Snapshots of Autumn

The wind and rains are rolling in on these late fall evenings – a reminder that winter is rapping on our door. Here are some snippets of what autumn has looked like on our homestead.   Fall creates a mix of cool blues and gray-greens in the front yard, dotted with yellow leaves from our… Read more »

Fall Plantings

Fall is a great time of year to plant new trees and perennial shrubs for two big reasons: it gives your plants several months to work on establishing roots and there are all kinds of crazy deals right now as nurseries close out their summer stock. Just be sure to get your new purchases in… Read more »

Prepping Beds for Winter

The days are growing darker and there is a bite in the morning breeze. Before the first frost hits, which for Portlanders is around November 15th, the homestead needs to be prepped for winter. We have had some fierce rain and wind storms already, so when we had a clear weekend I jumped on my… Read more »

October Harvest

October is giving us the last drops of warm-season harvests, but it’s time to draw the curtain for winter. Juniper helped me pick the last of the ripe fruits and veggies. Her way of helping has more to do with eating than actually putting anything in the harvest basket, but I enjoy the company nevertheless…. Read more »

Visiting Joshua Tree

I was entranced by the flora of southern California on our recent trip down south – not to mention the fabulous edibles that thrive in this region. We ventured in Joshua Tree for a few days to attend a wedding and we carved out a little time to explore this distinct, unusual landscape. Joshua Tree… Read more »

SoCal Edible Plants

I recently shared my adventures through the San Diego Botanical Gardens, but this post is all about edibles.¬†Most of us live in climates where we’re thinking now about pulling out the tomatoes and growing cold-hardy crops. But let’s ignore the howl of the wind through the windows and drool over these pictures, dreaming together of… Read more »

Botanicals of San Diego

Traveling with kids slows you down quite a bit, but we are learning to settle into a rhythm with Juniper as our regular traveling partner. This time our travels took us to southern California, a couple days of which were spent in sunny San Diego. An¬†excellent, kid-friendly outing was spent at the San Diego Botanical… Read more »

Fresh Tomato Soup

I have been busily canning stewed tomatoes, marinara sauce and ketchup, but still the harvest basket fills with tomatoes. Roasting fresh tomatoes with garden onions and garlic is an easy way to blow through that late summer harvest. Sauce tomatoes work best, like the delicious San Marzanos. But any old mix of tomatoes will work… Read more »

Apricot-Rosemary Preserves

Our Puget Gold apricot tree has been prolific this year! This variety of apricot was developed in Washington and is particularly well-suited for the Pacific Northwest, with our late cool springs. They are self-fertile, meaning you only need one to get fruit. Apricots are a finicky fruit tree that doesn’t grow well in much of… Read more »

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