Monday, April 9, 2012

Upcoming Workshops at Mountain Gardens

Mountain Gardens Herbs presents: Useful Native Woodland Plants


Topics covered to include:
Identification, ecology, cultivation and uses of edible, medicinal
and otherwise useful species.

At Mountain Gardens hundreds of species are displayed in a Paradise Garden setting and in the immediately adjacent Pisgah National Forest most of the major native medicinal and edible herbs can be seen in their natural habitat. 
Plants are available for sale in our nursery - come early or stay late to shop.

Dates: Monday, April 16 and again Sunday, April 29
1-5pm      Cost: $50

Course location:
Celo, - near Burnsville, approx. 1 hour NE of Asheville

 Visit our website for pictures, directions and a schedule of
upcoming workshops on wasabi cultivation,
Chinese medicinal herbs, perennial vegetables,
tonic / longevity herbs & preparations
sacred and magical plants
(828) 675-5664

Friday, April 6, 2012

How Does Our Garden Grow?

With this Spring's warm weather, we are about a month ahead on our planting schedule!  We have been busy planting seeds and starts while many new blossoms appear every day.  Our gardens are blessed with a bounty of edible plants, native Appalachian and Chinese medicinal herbs.

Lotus seedlings
Enjoy these photos of just a few of this spring's beauties!
Oca and mashua tubers



Happy pollinator

Jack in the pulpit

Vegetable starts, cold frame thrown aside to let in the sun!

Flame Azalea

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April Showers bring...Mushrooms!

Here at Mountain Gardens we are experiencing a bit of mushroom mania.  We have enjoyed harvesting shiitakes and oyster mushrooms from our mushroom logs, and found a few choice specimens of morels in the wild.  (One morel, divided between 6 interns, makes one tasty morsel each!)

We have been busy inoculating mushroom logs with a mix of shiitake mushroom spawn (mycellium immersed in sawdust.    Different mushrooms grow well in different kinds of wood.  For the shiitakes, we used oak logs. 

With logs pre-cut, this day's process began with drilling holes in the logs. Our two battery powered drills ran down mid-process, and we briefly reverted to the hand-powered drill.  Luckily, our neighbor Keenan was home to lend us his electric drill, and our newly updated 1K solar system could run the drill!  (Thanks Keenan!)

Once the drilling is complete, the spawn is inserted in the holes. Soybean or bee's wax is painted over the holes to keep the spawn inside, and unwanted fungus out.

In about 6 months, we will have a new crop of shiitakes to enjoy.  Luckily, we already have mushroom logs producing from previous inoculations, so we are not mushroom-less while we wait!

Sean hand drilling holes in the log!


Ryan melts wax on the Rocket Stove to apply to the log.  

Covering the holes with wax.