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Using Wood Chips in the Garden

Spring is an excellent time of year to add wood chip mulch to your garden, before summer kicks your homesteading into high gear. We just got finished spreading a fresh batch of wood chips around our homestead to cover all of our planting beds. It was a big job, but the payoff of using wood… Read more »

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Building Soil Quality with Leaves

Most of us are constantly working on increasing the soil quality of our gardens – both the soil nutrients and the soil structure. Either we’re starting a new garden on less-than-ideal soil or we’re trying to build the soil quality back up after previous crops sapped nutrients from the ground or winter rains compacted the soil…. Read more »

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September Garden Update

The harvest basket is over flowing on our homestead – finally! Squash is meandering through every open corner of the garden. Juniper is still finding ripe strawberries from our everbearing plants that carpet the planting areas. Bees are humming from one echinacea flower head to another. This is the homestead I have been dreaming of since we first… Read more »

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Planting Near Black Walnut

Every garden has its unique set of challenges, which is part of the reason I love garden design so much. There’s always a new problem to wrestle with in creating the perfect urban oasis. One particularly pesky problem is trying to plant near an existing Black Walnut tree. These trees are giant, strong, majestic specimens… Read more »

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Garden Installation: Part IV

The backyard has taken shape! The concept for the backyard is to create an edible food forest. It’s similar in design to our former homestead – working in layers to add edible ground covers, shrubs, trees and vines – but I added a few new components like a nature-based play area to accommodate our growing family,… Read more »

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Baby Fruit

A home orchard is the best way to savor the delicious sweetness of summer fruits. I would argue that it is just as much fun to watch the baby fruits develop as it is to devour them when ripe. It’s like Christmas as a kid – the presents were that much more fun because of… Read more »

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How to Thin Raspberries

Our fence is lined with ever-bearing raspberries, a wonderful addition to our edible landscape. Just as the name implies, ever-bearing raspberries will give you a continual harvest throughout the summer and fall. They do well in our Pacific NW climate and are a carefree addition to the homestead. The berries deteriorate quickly after harvest, which… Read more »

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Country Gardens Magazine Article

Run, don’t walk, to grab your Spring 2013 copy of Country Gardens magazine (on sale March 12th). I wrote an article for this issue all about my journey through modern homesteading. They did a fabulous photo shoot of our homestead, so you can enjoy all kinds of gorgeous garden inspiration. I am so giddy to… Read more »

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Spraying Fruit Trees

Last year, I was disappointed to learn that my gorgeous Puget Sound Apricot tree had a terrible case of blight. Early spring leaves looked like they had been pricked all over with tiny pin holes. Then the fruit began to develop with a thick scab. Still, the tree managed to put on some nice growth… Read more »