Making Perfect Apple Chips

I have always loved drying the fruit harvest and with little kids we consume more of these goodies than ever. It’s a healthy, naturally sweet snack that you can munch away on without worrying about additives. And drying fruit doesn’t require a lot of hands-on time or money. A bulky dehydrator can tuck away in… Read more »


It’s That Time of Year

Fall… the crisp colorful leaves, the brisk mornings, that smell after a fresh rain… And of course, the canner. It’s a permanent fixture on our stove at this time of year while the dehydrator keeps a steady hum on the homestead. I have been busy, which is an understatement. Our ten heirloom tomato plants keep… Read more »


Planting the Winter Garden

The harvest basket is reaching the brim and the temperature is suppose to reach 90 degrees today, but believe it or not we are overdue to plant the winter garden! There are lots of vegetables we can grow in our mild winters, but they need enough time to get established before the winter chill sets in…. Read more »


September Garden Update

The harvest basket is over flowing on our homestead – finally! Squash is meandering through every open corner of the garden. Juniper is still finding ripe strawberries from our everbearing plants that carpet the planting areas. Bees are humming from one echinacea flower head to another. This is the homestead I have been dreaming of since we first… Read more »


Our Life with PKU

We knew that Baby River was special the moment he entered our lives, but we didn’t know he was extra special until he was six days old. That is the day when we got the call that his newborn screening test came back positive for PKU. Coincidentally, that is exactly how old my now 15-year… Read more »


Recipe: Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes

Finally our heirloom tomato plants are ready for harvesting! We are running through our regular list of ways to enjoy fresh tomatoes, but just found one more to add to the mix: homemade pizza topped with fresh tomatoes. Get ready for something delicious and easy. I found the pizza dough recipe on aptly named “Quick and… Read more »


Harvesting Onions

I planted two different varieties of onions in early spring along the perimeter of our raised beds: red onions and Walla Walla sweets. You know it’s time to harvest onions when the greens start to die back, which usually happens in late summer. That means the plant is done sending it’s energy from the greens down… Read more »


Simple Backyard Nature Play

Our homestead garden plan includes a small area reserved for an evolving nature play space for our little ones. We didn’t have a budget to work with, so most the play elements were based on what we had on hand. It’s a flexible space that can change over time as the kids grow and their interests change. That… Read more »


Problem-Solver: Sunshine Blueberries

Some of my fondest childhood memories were made among a berry patch. We grew raspberries, blueberries and strawberries on the urban farm where I was raised. Blackberries grew along a neighbor’s fence and we would cut them back just enough to keep them on their property, but within reach when the berries were ripe. In… Read more »


Welcome Baby River

“I think I had better go lie down. I think that may have been a labor contraction…” I was standing in our garden next to the raised beds talking with my Dad about the garden. Contractions had been getting more and more frequent for the last week, but had yet to turn into real, belt-tightening-feeling… Read more »

  • Birthday Karaoke

    There were so many fun parts of my birthday this year, so this is my attempt to recap them in little bite-sized morsels. Let us begin with the karaoke… During my trip to South Korea I discovered the fabulous “noraebang“, which are private karaoke rooms you rent out by the hour. There are typically about… Read more »

  • Happy Birthday to ME!

    Twenty-nine years ago today, at about a quarter to midnight, I decided to get this show called life on the road. Today I will be out celebrating with good food, wonderful friends, trips to farms and the most amazing karaoke experience outside South Korea. The recap of this spectacular celebration will follow sometime soon. I… Read more »

  • Pear Chutney = Sweet Piece of Heaven

    The only chutney I have ever really used has been store bought. I thought it was okay, but nothing to write home about. Well, my friends, that is true no more for I have discovered the sweet piece of heaven that is homemade chutney. This basic pear chutney recipe came from the Ball cookbook, but… Read more »

  • Asian Pear Butter Success

    There has been successful canning at my house! About a week ago I mentioned the pear butter I had attempted to make with the asian pears from my mom’s house. Sadly, I had made pear sauce (like apple sauce) because the cookbook I was using didn’t specify times. And who knew you need to simmer… Read more »

  • Buying 1/4 of a Cow

    Typically we are selective about where we purchase our beef. This isn’t meant to come across as a lecture to people who are not concerned with how their meat was raised, but we choose to be more involved in this area. Things like being grass-fed on pasture, no antibiotics, no hormones, etc. are all important… Read more »

  • Building Garden Paths

    My garden is very much a work in progress. One of the elements lacking in the landscape are clearly defined pathways. They just seem like so much work to build though, especially for something I won’t actually receive any direct benefit from. Afterall, I know where everything is, where to walk and not walk, etc…. Read more »

  • Overrun with Asian Pears

    When my mother was looking for a new house several years ago, one of the many things she wanted was a low-maintenance backyard with no fruit trees. I was with her when she saw her house for the first time. I could tell immediately that she had decided this was ” the one”. And I… Read more »

  • September Orchard Tour

    Last year I went on the Orchard Tour at One Green World in October. This year I won’t be around for the October 11th tour, so I went on the September tour yesterday instead. I ended up going solo – just my travel mug and some motown music. It was a lovely drive to Molalla,… Read more »

  • Orchard Tour this Weekend

    My favorite local nursery, One Green World, will host their first of two orchard tours this weekend! I might bring a travel mug of tea with me, to keep fighting whatever lingering bug I have, but at this point I am just excited to attend. We went last year on their October tour and had… Read more »