Plant Pigments- in search of a stable green, the latest painting and the next show

Between getting the house clean today, since it’s raining and I couldn’t be outside weed-eating, I’ve been making a mess in the kitchen. People have to not take things at face value in this house. What looks like refreshing tea… just might not be. My kids know by now that not everything they see in […]

The Color of a Plant Does Not Equal the Color of a Paint

I’ve been experimenting with local plants to get a nice, stable, green color for my handmade watercolor paints. Most of the things I’ve tried in my quest for green has resulted in gray or brown. Lamb’s Quarters, a common edible weed turned out to hold green promises. Blue is the other elusive color on my list, […]

Oh no! The Virginia Snakeroot babies are all gone!

I went out to check on the Virginia snakeroot nursery the other day and was mortified to find nothing. Not. One. Plant. Virginia Snakeroot … What’s That? Now, you might be wondering just what’s so important about a plant that really looks like nothing much more than a weed in the woods. It’s a plant […]

Learning the Difference: Ginseng or Buckeye?

Is it ginseng? No, it’s buckeye. There are a few plants that grow here in the Ozarks that make it really difficult for newbies to identify ginseng. That’s because these look so much like ginseng to the inexperienced eye. These are called ginseng look-alikes. One of the look-alikes is Ohio buckeye (Aesculus flava). This is […]

Enjoy Nature: Phlox and Fiddleheads

Here’s a little inspiration to get outside on this beautiful sunny day and enjoy nature. Phlox is blooming and casting joyful purple splashes all around the Wild Ozark hills and woods, and the fiddleheads are unfurling. About Wild Ozark Wild Ozark is a nature farm. Mostly we grow rocks. I use those rocks and some […]

Lousewort, Bumblebee Food and Medicinal Herb

Lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis) is an interesting plant. It’s a medicinal herb said to be effective at muscular pain relief. The bumblebees love it! An interesting find In May of 2014, I noticed an interesting plant. Well, I’m *always* noticing interesting plants, so it wasn’t the first time to notice an interesting plant, but the first […]

Watching a Ginseng Habitat Mystery Plant Unfurl

I have a mystery plant to decipher. Last year I went to the woods and took a root division of a plant I wanted to grow in the Ginseng Habitat Demonstration Garden. I put that root cutting into a pot and placed it in a sheltered spot in one of my nursery terraces. The summer […]

2018 Spring Awakening Watch – First Native Flowers of the Ozarks

It’s mid-March 2018 and I’m watching for the first native flowers of the Ozarks to start blooming. I particularly love the ephemeral blooms of early spring, like the bloodroot and Dutchmen’s breeches. Scroll down to see pictures and keep up with what’s blooming at Wild Ozark. If you’re looking specifically for the ginseng unfurling/blooming, you’ll […]

Ginseng Seedlings Coming Up Early in Arkansas

There are ginseng seedlings coming up early this year, at least in Yellville, Arkansas. I haven’t seen any here at Wild Ozark, yet, but a few hours to the east, my friend Suzanne is reporting that hers are all coming up already. Here’s a pic she sent this morning. I’ve never had them come up […]

When Does Ginseng Come Up? 2018 Ginseng Unfurling Watch

When does ginseng come up? It’s always around this time of year when people start wondering. When does ginseng come up? Usually that happens here at Wild Ozark from mid- to late-April. Today is March 14, 2018. This is the page where I’ll post the photos of our wild-simulated and true wild ginseng unfurling as […]

Vernal Witch Hazel Flowers and Hazelnut too!

Today I went out to take cuttings from the Ozark Witch Hazel in the hopes of rooting them. I wasn’t looking for an American Hazelnut, but that’s what I found! I found the Witch Hazels, too. But I already knew those were there. New finds are always so exciting to me, but I think most […]

What is Nature Farming? What does a Nature Farmer Grow?

What I mean by ‘Nature Farming’ is not the same as ‘natural farming’, ‘organic farming’, or ‘natural farming methods’. Explanations for all of these things come up when you do a search online for ‘nature farming’. But nothing turns up for true nature farming. Hopefully this post will show up in the search engine results […]

Virginia Creeper Seedling in my Ebony Spleenwort Fern

There’s a Virginia creeper  (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) seedling creeping up toward the light in my spleenwort fern (Asplenium platyneuron) container. I watched it for a few days with a suspicious eye as it unfurled, because I thought it might be a poison ivy. Virginia Creeper This isn’t one of my favorite plants. I’m only fascinated with it […]

Namesake of the Dragon – Another Green Dragon Drawing

Here’s the second of the Green Dragon drawings I’ve been working on. I posted the first part of it last week. This part is called the spathe (the hood) and the spadix (the long ‘tongue’) and it is the namesake of the dragon. This part of the plant is what becomes the cluster of red […]

Armadillo Dilemma: To Kill or Not to Kill

So an armadillo moved into one of the ginseng nursery beds & it’s been a destructive force since it arrived. What would you do? Kill it or let it live?

A Green Dragon Drawing

I’ve been working on a Green Dragon drawing for the cover of NANPS’s summer issue of Blazing Star. There will be another of the spathe and spadix to do next. That one will be used in the article. Here’s the photograph I worked from. I used more than one photo because I didn’t have a […]

Build your Herbal Armory!

Useful plants grow all around us. It’s time to start building your herbal armory of plant allies now. My book, 10 Common Plants worth Knowing in a Long-term Survival Situation, will introduce you to ten at a time. I’ll help you make allies of them, enabling you to build your herbal armory. All-Heal Beebalm Echinacea […]

How Ginseng Stewardship Also Benefits the Landowner

Someone asked me yesterday about how ginseng stewardship benefits the landowner. It stumped me at first, because I’d never considered it from that angle. What is Stewardship? To steward something is to manage or take care of something. The short answer to this post’s question is yes. Stewardship benefits the landowner, especially if they want […]

Long Dirt Road: Why it Takes me an Hour to Drive 12 Miles

This is a post from a few years ago that I love, so I’m reposting it. We live down a long dirt road. This little facet of our lives is the main thing that makes or breaks most newcomers to rural life. It takes a long time to go anywhere, if you go slow enough […]

Ginseng Jelly – A Delicious Wild Ozark Luxury Product

Oh, my … GINSENG JELLY! I love medicinal herbs, especially those that grow right here at home, and most especially ginseng. This year’s ginseng jelly comes in two varieties: Ginseng Gold (4-oz, $25) Ginseng/Apple (8-oz, $25) Soft-set: thicker than syrup, thinner than jelly Both are delicious, but you’ll get more of the ginseng active ingredients […]

13 Questions About Ginseng

Caring For, Finding, Growing, Digging and Selling Ginseng – These are Wild Ozark’s most often asked questions about ginseng. I’m always learning more about this fascinating plant, so if you have opposing information please post in the comments. If you have other questions, post those too! Frequently Asked Questions About Ginseng 1. Why can’t I […]

Driveway Flowers in September

It’s been bone dry lately. This morning I brought my camera with me so I could take pictures of the driveway flowers. Ordinarily this would have been an “exercise walk” and I wouldn’t have brought the camera because that would have just caused me to stop and take pictures. Which would have defeated the purpose […]

Orange Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

In keeping with the “spotted” theme of my last post, here’s an orange spotted jewelweed flower. I’m always trying to get the perfect photo of this flower. A dream set-up would be when the sun is shining just *so* on it, to give the illusion of stained glass. There would be some nice glistening drops […]

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) at the creek’s edge in late August. It’s one of the showiest Lobelia species that grows in the Arkansas Ozarks. About Wild Ozark Wild Ozark is a nature farm. Mostly we grow rocks. I use those rocks and some of the herbs to make earth pigments and watercolor paints. We also […]

Nature Drawing in Progress: American ginseng in October

Two years ago I made a nature drawing of American ginseng in October, with yellowing leaves against the dark backdrop of the Wild Ozark forest. Repeating the Same Nature Drawing Since that time I’ve learned a little more about certain techniques I can use with my pencils, specifically blending, and so I wanted to re-draw […]