lamona chicken

Poultry Profile: Get to Know the Lamona

The Lamona, created in the early 20th century, is a high-quality, dual-purpose chicken breed. Lamona hens typically lay more than 200 eggs a year.

Chamomile

Chamomile

What we know as chamomile is technically two different plants — German chamomile (Matricara recutita) and Roman (or English) chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) — with many similarities including gray-green, feathery leaves; tiny, daisy-like flowers; and a pleasing, apple scent. Both types of chamomile are relatives of the daisy family and have been used to aid in digestion, calm frazzled nerves, alleviate menstrual cramps and soothe some skin conditions. It’s thought that the Roman chamomile is also able to reduce some kinds of inflammation. Whether you grow German or Roman chamomile, either will make a soothing cup of tea, herbal bath or steam facial.

Calendula

Calendula

Offering a near-continuous run of cheerful, golden flowers, calendulas (Calendula officinalis), or pot marigolds, are a very hardy herb. This Mediterranean native is a annual from the Asteraceae family. Once used as an all-purpose tonic, calendula flowers really made the rounds in the kitchens of England and parts of Europe; the Romans even relied on calendula to treat scorpion bites. Less popular now, calendula makes a pretty addition to the herb garden and its petals can be used to create a striking yellow dye. Calendula’s dried flowers are sometimes still used in topical ointments for burns, cuts and minor skin irritations; a few handfuls of calendula petals can make for an energizing, herbal bath.

Florence fennel

Florence Fennel

Florence fennel, also known as Sweet Fennel or finocchio, develops a big, swollen bulb at the base of the stems. Native to Italy, Florence fennel are often tricky to grow because they don’t always develop desirable bulbs. The plants themselves will always grow well, whether the weather’s hot or cold, but the stems seem to only thicken during slightly warm, but not hot, periods. Like wild fennel, Florence fennel tastes like licorice, but the green growth is shorter and more abundant, and the swollen bulbs are tremendous, having celery-like consistency.

Ginger

Ginger

Ginger is a tropical plant that looks like a stunted little corn plant. It generally will not tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Edible ginger cultivation follows more or less the same rules as container citrus cultivation in the northern areas. Ginger can even be grown in Iceland if a sunny window in a warm house is available. The ginger that one buys at the supermarket is usually fine for planting material. If the rhizomes aren’t damaged, they’ll likely sprout once placed in a pot of soil.