Lasagna Compost

It’s almost time to close the chapter on our former homestead, as new folks are ready to move in. I just couldn’t help but break a sweat one last time to get into shape before they take over stewardship. The spring vegetables had bolted to the sky. Groundcovers were eagerly encroaching on the pathways. The… Read more »

Crooked Coop

We recently moved into our new digs, but it hasn’t quite felt like home without clucking in the backyard. This weekend the chickens made the move to the new homestead too – finally! In a few weeks the chickens will have a nice, permanent chicken coop. But until construction is complete, we needed to construct… Read more »

Edible Groundcovers

I’m excited to begin the design process at our new house and grateful for the blank slate yard that gives us a fresh start. The garden will likely emphasize edibles and I’m compiling a list of favorites. Here are some of my favorites. Thyme is a tough, evergreen ground cover. Cultivated varieties come in tiny,… Read more »

The Homestead is Moving!

Eight years ago we moved into a little bungalow on a 1/10th of an acre lot in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood of SE Portland. We put a lot of elbow grease into polishing this house into a loving home.  But the tine has come to start the next chapter with a new homestead. We scored big… Read more »

May To Do List

It’s that time of year when the garden needs help transitioning from spring to summer. Here is a rundown of my current to-do list for the garden: I densely planted the vegetable beds in early spring with the intention of pulling out the cool-weather crops when the temperatures heated up. That will make room for… Read more »

Front Yard – 2014 Update

We’ve lived in our little house for about eight years, but the front yard was the last garden I really put much effort into. In the fall of 2012, I finally took the time to draw up a landscape design. It was based on perennials from the backyard that would be easy to cut and… Read more »

Flowering Perennials for Clay Soil

Clay soil doesn’t have to mean your garden is destined to be anything less than amazing. In fact, there are so many great plant options that I’m doing a whole series this week on flowering perennials, shrubs and trees for clay soil. I wrote a recent post about ways you can improve your clay soil structure… Read more »

2014 Vegetable Garden Plan

Every year I draft a garden plan for our four raised beds that will take us from spring into the fall. I try to balance a good crop rotation with companion planting to maximize our space. I am please to report that this year’s plan is ready for sharing! Companion plants are plants that pair… Read more »

How to Improve Clay Soil

Having good soil structure is crucial for growing a healthy garden, but most of us are not blessed with perfect humus (see pie chart below). Often we’re starting with poor soil structure that we need to keep amending over time to achieve that perfect blend of sand, silt, clay and organic matter. Recently I helped… Read more »

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