We moved to Central Texas in the fall of 2011, on the heels of one of the worst droughts this state has ever seen. Coming from the Midwest, it was like being transported to another planet. Everything I thought I knew about gardening – like avoiding those spots in our old yard that were too wet – went out the window as we crossed from Kansas to Oklahoma and finally into Texas.

Since then we have scoured the internet and several of our favorite seed magazines for drought and heat tolerant crops. This summer we’ve received more rain and milder temperatures than the two previous summers, but I don’t expect that to be the case every summer. So, in order to create sustainable food production, we’re looking to plant things every year that can tolerate the conditions already existing in our area.


Which is why we’ve grown blue speckled tepary beans every year now… and I’m impressed.

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This is part two of a series. You can see part one, Oregano, here.

I hadn’t heard much about mullein in my earliest studies of herbal medicine. I now believe there were two reasons for that. For one, it’s not one of the big heal-all cahoonas like elderberry, garlic, and echinacea that everyone talks about. I think some also consider it a weed (!), which furthers my theory that one man’s weed is another man’s food or medicine… or toilet paper?

For those of us interested in self-sufficiency, what if you could grow toilet paper? But first, let’s talk about mullein as herbal medicine.
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