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Exploring Nature Play

As a landscape designer, I’m endlessly fascinated with outdoor spaces. How do we make them accommodate our need to grow food? To entertain? To support native wildlife? Rainwater? Beneficial insects? The list goes on. But my latest fascination is all child’s play – or rather, nature-based play. Nature-based play is an emerging concept in the… Read more »

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Winter Wildlife Care

Snow and ice blanketed our fair city, which puts a strain on wildlife as well. Critters expend more energy trying to stay warm and forage for food, when winter doesn’t offer a lot of options. Thankfully many neighbors have bird feeders for our local feathered friends, but fresh water can be scarce when the temperatures… Read more »

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Environmental Stewardship: My Hidden Agenda

Those cold, drizzly days of winter seem like a distant memory as we soak up summertime in Oregon. I am so much in love with this blissful time of year that I refuse to leave the state between the months of July through September. Instead, summertime is a chance to show off our great state… Read more »

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Late Summer Broccoli

Late summer has produced broccoli plants with thick stalks ready for harvest. As hard as we try, there is far too much for us to stay on top of. It’s time to think about saving seed for next year and preserving the harvest for the winter months. Broccoli produces lovely yellow flowers that will develop… Read more »

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May in Review

A look back at May shows a lot of life and budding fruit on the homestead. This is a photo-heavy post of the spring sights I have been enjoying: flowers, veggies and Baby Junebug! My favorite spring flowering bulbs, Allium giganteum, came out in full force. The purple petals are fading away leaving what looks… Read more »

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Our Family Hike

My family has been enjoying the same hike through the Columbia River Gorge, a national scenic area, for decades now. My parents began hiking this easy trail in the early 70’s and continued to use it as the family grew. Years are marked in family photos with each child taking our turn riding in the… Read more »

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Inviting Birds into the Garden

The sounds of birds and the buzzing of insects in springtime is a reminder for me that our homestead supports more than just our own sustenance. Here are some tips on making sure your garden offers an open invitation for birds. Give Them Water. Birds need a place to stop for a drink or a… Read more »

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Taking Down the Snag

Gather round kids as I tell you a story of a snag and a homestead… A snag is a dead tree that is still standing. We urban dwellers see them as an eye sore, but wildlife see them as a valuable place for nesting and finding food. In fact, some native birds in the Pacific… Read more »

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Risky Business: Exotic Edible Plants

January is the time when nursery catalogs pour through our mail slots and cold evenings are spent carefully deciding what new trees, shrubs and vines to add to the homestead. There is an on-going debate between permaculture advocates and native plant experts on which plant species should be planted and which ones are dangerous. David… Read more »