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Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and collards now available
M R Gardens 2015 seedling offering
Early spring crops are just about ready! You can pick up the plants you ordered between March 18 and April 11. If you haven't already reserved your plants, contact me (Megan) at or 828.333.4151.
Brussels sprouts
Chinese cabbage - Bilko
Vates kale
Champion collards
Please also send in your orders for summer crops by Wednesday, March 18. This year's seedling selection includes heirloom tomato slicers, disease-resistant tomato slicers, cherry tomatoes, plum ("Roma") tomatoes, tomatillos, ground cherries, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, basil and a variety of medicinal herbs, beneficial flowers and native perennials. Plants in 3" containers are typically $3.00 each with a 50-cent discount per plant for every washed reusable pot you bring me. If you don't already have your plant list and order form, please let me know and I'll send them to you. Click here to see photos of a few of the varieties.
Herb profile: Stinging nettles
Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) is much more than an aggressive spreader that gives our shins a temporary burning sensation when we brush up against it. The high-nutrient herb has many valuable uses for us, our gardens and the ecosystem. By late April, I'll have nettles transplants available for your landscape.
Type of Plant: Medicinal; beneficial; medium-sized height for herbaceous layer of garden; naturalized, usually found along streams
Flower: Tiny pearl-like cream flower that blooms early to late summer
Height: About 4 feet
Width: Space transplants about 2 feet apart
Spreads: Profusely via seeds and underground runners
Garden Location: Sun or shade, grows in about any soil type but prefers soil high in organic matter with a lot of moisture. Can grow near black walnuts. Companions of sunflowers, grapes and fennel.
Ecosystem Uses: Tap root draws up nutrients from well below the soil surface. Encourages populations of pest predators to build up in early spring as well as populations of ladybugs in fall. Attracts lacewings, which are predators of aphids, scale insects, mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, asparagus beetle larvae, caterpillar eggs and young caterpillars, Colorado potato beetle larvae, corn ear worms, lace bugs and spider mites. Ladybugs are predators of many of the pests listed already as well as bean beetle larvae, psyllids and adelgids.
Other Garden Uses: High-nutrient content makes the plant a good addition to compost and compost tea
Medicinal/Edible Uses: Widely applicable: it can strengthen and support the whole body, especially the reproductive system, kidneys and liver. Some people take it for allergies and hay fever or to prevent grey hair. It can dry the body, so if your skin and mouth are typically dry, you can try taking it alongside a mucilagic herb (meaning it contains gelatinous constituents that are soothing) such as marshmallow.
Nutrients: Potassium, iron, chlorophyll, calcium, silicon, magnesium, manganese, zinc, chromium and other important trace minerals.
How to Cook with It: Using gloves, snip the plant when it is between 4-inches to 3-feet high, before it starts to flower. Lightly steam to disarm stinging hairs. Drink the water in which it was steamed. The cooked greens can replace spinach in about any recipe. Try it in omelets, soups or spanakopita. The roots can also be steamed and eaten.
Other Ways to Use Its Medicine: Dry the leaves and make a tea, preferably a cold infusion to preserve its nutrients, which can be lost in a hot boil. Soak the herbs in a jar of cold water for approximately six hours before straining and drinking. If it soaks more than 24 hours, it should be added to your compost pile and not ingested. Nettles can also be made into a hair and scalp tonic, tincture, elixir, ointment, cream, foot soak, bath herb, infused oil and honey. Some people who suffer from joint pain purposely sting the skin with the fresh herb, causing inflammation around the joint, helping relieve pain and stiffness 4 to 8 days following the application.
Combinations with other Herbs: With lemon balm, oats and chamomile to tone the nervous system. With dandelion greens for urinary health. With green milky tops and raspberry leaf for improved energy and sexual function. With alfalfa, red clover, ashwagandha, hawthorn, yellow dock, ginger, and cinnamon, boiled together in a decoction that is then mixed with molasses to make an iron-rich syrup.
Where to Plant in Landscape: Away from children's playing areas so that they don't accidently sting themselves. In a contained area where it won't spread obtrusively.
Plant Maintenance: Cut before going to seed to prevent unwanted spread. Divide rhizomes regularly and give the divisions to a friend.
Information about medicinal uses is primarily from Paul Pitchford's Healing with Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, David Hoffman's Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine; Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, and classes from the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism in West Asheville.
Reserve stinging nettles and other medicinal plants from M R Gardens by contacting me at or 828.333.4151.
Contact Megan at 
M R Gardens
M R Gardens is in the outskirts of Oakley in Asheville, NC
In this issue:
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Earn a free plant for every one of your referrals who purchases a plant from M R Gardens. Just tell your friend to let Megan know they heard about M R Gardens from you!
About the grower
My education is continually expanding! Click here to read about my background in horticulture, sustainable agriculture, experiential education and herbalism. 
M R Gardens business values
Sustainable Systems
Garden coach
Some activities require someone by your side to really grasp them, and gardening is one. When you are shown how to set up a bed, plant the crops and harvest them, you are much more likely to remember how later. It's also important that you set up a system that fits your lifestyle, schedule, goals, personality and work style, so that you stick with the activity over time. In addition to working with you a few days your first season, I can provide you a garden plan specifically for you, as well as spreadsheets, timelines and growing tips to make your life in the garden manageable. Read more here.
Edible landscape
I serve individuals, families and business owners who want to improve their properties and the well-being of their customers with edible gardens. Using primarily edible and native plants, I tailor designs to the client's unique needs, with the goal of creating an aesthetically pleasing, therapeutic and useful area that raises quality of life and property value. I incorporate themes of traditional design (such as texture, levels, line, unity, balance, simplicity, color, and ease of maintenance) with the principles of permaculture design (such as microclimates, useful vegetation, and the smart use of the sun's and the gardener's energy). I aim to create a vision, alongside the property owner, that is both extraordinary and practical, so the landscape can realistically be implemented and maintained. Read more here
Work trade for
plants, produce or
Gain new skills, try out something new, learn about my unique approach to gardening, or just enjoy the physical activity in the outdoors. As we work together, tidbits of information seep into conversation that you otherwise might not think to ask me. In return for your work, you can choose between seedlings, produce, or a tutorial on something in particular you want to learn about. Read more about all the opportunities at M R Gardens.
At M R Gardens
Bee Balm
Champion collards
Vates kale
Churchhill Brussels sprouts
Catskills Brussels sprouts
M R et cetera, LLC • 437 Onteora Blvd. • Asheville, NC 28803
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