Ashwagandha growing journey

We are starting our journey with ashwagandha and have found, like with many plants, there are few seedling photos online.  So here are ours.  I'll document our journey here as we walk with this plant.  


ashwagandha seedling, photo by Richard Herman

ashwagandha seedling, photo by Richard Herman

ashwagandha seedling, photo by Richard Herman

ashwagandha seedling, photo by Richard Herman

Time for Teosinte! A high-yielding fodder plant that animals are “extravagantly fond of”.

It can yield 20-30 tons per acre and would be the top forage crop if it were not for the fact that to truly thrive, it likes a moist, rich soil with a hot growing season.  I am growing for an awesome compost maker!  Teosinte will need at least 5-6 months of good weather to produce a crop and does great in the South and Southwest.  Unlike corn, it is not affected by serious pests or diseases.

Worst post on trap plants ... ever

Datura and potatoes.  Datura took all the flea beetle damage. 

Datura and potatoes.  Datura took all the flea beetle damage. 

Gardening season is coming and I know you have the itch to pull the weeds that will be sprouting up.  But, you might be pulling some serious helpers. 

Don't forget to let (or plant) Lady's thumb or other SmartWeeds in the garden. They are much lower to the ground than other Japanese beetle trap plants (wild rose, wild grape, gaura biennis, sassafras etc), so the chickens can reach and eat them (and my dog actually eats them too). They are also beautiful and lush.  Plus if you get poison ivy you can do a spit poultice with the leaf.  

These plants attract Halictid bees (sweat bees) and Syrphid flies,  and both of their babies eat aphids. Woo hoo!

They attract wasps which are great in the garden. I love working in the garden looking for cabbage worms and the wasps are right there with me doing their morning chores as well. I've never been stung working in the garden, even when working the same plant. They are amazing to watch--quick, systematic, efficient.

Some people say that trap plants attract more bugs to the garden, but my experience doesn't show that. I've been testing trap plants for many years now. What my testing shows is that when the same trap plants are elsewhere, very far away from the garden, I don't see as many pests on them.  Especially in the case of flea beetles and horse nettle, there are none.  

When the trap plants are near, in or around the garden, there are more pests on them than on the annuals that I love. In some cases the plants will be touching (like in the picture above) and the trap plant is almost decimated and the potato (for example) is not touched. I think the annuals draw the pests in, then they say "hey, I'd rather eat that over there".

Don't forget about the insanely beneficial horsenettle and datura in the garden too. Flea beetles love them much more than the potatoes and other plants. Plus their seeds aren't air-born and easy to control.


2016 Schedule

This is where you can find Missouri Herb products on the road.  As more festivals and events are added, this will change.
17th - 18th:  Springfield, MO Cider Days  on historic Walnut Street, booth 72.  When walking in from J.Q. Hammons entrance, I"m down at the end on the right. When coming in from Florence St. entrance, you will almost run into my booth, but go just a little ways towards the Stage and I"ll be on the right.  

24th - 25th: Fairgrove, MO Annual Heritage Reunion   one of the largest craft fairs in Missouri, booth 14

Versailles, MO, booth 357.  Here is their booklet.

7th - 8th: Mt. Vernon Apple Butter Making Days
15th - 16th: Carthage, MO Maple Leaf Festival one of the largest festivals in the state!

4th - 5th: Lee's Summit, MO Fall Harvest and craft Show (may not do this one, depends on the weather)
12th - 13th: Union, MO HUGE Craft fair.  I'll be booth 207