Herbs and all their Wonders

Soiled and Seeded is happy to announce a new feature to this blog. We’ve partnered with Heritage Line Herbs to bring you advice, recipes and stories, the curious and irreverent, from the aromatic treasure trove of culinary herbs. These brimming posts will be written by owner Deb Benner. Deb co-authored an article in Soiled and Seeded’s 8th Issue along with her son and daughter. The piece, “Three Ways to See a Garden” told the story of their farm in three distinct voices: one as owner, another as a farmer-in-training and the third as an admirer. So, stay tuned…the fragrant and flavorful is upcoming.


Photo: Melissa Benner

City Getaways and a Book Giveaway

In our 9th issue Marie Viljoen describes New York in September, an excerpt from her recent book 66 Square Feet – A Delicious Life, a book inspired by her garden terrace, foraging exploits, botanical excursions and living attune to the seasons – all in the “most famous city on the planet”.

In honor of proper picnics and plant-inspired travels across city limits, we are giving away a copy of her book.

For a chance to win tell us your city getaway, the unlikely green space at a street corner, the bit of wild space on the edge of town, your preferred picnic destination or urban park. Post your answers in the comments below and we will choose a winner at random in a week’s time.


An Artist’s Harvest, Weedy Invasives

Foragers have discovered the culinary appeal of many invasive species – Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), and lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album) to name a few. Beyond incorporating creative cuisine in a plant’s management strategy, weedy imports are put to use in Patterson Clark’s versatile artwork. Clark harvests alien weeds in the Washington D.C. area to produce ink, paper, printing blocks, and brushes.

Rediscovering invasives as a resource.


One-weed note: English Ivy (Hedera helix)


Three-weed note: English Ivy paper, multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) ink and white mulberry (Morus alba) wood block.


Bas relief: Panel made from Norway maple (Acer platanoides). Ink manufactured from the roots of wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius), leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei), European stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica).


Ink from Irish ivy (Hedera hibernica), multifora rose (Rosa multiflora), Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei), Amur honeysuckle (Loniceramaackii), white mulberry (Morus alba) and sycamore maple (Acer platanus) on paper from paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera).

Images courtesy of Patterson Clark.




A Little More Science

It was a lot of fun putting together this issue. Besides the cultural and historical pieces from near and far, it was the first time we really delved into some heady plant science with plant biologists Katherine Preston and Jeanne Osnas’ piece on the botanical details of figs and mulberries. Yes, mulberries are known for more than their concrete stained mark and the inner workings of figs are tangled. You can expect to see this type of instructive science in our upcoming issues. But for now, we can all revel in knowing much more about the ins and outs of the plump, curious fruits.

For all you growing enthusiasts who are yearning for your very first sun-kissed fig, here is a good place to start planning.


Welcome back

LM130629TO015 - Dundas Valley Soiled and Seeded returns.

We are excited to bring you the ninth issue of Soiled and Seeded. From the floricultural gems in Southeast Asia, to plant explorations in Kashmir and the pertinent lessons in botanical anatomy, we are pleased to present an assorted and unique collection of stories, offering up a garden culture that is thriving, diverse and experimental.

And in between our issues we will be here, on the new S&S blog, for all that is good, green and wild. We have a lot of plant-inspired abundance planned in the coming weeks.

Soiled and Seeded is always on the lookout for all kinds of spontaneous planting initiatives, urban agriculture projects and organizations transforming our cities into healthy and livable spaces. If you have a story idea, please get in touch. If you are interested in submitting a piece, you can find all the information and submission details here.