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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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Gardening An Hour At A Time

Today is the first day of spring and the garden waits for no one! Juggling a newborn can easily put a cramp in gardening productivity, but gardening isn’t just a hobby for me. It is where we get a significant part of the food that ends up on our table. The “stead” part of having… 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 »

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Winter Garden Chores

Planting season is just around the corner and it’s time to prep the beds that will soon hold spring crops. You can hardly make out the spinach in my beds through all the chickweed right now. As the winter rains let up for a couple weeks, the ground was nice and soft for one of… Read more »

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Grassroots Garden Visit

Last week our Plants class visited Grassroots Garden, a local non-profit here in Eugene that grows food for the needy. We did some volunteer work that morning planting carrots in the morning sunshine and learning some interesting things about soil amendments. The garden itself is humming right now, making my own backyard look a little… Read more »

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Pruning Grapes

There are a handful of grapevines growing out at the Urban Farm and it’s pruning season! Some of them they let ramble, while others they focus on maintaining for good quality fruit. We went to work on the maintained vines and I learned a lot. Last year I attempted to prune my two grape vines… Read more »

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When to Plant

There are a few rule-of-thumb planting dates among the gardening community that we enjoy repeating every year. One is to sow your peas on President’s Day. Another is to plant potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day. These are general rules though which will not apply to you if you happen to live in sunny southern California… Read more »

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Beet Leaves

You can enjoy your beets before they are even big enough to pull from the ground. Their leaves are really high in vitamin A nutrients, along with vitamin C, iron and calcium with a taste similar to swiss chard. Although you can eat them raw, I prefer to saute them in a little olive oil…. Read more »

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Garden Pests

The last few days I have begun to notice some pest damage to my plants outside. This morning I took a nice long stroll with a cup of coffee and inspected the situation. Slugs have been munching on the collard greens and the raspberry bushes. I have also noticed holes in some melon and squash… Read more »