Unruly Gardening is a family website project where we share all of the growing, foraging, preserving, homesteading, and crafting projects that we love to do!

man holding basket of lion's mane mushrooms
basket of wild-harvested lion’s mane mushrooms

Current authors include:

  • Jan (herbalist, photographer & best-selling author)
  • Mike (mushroom grower & full time farmer; the primary labor force here on the farm)
  • Cindy (gardener, writer & crafter extraordinaire)
ducks on grass
Our runner ducks, when they were little. All of our animals are raised on grass and live their lives surrounded by fresh air and sunshine!

The Land

We grow on, forage, and roam about 100 acres of land in zone 7 USA, Appalachian Mountain range.

Our landscape features a couple of creeks, a few open fields, and forests filled mainly with tulip poplars, pine, oak, dogwood, redbud, and sycamore trees.

wildflowers by a creek
wild blue phlox by the creek

The soil is heavy red clay, and we also have lots and lots of rocks!

We battle persistent invasive plants which include: kudzu, autumn olive, Japanese knotweed, bush honeysuckle, barberry, wineberries, and bittersweet oriental – using a lot of manual labor and the help of 14 myotonic goat wethers.

goats eating kudzu leaves
Boots & Tank are working hard on eating up all of the kudzu leaves!

Like the goats, the pastured pigs (nature’s rototillers!) are also moved around frequently using electric net fencing. These lovely pig ladies below are helping us reclaim and expand all of the overgrown field edges.

pastured pigs playing with corn husks and trimmings
The pastured pigs, happily playing with a big pile of corn husks and cob trimmings.

Our overarching goal is to help preserve the creek areas which are filled with treasured natives such as black cohosh, bloodroot, slippery elm, lady slippers, and more, plus reintroduce and restore lost native plants to the woodlands.

loofah vines in the garden
a little spot in the back garden

We have multiple gardens of various sizes, several beehives, and enjoy farming our woods, especially with mushrooms.

various kinds of garden peas
Here’s a harvest photo from when we planted 6 types of peas, to see which ones grew best and also canned well. (Our current favorite is Premium, followed by Bistro.)

Favorite family pastimes include foraging, hiking around the land, looking at interesting rocks in the creeks, and spending time with our 4 rescue cats and 3 rescue dogs.

table filled with jars of home preserved and canned food
We like a nice, full storeroom for winter, so pressure can or water bath ALL THE THINGS from the garden!

We have lots to share, so we hope you find something useful, helpful, interesting, or inspiring here!

free range chickens enjoying spring bugs
free range chickens, enjoying bugs in the springtime

PS: You can view an informal walk around our gardens and farm (in 2022) at this video: 😊