Homemade Black Walnut Ink

Make Your Own Black Walnut Ink (+ Giveaway)

Header hand drawn by Davin Risk Over the last year I’ve posted about some of my experiments in dyeing fabrics and threads with plants gleaned from my garden to be used in my winter, off-season stitching projects. Since then I have expanded beyond my own garden to use plant materials foraged from the world beyond.

New York City Plants

Photo: Plants for Sale, NYC

I was browsing through some of my old photos this morning and happened upon this one, taken on a trip to New York City back in May 2005 when I was promoting my first book. Looking at this image now, on a cold winter day, the soil long ago buried underneath snow, fills me with

Make Your Own Homegrown Smudge Sticks

Gifts from the Garden: Homegrown Smudge Sticks

Smudge sticks are tightly bound bundles of dried woody, resinous herbs, that are slowly burned as a way to purify and cleanse the air. While the roots of burning a smudge stick, or smudging, is in North American Native purification rites and ceremony, they can be used by anyone to bring the woody smell of

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #12: Fall is Here

And just like that we’ve gone from summer to fall. I could see the changes coming: the bean plants turning yellow and then brown; then, of course, that first colourful fallen leaf on the sidewalk. Despite these subtle signs, this year fall came suddenly, almost painfully. For that reason I thought it would be good

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #11: Your Edible Rewards

It’s the height of the harvest season, and while I know not all of you are into growing food, it’s practically impossible to be a gardener without growing at least one edible plant: a special variety of mint because nothing else will do in a mojito; hot peppers because their diversity fascinates you (this is

Squash and Cucumber Flowers

Diversity is Beautiful (and Other Tangents to See You Into the Weekend)

I’ve been thinking a lot about diversity in the garden. As I wander around, observing everything that is growing, the beautiful diversity within each family and genus, and even within the same plant amazes me. I don’t have anything super profound to say about this right now, it’s just something that I am appreciating in

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild: Catch Up

Hello. Just peeking my head out after a long weekend. I’ve decided to skip this instalment of the Grow Write Guild bi-weekly garden writing prompts. It’s mid-summer and if you’re like me, you could probably use the break or some time to get caught up. This is where I admit to you that while I

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #10: This Plant is Driving Me Nuts

We all have one plant (or a few) that we do not understand. For me it was radish. In my first few years as a rooftop gardener, every radish crop I tried to grow came out wooden, under-sized, and pathetic. Radishes are easy to grow (given the right conditions) and I eventually figured out what

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #9: The Weird Al

I’ve been saving this prompt idea for a time when we could all use something a bit silly and dumb and with this hot muggy weather and the early July holidays behind us, I think the time is now. This idea came to me when my dog Molly was outside chasing the squirrels that invade

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #8: The Essence of Summer

The summer solstice (June 21) has just passed and I thought it fitting to mark the turning of the seasons. Summer is my favourite season of the year, a joyful time of long days spent outdoors soaking up vitamin D and enjoying the bounty of crops as they come into fruition. However, having just visited

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #7: In Bloom

Grow Write Guild Prompt #7: Write about one plant that is currently in bloom. Use the following questions and strategies to help spark different approaches to this prompt. Feel free to ignore this if you don’t need it. Further Notes & Questions: Go outside and look at your garden right now. What is in bloom?

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