About me

I am a wife, mother, step-mom and grandma, trying to be a more conscientious consumer, passionate about local foods and sustainable agriculture. I’m a cook and a baker feeding my family the best way possible on a limited budget.

In May of 2012 we moved from a townhouse with a postage-stamp garden to a big house with a citrus orchard in the back and a huge blank slate in the front. Every extra dime and brain cell was devoted to making the forest garden of my dreams and somehow along the way I became a permaculture geek, too. That forest garden is now on its way to maturity but I’m always tinkering.

I ran Gainesville Cow Pool, an online community for the cooperative purchase of local, sustainable, and affordable meat for middle-to-low-income families, for many years. Gainesville Cow Pool is now looking for new leadership. Are you interested? Read the FAQ and then contact me.

My current project is Springstead Herb Farm, growing Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs on an organic forest farm, guided by the principles of permaculture. I’ve traveled all over the Southeast visiting other forest farms and herb farms, attended conferences and workshops, and gathering plant materials. I have 2 acres of jungle in SE Gainesville that is slowly being cleared for planting and a whole bunch of ideas.


  1. I noticed that you had asked on a wild plant food website about the difference in flavor between Stachys floridana and S. affinis. GD’s reply was completely inaccurate (saying that there was no appreciable difference in flavors). I have grown both, and they are quite different. I don’t particularly care of S. floridana tubers… but then I don’t like radishes either. I consider S. floridana to have a mild radish sort of flavor and something of a crisp radish texture also, while immature tubers have a fungal earthy overtone which I don’t care for at all. In mature tubers this fungal effect disappears. I find the same effect in other immature Stachys species.

    S. affinis does not have the radish-type flavor but is crisp when fresh. It cooks up with a nice texture which is much more starchy than one gets with S. floridana. S. floridana cooks up something like a radish and is rather watery, in my opinion. S. affinis, crosne, chorogi, aka S. seiboldii, tastes pretty good to me, with a mild flavor, some hints of turnip to it, but other flavors too (corn perhaps but very mild). The starchy texture is nice. The tubers form in the fall at my latitude up north. I don’t know if it would grow for you in Florida. Probably not on account of disease, but if it did you might get tuberization from it early over winter, due to the short days in winter. Steve

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