Goodnight Garden

Juniper and River were both sleeping inside as Jay puttered around the house, so I seized the moment by taking solitary refuge in the garden. We have had a handful of cold, hard frosts now as fall makes way for winter. What a wonderful way to spend my Thanksgiving, working outside on the homestead to clean up… Read more »


Preserving Chanterelle Mushrooms

This fall I spent more time hunting chanterelle mushrooms in the woods than I spent in our own garden. The combination of foraging for wild food, hiking for hours and simply being outside among torrential rains and giant trees made me feel more than alive at an otherwise sleepy time of year. I ended up with baskets full of… Read more »


Hunting Chanterelles

The end of the garden season signals the beginning of the mushroom season, which certainly takes the edge off of the end-of-season gardening blues. Wild chanterelles begin growing all over the Pacific Northwest in September and continue through November. They are a great “beginner mushroom” because they are very distinct looking, so you can’t confuse… Read more »


Last Harvest of the Season

After so many years outside cultivating my urban homesteads, I have developed a good sense for temperature.  I don’t need to scan the weather report obsessively – I can usually just feel when it’s getting cold enough to threaten frost or warm enough in spring to remove row covers. Portland has experienced one of the warmest… Read more »


Pumpkin Recipe Round-Up

I’m that person… the pumpkin muffin, pumpkin scone, pumpkin bread, pumpkin-everything-person. This delicious and versatile squash is the quintessential sign, smell and taste of fall. As our days get shorter and nights get colder, here’s a round up of my favorite pumpkin recipes to keep you warm and well-fed.   Pumpkins are fun, easy to… Read more »


Last Call for Tomatoes

This weekend or next may be the last call for tomatoes for the season, so break out the canner, freezer bags, dehydrator or whatever you preserving method of choice is. Tomatoes do best with nighttime temperatures above 55 degrees, but overnight temps in Portland are more consistently in the low 50’s at this time of… Read more »


My Proud Mama Moment

I had one of those overwhelmingly proud mama moments recently that I have to share. Juniper and I spent the morning of my birthday harvesting fruit for the Portland Fruit Tree Project. They help local fruit tree owners maintain their trees in exchange for donating the fruit to the Oregon Food Bank. If you volunteer… Read more »


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 »

  • Fall Preparations

    The last two weeks have been filled with travel – some for fun and some for work. I left town as summer was wrapping up and hints of Fall were settling in, but there is no mistaking the season now that I have returned. Portland is filled with brilliant shades of crimson, gold, blazing orange… Read more »

  • Autumn in New York

    Last night I took the red-eye into New York City. I am here all weekend for work, but I decided to torture myself with a little sleep deprivation so I could have a bit more time to explore the city. This is not my first time to the city, but I think it would take… Read more »

  • october-040

    Strange Chickens

    Florence has been laying eggs since August and I was beginning to wonder what the hold-up was with Maude. I raised them both from chicks, so they are the same age. Maude is a Brahma and Florence is a Rhode Island Red. Not sure if it’s a breed thing, but Maude waited until she was… Read more »

  • Last Canning

    Our poor, decrepit car finally went to the big junkyard in the sky, but that didn’t stop me from picking more tomatoes at a local farm this weekend. I was quite determined to make one huge batch of tomato sauce before the end of the canning season. I hopped on my scooter and made it… Read more »

  • Canning Tomatoes

    It’s been quite chilly at night here, but for the last couple weeks our windows are fogged up late at night with the smell of simmering tomatoes and herbs wafting through the house. Not an uninviting home, but I could due with an earlier bedtime during these shorter days. The winter hiberation cannot begin quite… Read more »

  • Heirloom Tomatoes

    My crop of heirloom tomatoes is finally in full swing! They are about three weeks late due to some chilly weather that hung around Portland this Spring. Then tack on another couple weeks from my “oops” this Spring when I realized I hadn’t been giving my seedlings enough hours under the grow light. At several… Read more »

  • Hood River Fruit Loop

    After the big birthday karaoke night, we took the whole next day to putz around the farms in Hood River, located in the beautiful Columbia Gorge. The area is well known for the exceptional fruits that come from these local orchards, and we were just in time for the fall color on the leaves and… 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 »