Mission Statement

My goal with mande plants is to teach about medicinal and edible plants, show how to grow these plants, where to find these plants, and how to use these plants. There are many useful botanicals in our world. I will growing seasonal crops and perennial edibles using organic methods as best as possible. One of my long term goals is to grow a temperate food forest garden. As I grow new plants and harvest them I will be sharing photos and details on this blog. All photos on this blog are taken by me. If you like this blog and you would like to help me further my research you can use the paypal donate button on the right. All donations will be used to buy tools, plants, seeds, and pay for expenses needed to develop gardens.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pests, Pollinators and Predators

While out in the garden I have seen many different insects going about their lives.  Insects fall under three categories in the garden; pests, pollinators, and predators.  The last two are beneficial to the garden.  To encourage beneficial insects to come to the garden we want to plant flowers that attract them,  yarrow, alyssum, dill, and basil, to name a few.  Here are two pictures I took earlier this summer:

Honey Bee on an Onion Flower head.

Assassin Bug with prey on yarrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Feijoa Flowers

As I was watering the garden this morning I noticed the first flower on one of my Feijoa plants. I knew that the petals are edible but have never tried them before. The flavor was very sweet with some aromatic undertones that left my tongue semi-numb, much like an orange peel does. It was a pleasant experience. I look forward to getting fruit off of plant.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Maypop Popping up in May

The three Maypops (passiflora incarnata) are popping up.  Hopefully this summer I will have some flowers, then fruit.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Other March Developments

My Gooseberries, Strawberries,  and Currants are beginning to develop fruit.  The Redbuds, Albizia, Che, Jujube, and Pawpaws are leafing out as well.  There are a lot of exciting things going on in the garden...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Late March and early April planting

I've added a few new plants to my garden, some of these are experimental to being able to grow in my area. I planted:
Pawpaws - Asimina triloba
'Ice cream' Banana (A more cold hardy banana)
Lemon Verbena
Beauty Berry
May Apple
Various Sage
Three leaf and Five Leaf Akebia
Some new Feijoa
Greek Myrtle
As time goes on expect pictures and articles on each of the plants I add to my repertoire.

What's blooming in April 2012

While inspecting my plants I noticed some have already started to bloom.  The strawberries are putting out flowers and fruit already.  My Black Velvet Gooseberries and Red Currants have little flowers, as do my raspberries.  Since this is the first year I planted all of these I didn't expect much to happen, it's a pleasant surprise. As far as wild plants go I've notice the Elderberries and Pineapple Weed putting out blooms.

Elderberry Flowers

Friday, March 23, 2012

Prickly Pear and Kumquat

I planted a prickly pear cactus and Kumquat.  The Prickly Pear (Opuntia) will provide fruit and nopale pads, which can be eaten raw or cooked.  They are excellent cooked with egg and cheese, perhaps some mushrooms and onion added to the mix.  The Kumquat has edible fruit.  The peel of the fruit is sweet and the pulp of the fruit is sour.  Kumquat is in the genus Fortunella, which is closely related to the Citrus genus.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March Planting

For my March Allowance I planted the Following:
Che Fruit
Fuyu Persimmon 'jiro'
Jujube 'sherwood'
Trifoliate orange
Plum 'santa rosa'
Sweet Bamboo
Black Bamboo
Japanese Quince
Jelly Palm

There are many exciting things to come!

Monday, March 5, 2012

What's Blooming in March 2012?

As we enter spring some plants are waking up and budding, while others are putting out flowers.

                                    I planted these fava beans back in November.

These are the flowers of the Sierra Gooseberry.  I discovered this little shrub growing on the side of hill near my garden, next to an elderberry tree.

This little nightshade is Solanum xanti.  As far as I know it has no edible uses.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Waking up!

Some of my plants are waking up and budding out leaves.  The Goumis, Kiwis, and Santa Rosa Plum are in the lead.  The Fava Beans are flowering as well. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

First seeds to start

I've started my first batch of seeds, some are perennials and some annual crops.  I will continue to follow up on the plants I have started.   Here is the List:

Sea kale
Garden Orach
Ground Plum
Purple Coneflower
Purple Artichoke
Salad Burnet
Brussel Sprouts
Strawberry Spinach
Swiss Chard
Good King Henry

Monday, January 30, 2012


 When most people think about plant based food flowers rarely come to mind.  The most common edible flowers are broccoli, cauliflower, and perhaps artichoke and daylily.  Many different flowers are edible and have a variety of flavors and textures, from sweet and soft to pungent and crunchy.  Some can be the centerpiece vegetable and others to add flavor or color to a salad.  Dianthus flowers are the latter.  They have a sweet taste with a delicate constitution.  If you are growing these and you don't use pesticides or herbicides I recommend you give it a try!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sweet Alyssum

 Sweet Alyssum or Lobularia maritima is a member of the mustard family.  Like other brassicas Sweet Alyssum's leaves and flowers are edible with a typical pungent flavor.

This plant is an annual that self seeds very readily.  It can be used in companion planting to attract hoverflies, whose larva eats aphids.  Bees are attracted to the sweet aroma of Alyssum.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A lot to do...

The world never sleeps. And neither do I. There is a lot of exciting things in the future of my gardening and the future of this blog. I hope that my readers find these things as exciting as I do. All my landscaping will be edible or medicinal. I am also experimenting with a variety of organic and permeculture techniques. Stay Tuned.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Geranium, Rosemary and Fava Beans

Geranium, Rosemary, and Fava Beans are three of the edibles I have growing at my place right now.

Geranium flowers are edible and have a very pleasant tart flavor. I have this plant outside and it seems to be handling the cold pretty well, it is rated for USDA zone 9b and I live in 8B/9A. It is used in companion planting to paralyze the Japanese Beetle.

Rosemary is a well known herb who's leaves go very well with meats and in dressings. The flowers of rosemary are edible as well, they have a sweet flavor with the typical rosemary overtone. Making a tea from rosemary is an excellent remedy for headaches, which my wife can attest to. Gardening rosemary as a perennial is possible down to USDA zone 7. In companion planting rosemary is used to aid cabbage, beans, and carrots by helping to repel their pests.

I planted these fava beans by seed in November. They make a nice winter or spring crop as they prefer cool weather to hot. Both the leaves and beans are edible. Some people may have a genetic enzyme deficiency that causes them to be allergic to fava beans. If you've never eaten these before don't indulge your first time.

Nutritional Value of Fava beans per 1 cup:
Calories - 187 or 9% DV
Protein - 12.6 g or 26% DV
Carbohydrates - 33.4g or 11% DV
Sugars - 3.1g
Dietary Fiber - 9.2g or 37% DV
Fat - 0.7g or 1% DV

Fava Beans are a significant source of Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, copper, and manganese.

The Estimated Glycemic load is 13.

Fairy Lanterns, Pretty Face and Blue Dicks

These three Wild Flowers are found in the Sierra Nevada foothills. All three have edible bulbs and corms that may be eaten raw or roasted. The Blue Dicks have edible flowers as well. Because the edible portions are small and eating these will end the life of these flowers I recommend limiting how many you consume.

Fairy Lantern

Pretty Face

Blue Dicks

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sticky Monkey Flower

Here is another plant I photographed a while back. The leaves are edible.

Utah Twin Berry

About a year and a half ago I was camping with my family near Grand Tetons National Park when I spotted this lonicera growing. The berries are edible and I tried them. The flavor was pleasant but not too exciting.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Passion Flower

Last summer I took a picture of a Passion Flower (Passiflora caerulea) that I intended to plant, unfortunately it didn't make it. Maybe I will grow these in the future.

While not as desirable as Maypop or Passion Fruit this passiflora produces an edible fruit.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Been a long while...

It's been a while since I have posted anything on this blog. Circumstance have changed for the better recently and this will positively effect this blog. My wife and I have move onto five and a half acres. I will be growing a wide range of edible and medicinals as well as looking for native plant life and weeds. When we first moved here there were only a few landscaped plants; these being tansy, privet, and albizia (mimosa). The native perennials include California Bay Laurel, Grey Pine, White Oak, Live Oak, Elderberry, Redberry Buckthorn, and loads of Poison Oak.

Since moving here I have planted:
Two Pomegranates
Three Rosemary
Four black velvet Gooseberries
Three Goumi
Five unknown Opuntia
Eight Eastern Redbud
One Oscar White Mulberry
Two Black Hawthorn
Three Strawberry Trees
Two Lavender
Four Sage
Four Feijoa
Two Figs
One Chaste Tree
Two Service Berries
Four Chilean Guava
Loads of Strawberries
Two Golden Currants
One Red Currant
Two Maypop Passion Fruit
One Issai Hardy Kiwi
One Loquat
One Camellia sinensis
Three Society Garlic
Two Grapes
Five Raspberry
Three Oregon Grape
Two Aronia
One Mexican Tarragon.

Most of these are quite young and I don't anticipate any fruit this year. As these plants mature I will post articles and photos on them. We also have three raised beds, so I will be growing some annual crops as well. I will try to be more active this year, hopefully someone finds this entertaining.