animals, plants and humans.

arched pvc arbor/raised beds with onion flower blossoms. elderberry blossoms in backround spring 2017
arched pvc arbor/raised beds with onion flower blossoms. elderberry blossoms in backround spring 2017
volunteer tulip tree (state tree)
volunteer tulip tree transplanted from front to back yard spring 2017 backyard seems to be good spot for tree. tree should grow tall and straight. tulip tree is state tree for Indiana.


raised beds spring 2017
raised beds spring 2017




Wild, but worth cultivation

Chenopodium Album belongs to the Amaranthaceae family. It is an edible green also known as goosefoot, wild spinach, and lambs quarters. I first learned of this plant when it popped up in the garden in the spring of 2015 after we purchased a dump truck full of soil to fill our new raised beds in the garden. It was a welcome surprise. We quickly learned that this plant was not only edible, but as nutritious as spinach, hence one of its nicknames wild spinach.

Prompted by an Anthropology class on Native America and its inhabitants, I have learned more about goosefoot and the indigenous peoples who ate it.

Potawatomi and Miami peoples called it  “koko’cîbag” pronounced as “go kosh beg”. They would eat it raw and cooked. They used it to make bitter medicines taste better and to ward off and treat scurvy. Check out the nutritional information below; you’ll see that this plant offers up some serious vitamin A and C!



A surprise goosefoot growing in a raised bed


Chenpodium Nutrition

@015 to 2017 before and after raised beds.jpg

Raised bed installation picture 2015 (left) and the same area photographed again in spring 2017 (right)
Plants found in the shot include hops, elderberry, bee balm, tarragon, and salad burnet.  Notice how you can hardly see the fence in 2017 – the elderberry fedge (food-hedge) has settled in nicely.



Beginning in June 2013, I stopped focusing on traditional annual gardening, and began creating a backyard habitat. Focusing mostly on native perennials, the grass in the yard has slowly gone away in favor of useful plants. We still plant annuals each year, like tomatoes, peppers, peas and beans, but from seeds we have saved, or plants started by local organic farmers.

Backyard 1
Spring 2017