egg-basket

Lighting the Chicken Coop

To light or not to light the chicken coop? For many chicken keepers, that is the wintertime question. Chickens and other egg-laying creatures (like ducks) take a hiatus from producing eggs in the winter – and it’s natural for them to do so. The decreased sunlight tells them it’s not a good time to make… Read more »

Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist, by Michael Judd

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 »

seeds

Spring Garden Prep

There might be snow or ice on the ground where you live, but it’s already time for some spring garden prep. Here are a few productive ways to get started: Decide What to Grow Think about what you buy most frequently from the grocery store and grow that this year! Even better, think about what… Read more »

torrey-pines

Beating the Winter Blues

It’s wonderful living in the temperate rain forest that is the Pacific Northwest, but the rainy days of winter do take their toll come January. Here’s a few tips to help you beat any winter blues that might be creeping up. Get Away This year we were fortunate to take a winter escape down to… Read more »

christmas-eve

Holiday Recap

Here is a little peek into what our Christmas celebration looked like this year. It started with a lively and wonderfully chaotic massive meal with my family. Not often do me and my three siblings get to be together, so it was a riot. And our band of kids loved bouncing off the frenzied energy… Read more »

solstice-swag-arrangement

Winter Solstice Swag

You might be facing a daunting coming weekend – the last one before Christmas. It’s frenzied, rushed and every minute counts to finish shopping and check everything off your holiday to-do list. But take a moment this Sunday, December 21st, to observe the winter solstice. It’s the shortest, darkest day of the year. For me,… Read more »

fireplace-finished

DIY Fireplace Redo

Our remodeling to-do list is about a mile long ever since we bought our fixer-upper house this summer. With chilly temperatures outside, I’ve finally had a good excuse to stay inside and knock a few off the list. This past week: rehabbing our cosmetically-challenged fireplace. A fireplace was on my “must have” list for our… Read more »

backyard

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┬ánature-based play area to accommodate our growing family,… Read more »

plant-staging

Garden Installation: Part III

The front yard is officially 100% installed! First came irrigation installation (although not in the front yard), then sod removal and soil prep. Finally, massive plant order arrived from three different nurseries and the first frost of the season was looming on the horizon. As a landscape designer, I think my favorite day of a… Read more »

front-sod-removed

Garden Installation: Part II

With irrigation construction complete, the next phase of our garden installation was site preparation. All that sod had to be removed and it was time to address the soil nutrient and structure needs of our new digs. I’m a big fan of taking pictures through all stages of your homestead’s growth. So this is your… Read more »

Latest
  • candles

    Marking the Solstice

    Today is the winter solstice which marks the beginning of winter, the darkest day of the year and the hope of lighter days ahead. I am celebrating the solstice with some quiet time today. I’ll stretch myself in yoga, take some long walks and inhale the cold, crisp air. The pets are celebrating the solstice… Read more »

  • barn

    Holiday Prep

    My amazing mother-in-law gets here next week and we have a lot of fun activities planned: wine tasting, a day trip to the Oregon Coast, hiking, brewery visits and plenty of time for long mornings drinking coffee and reading books. I am working on leisurely checking some to-do’s off our holiday preparation list. First up… Read more »

  • Finished Hard Pear Cider

    And I thought I dragged my feet last year brewing hard cider! This year we should practically call it an “aged” Asian pear cider. We started the process in early September, let it ferment the first round for a month, then had it do a secondary fermentation for another month. Probably the each round could… Read more »

  • Post Thanksgiving Recap

    I’m a little behind, only now posting about how my awesome Thanksgiving was. I enjoyed a long, relaxing morning of cooking. Friends came over and brought delicious food. We drank a lot of wine – a lot. And, aside from a little school work that morning, I focused on being present in my life. It… Read more »

  • Our Thanksgiving Turkey

    We are celebrating Thanksgiving quietly this year in Eugene and are excited to spend less time on I-5 that day and more time gathered around some delicious local food with friends. This is a graphic post that shows photos from our day on Laughing Stock Farm butchering our Thanksgiving turkey. If you are strongly against… Read more »