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Harvesting Goumi Berries

Goumi is a medium-sized shrub from Asia that is gaining popularity in western gardens. The berries are used medicinally and sweeter varieties are great for eating fresh. Goumi shrubs are nitrogen fixers, benefiting the plants around them with higher nitrogen soil – great for leaf growth. The shrub has long thorns that are easy to… Read more »

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Apricot Blight

Our Puget Gold apricot was planted three or four years ago and has quickly grown into a lovely tree. About a month ago, it appeared like an insect was bothering the tree. The leaves had little pin holes on them. But then I noticed the fruit was looking funny as it ripen on the tree…. Read more »

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Herb Spiral Update

It was years and years ago that I built an herb spiral in our backyard, but a reader recently asked me for an update on the project. But first, what the heck is an herb spiral? Our original herb spiral design An herb spiral is a popular permaculture project that incorporates micro-climates into the design…. Read more »

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Spring Signs of Summer Fruit

Junebug and I were taking a morning stroll through our backyard oasis noticing little signs of budding fruit. It’s looking more and more like this will be the best season yet on the homestead. Here is a little background on when I planted the trees and shrubs that are showing signs of summer fruit. The… Read more »

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Emerging Spring

Spring is emerging from the sleepiness of winter and showing signs all over the homestead. What seeds are popping up in your garden? The snow peas above won the race on first to emerge. Our cherry tree is in full bloom and the squirrels are all licking their paws waiting for the fruit to set…. Read more »

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Our Homestead Plan

We moved into our homestead back in 2006 when it was just a blank canvas of lawn, with a couple old rose bushes here and there. After six years of major landscape changes, it’s about time I got around to making a decent planting plan of the homestead. I used AutoCAD to create the above… Read more »

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New Fruit Trees

We have three new additions to our homestead! No, the baby is not one of them – yet. This past weekend we purchased three new, bareroot fruit trees to fill in some holes in our garden. Nothing makes me happier than adding new, exciting plants to our food forest. We lost two fruit trees during… Read more »

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Winter Morning Garden

There are little treasures of beauty peeking out of our winter garden. It takes some searching between the skeletons of fruit trees and shrubs to find them, but they are out there quietly shivering away. With a warm mug of chai, I bundled up to capture some of those lovely corners. Artichokes, my favorite vegetable,… Read more »

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Problem Solver: Strawberry Tree

In late fall and winter, you may start to notice a lack of anything looking alive in your landscape. The trees lose their leaves and there’s nothing left behind but a skeleton of plantings. That is when you know you need more “evergreen structure” – something to give life to your garden year round. Here… Read more »