About Me

Hi, I’m Edna Kelly and I like to play in the dirt. Gardening, that is. I’m more or less retired from “real” work, so these days you can usually find me puttering around in the garden, in the shadehouse or with the chickens. My goal is to grow or produce as much of our own food as possible.

Recently, I got interested in ‘herbalism’. We grow (and sell) a lot of herbs here and I like being able to tell people about the plants they are buying. So, I started doing a lot of reading on the various herbs we grow. I was stunned to find out that the common kitchen herbs we use regularly are more than just a nice flavor addition. Each of them has medicinal value, too! Yep, that basil we use so freely in our pesto and sauce can also relieve pain. Oregano can be used to make an herbal cough remedy. That ugly weed that was so difficult to control in my yard when I lived “up north” is actually a wonderful antiseptic, antibacterial plant that stops the pain of fire ant bites in an instant. And the list goes on…

Plants can do so much more than I ever realized. I’ve enrolled in an on-line course to learn more about these things that grow around us, both cultivated and planned and the wild ones we call weeds that grow wherever they choose. I’m learning how to make salves, ointments, lotions, soaps… all with the healing power of the herbs I grow.

I can’t possibly be the only nut in the world trying to do this, so I’m sharing my experiences as we go along, trying to convert a “very big back yard” into a productive mini-farm that anĀ old lady and her grandchildren can handle. We will be expanding our mini-farm to include our own little apothecary as we go along. Just another step toward self-sufficiency in an urban setting.

So… come join me, if you don’t mind playing in the dirt!

10 Replies to “About Me”

  1. Miz Edna,
    I enjoyed reading about your Moringa experiences.
    A few weeks ago I planted 7 Moringa Stenepetala in pots in Yetebon Village Ethiopia.
    Now I am back in Fort Myers and will probably, after a few years of being a “snow bird” be living here year ’round. My wife, being a native, prefers that.
    I will try growing a few select veggies in the summer in the small area available to me.

    1. I’m not familiar with the Moringa Stenopetala at all… And there doesn’t seem to be much information on it that I can find. Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Will it grow in Ft Myers?

    1. Absolutely yes, I’d like to exchange blog links with you! Uh, “halfway between Tamp and Ft Myers” puts you… around Sarasota? I’m halfway between Sarasota and Ft Myers, in Punta Gorda.

      I’ve added that missing contact information to my “About Me” page, but here it is again: info@ednakelly.com

  2. Gardening is an endless job, with many pitfalls. It doesn’t take much to completely ruin a beautiful garden by planting the wrong plants, or not planting them correctly. We have plenty of articles to make sure that everything goes as planned. From planting to weeding and poisons to plant food. Never worry that you will get it wrong when you have a resource like directweb helping you..;

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  3. I a looking to do something similar, but I have no idea how to get started. Do you know of any classes on organic vegetable gardening and basic backyard homesteading? or do you teach them???

    1. I don’t know of any formal classes, Kellie, or you would probably find me in one of them. I teach what I know, informally, every Sunday at the Punta Gorda History Park farmers market, every time someone asks a question. My son and I are definitely into backyard homesteading, as much as is possible in a residential area.

  4. Hi Edna,

    I live in Ft Myers – have been here almost 6 years – from NE Kansas. I’m wanting to start some container plants on my patio but I have no idea when to start plants from seeds, plant plants, etc, here in SWFL. I’m used to the Kansas growing season, not the subtropic seasons of FL. Can you suggest a booklet, website, etc that will explain the planting and harvest seasons for various vegetables, herbs and fruits.

    Thanks for you help!!!

    1. Hi, Rhonda!
      Thank you for your comments. I know exactly how you feel because I moved here from an Ohio dairy farm, 25 years ago. It’s taken me nearly that long to get my head turned 180 to grow a garden at the right time down here!
      I am working on putting together a ‘calendar’ of sorts that will help you get a handle on when to plant vegetables and such. Fruit trees can be planted any time the ground isn’t frozen but it’s a lot easier to plant them right at the beginning of the rainy season, which usually means the end of May or thereabouts. That way, you don’t have to worry about watering so much. Herbs can be planted just about any time and I have a good assortment of little herb plants every Sunday at the Punta Gorda History Park farmers market. Hours are 9 til 1 during the summer months. I am located by the fountain, next to the fruit tree guy.

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