast of North America. I have come to love Aronia and am planting it throughout our gardens for abundant berries, health and beauty. I first met Aronia at a permaculture homestead while I was WWOOFing in the Pacific Northwest. Still young, the shrubs were…

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  • Elderberry (Sambucus)

    Elderberry (Sambucus)

    Explore the healing wonders of Elder, why Elder is called a “medicine chest” since medieval time, and why we want to grow an entire grove of Elders on our homestead. I met Elder for the first time years ago at my workplace in California, where I often sat in her shade, not knowing then about…

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