Chris McLaughlin

A Garden to Dye For: How to Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics & Fibers. Deborah Lee

Chris McLaughlin is a Northern California garden writer and author who has been gardening for over 35 years and is currently the home agriculture editor for From Scratch Magazine and a staff columnist at Vegetable Chris' work can also be found in Urban Farm Magazine, Hobby Farm Home Magazine, The Heirloom Gardener Magazine, The Herb Companion, and Fine Gardening Magazine.


Chris is the author of five gardening books and one small livestock book; A Garden to Dye For (St. Lynn's Press), Vertical Vegetable Gardening (Alpha Books), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Small-Space Gardening (Alpha Books), Hobby Farms: Small-Scale Rabbit Keeping (BowTie Press), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Heirloom Vegetables (Alpha Books), and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting (Alpha Books).

Chris is a modern homesteader with a strong emphasis on home agriculture. She and her family have actively pursued a self-sufficient and intentional lifestyle from their current country home, as well as in the suburbs for many years prior. They share their hobby farm in California's gold country, Laughing Crow & Company, with horses, goats, bees, chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, and the occasional bottle lamb.

Gardens are a given at the McLaughlin homestead and while vegetables, fruits, and fiber get top billing, you'll also find gardens devoted to flowers (for cutting), wildflowers (for bees), and dyer's plants (for fiber arts).


Chris completed the master gardening program in 2000 and extended her gardening specialty education by completing courses in The Wildlife Habitat Steward, Kids in Gardens Workshop, and Food, Land, and People programs.

Chris McLaughlin

Whether I'm sharing my modern homesteading passions through books, articles, or another way, my goal remains the same: to encourage and empower people by showing them that we have more control over our lives than we think. Much more.

When I'm not writing, gardening, dyeing, hand-spinning, feeding critters, or chasing grandbabies, you might catch me at my own website

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