About Aaron von Frank

Cofounder of GrowJourney.com. Aaron is an organic gardening teacher, duck evangelist, writer, health nut, and entrepreneur. He's also a farm consultant for Oak Hill Cafe & Farm, a no-till, permaculture, farm-to-table restaurant in Greenville, SC (right down the street from his alma mater, Furman University). In addition to their collaboration on GrowJourney, Aaron and his wife, Susan, are cofounders of TyrantFarms.com, a popular blog dedicated to garden-to-table cooking, foraging, wild mushrooms, heritage breed ducks, and parenting. Aaron also writes for Edible Upcountry Magazine, WordPress (.com), Daily Harvest Express, Healthy Minds and other food, health, and tech-related organizations. He serves on the board of the Diversified Agriculture Committee for the South Carolina Farm Bureau.

How long do seeds last? Seed longevity and storage guide…

Trying to figure out how long a certain seed will last? Want your seeds to last for as many years as possible? Find all the answers to your questions in this article!  Seeds are the closest thing to magic we know of… It’s hard to believe those tiny little specks you’re holding in the palm of your hand are not only alive and metabolizing (albeit very slowly), but they also contain all the genetic and epigenetic information needed to grow an entire plant. These tiny specks are alive and have all the genetic information they need to grow into kale plants. Then at a certain point in their life cycle, they’ll produce countless new seeds containing small bits of new information that will help them grow better in the particular environment the parent seed experienced. And the process starts anew.    Watching a seed sprout to life and grow into a mature plant is a wonder-filled experience for both kids and adults. If you’re a gardener, you have the opportunity to be an integral part of this magical process many times throughout the year.     

By | May 7th, 2020|Tags: , , |

Top 18 garden herbs to attract pollinators

In the kitchen, herbs add flavor and depth to nearly any dish. But aside from adding unique flavors to your food and beauty in your garden, herbs can also serve other essential roles in your garden such as: attracting pollinators who will also pollinate your other food plants (flower pollen provides fat and protein and nectar provides a sugar-rich carbohydrate), serving as host plants for pollinators’ offspring, and attracting predatory insects to help control pest insect populations.  Most herbs are also fairly easy to grow, especially long-lived perennial herbs that get larger and stronger from year to year. (If you’ve ever seen a giant 10+ year old rosemary plant, you get the idea.) The same intense flavors and smells that make herbs useful as a spice for humans are also good olfactory defenses against insects that might otherwise eat them. Just like you, an insect might enjoy a taste of rosemary, but not a meal full.   You just need to make sure you know basic care instructions for the particular herb you want to grow AND are certain that it can grow in your climate zone.  The other important thing to know is that there are various stages of an herb’s life cycle. During the period in which it’s putting on vegetative growth, pollinators will have no reason to forage the plant (although they may be a host plant for pollinator caterpillars at that stage). However, once your herbs start flowering, expect to see a diversity of pollinators foraging from dawn to dusk.   Now, are you ready to grow herbs for both your kitchen and your pollinators? 

By | April 20th, 2020|Tags: , , |

Ceramic pots vs plastic pots vs fabric pots: which is best?

Which option is best: ceramic pots, plastic pots, or fabric pots? In this article, you'll learn how to pick the perfect indoor or outdoor garden pots/containers to match your budget and needs.  Not everyone has

By | April 12th, 2020|Tags: , , |

Fabric vs. Plastic: Which is the Best Row Cover for Your Garden?

Row covers are a great tool for home gardeners and small farmers alike, but there are a lot of options to choose from. Fabric vs plastic, lightweight vs heavyweight — which one is best for your

By | March 9th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

Long-tailed skippers: bean pest or helpful butterfly?

Have you ever cursed the bean leafrollers munching on your bean plant's leaves? Have you ever marveled at the beauty of long-tailed skippers (Urbanus proteus) butterflies?  If so, you might be surprised to know that

By | February 27th, 2020|Tags: , , |

How to get rid of aphids organically

In this article, you'll learn all about aphids, how they can actually be beneficial to your garden, and how to treat them organically if necessary.  What are aphids?  Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects in the

By | February 20th, 2020|Tags: , , |

6 Amazing Pumpkin Facts

You'll never look at a Halloween jack-o-lantern the same way again after you learn these six amazing pumpkin facts. In fact, we hope you'll invite "jack" inside for dinner when Halloween is over. Featured Image credit: By

6 ways to prevent or stop squash vine borers

Squash vine borers are one of the most common and destructive pests, killing countless summer and winter squash plants each year. Here's how to identify squash vine borers, plus how to prevent them or stop

How to make big, strong DIY tomato cages that will last for a decade

Tired of small, flimsy tomato cages that get swallowed and crushed by your indeterminate tomato plants? Here's how to make your own DIY tomato cages that are large, strong, and built to last.  How to

How to work with insects to grow an amazing garden

95% of insects are beneficial or benign. Insects are necessary for a healthy, productive garden, and they play an essential role in nature. Learn to work with insects to become a better organic gardener.  Updated: May