Eat Your Landscape

At Five Feline Farm we eat our landscape.

It’s not what you think. We are not grazing on grass or nibbling the bark off trees. But there are a lot of things we do eat from the land.

Wild Things


Black raspberries and blackberries are abundant. In fact these are so plentiful, we have had to take some out to create pathways. The heavy rains this spring and summer produced plump berries. Most of the raspberries are now in the form of glistening jars of jelly. Blackberries are still on the cane but starting to ripen.


Not So Wild Things

The gardens are on display in the front of the property. These contain all of the typical garden fare for our consumption. Green beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, kale, potatoes, limas, beets and cowpeas fill one garden. The second garden has asparagus, pumpkins, sunflowers, tobacco and gourds. Some of these are ornamentals and yes, you read correctly…tobacco. More about non-smoking and non-chewing uses for tobacco in a later post.


Borders and Such
Around the edges of the driveway and back porch are the herb beds. Herbs are also in random landscaping across the farm. Basil, thyme and oregano are blooming now. The bees love the nectar and we use the leaves to season a variety of dishes. Other herbs include savory, lavender, mint, chives and curry. Herbs can serve an ornamental function as well as a culinary one.


What kinds of plants in your landscape provide food?

How Does Your Garden Grow?


Gardening season starts in January here at Five Feline Farm.


The first task in any gardener’s year is to determine what to grow. Here at the Farm, we concentrate on vegetables we can preserve for winter and those we can eat fresh. It is important to keep the garden plans from year to year so crops can be rotated. Where the corn was planted last year, tomatoes will be planted this year. Beans will be replaced with peppers and so on.

Seed Order

As mentioned in a prior post, we order the majority of the garden seeds from Sustainable Seeds. This company specializes in organic, open pollinated and heirloom varieties. They do not print a catalog in keeping with their efforts to conserve resources. Check them out online at We also ordered a few seeds from The Cooks Garden (

Herb Day

There is nothing like a day spent learning about herbs and being motivated to try new things in the garden and kitchen. Last Saturday was spent at the University of Illinois Extension Herb Day in Urbana. The herb of the year for 2013 is Elder. We may have an Elder on the property so will watch this during the coming season. Donna won a beautiful, large potted Rosemary in the door prize drawing. The university extension offices are a valuable resource for gardeners and farmers. We recommend that you check into your local extension.

Plant Starts

The temperature outside hovers in the teens, but in the basement Spring begins in the form of seedlings. Shelves of grow lights and heat mats set up the perfect conditions to start the garden plants. Eleven varieties of tomatoes, nine types of peppers, four kinds of basil, cilantro, and parsley start poking green leaves through germinating mix. There are alfalfa spouts and mung bean sprouts almost ready. And what would Five Feline Farm be without some catgrass?

Check back each week to see what activities are going on at Five Feline Farm. Perhaps you’ll catch a glimpse of the life of the real cats.

Send in your questions about the Farm and we’ll post the answers.