Planting with a Purpose

Have you considered, before you start planting, that your selection could have a purpose other than color, size and  full or partial sun? Curb appeal and beauty can be easily achieved with many plants that also serve a purpose to provide for you and your family. Planting choices can serve in the way of food, healing and even security, yes even security.


I have a friend that plants a salsa garden on her back porch in the summers. She plants tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro all in one pot. This saves on space, easy to care for and gives her healthy fresh food in the summer. You can do this with a purpose specific to you and your family. For instance, planting a complimentary herb garden for fresh herbs during the spring and summer. Then during or as the season winds down, dry your herbs to fill up your spice rack for the winter. Plant a colorful cold and flu garden to dry or harvest for tinctures, teas and salves. The choices are only limited to your imagination.


If you are short on space, several options are to plant a vertical garden or raised beds. These options are even great for the beginner gardener. I love my vertical garden for out of season seed-starting to transplant in season. I like my raised beds to plant my late winter/early spring veggies and then I have time to get the beds ready for late summer/early fall. I also designed my raised beds to have part shade so my greens can have some light but not all day heat. A lot of options with spatial constraints. READ Below how raised beds can even be used for SECURITY.

Raised Bed Planting
Stacked pot planting


What about a hedge row that could serve to heal and even make you some mailbox money? Elderberry grows wild, is hardy and fast growing, and produces elderberry fruit. These can be used fresh to make pies and jellies or jams, dry the berries to store, sell, and to make elderberry syrup (link) If you are sceptical about their worth, check out how much the dried elderberries go for per ounce. These berries are high in antioxidants. I make this syrup with our local honey to help with allergies and during cold and flu season.

Being prepared means that if you can’t go to the store (not to replace basic medical supplies available) or you don’t pop an Aleve or Tylenol at the first sign of discomfort,  there is probably a plant that can provide. There are numerous plants that you can grow or easily find locally in its natural setting to heal burns (aloe plant) cold and flu or even yarrow to stop a bleed.  These could be found invaluable to your family and others in a time of need. 

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