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 »

How to Plant Tomatoes

It is time to get those tomatoes in the ground! I pulled out almost everything in my late spring bed – all the bolted celery, arugula and mature onions – and replaced them with healthy young tomato starts. There are a few things you can do when planting your tomatoes to make them extra happy…. Read more »

From Spring to Summer

I can’t tell you how many people I have heard gushing about the amazingly sunny spring we are enjoying in Portland… How much they love being outside again… How it’s so overdue after a gray winter… Meanwhile, I’m the curmudgeon wishing for showers in the forecast! It has turned out to be one of the… Read more »

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 »

The Case for Boring Vegetables

My first years of gardening really focused on the divas of the produce world: tomatoes, pepper, eggplant and melons. Those are the plants that want a hot climate (something the mild NW can barely provide) and lots of water. They are the plants we garden nerds coo and crow over with one another, talking about… Read more »

Awakening Garden

April has stirred the garden to life and I wanted to share some of those signs of beauty with you this morning. Of course there is a lot to be done this season, but this moment in time reminds me that there is a lot to cherish as well. By June we will be swimming… Read more »

Seed Starting Basics

Starting your vegetables from seed is not for the faint of heart, but it can be really rewarding for those willing to put in the time and effort. The primary advantages of starting seeds are choosing from a wider range of vegetable varieties, having more control over the size and vigor of your plants, and… Read more »

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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