Assortment of heirloom tomatoes - mostly slicers

My Favorite Tomato Varieties

What is it about our love and obsession with tomato varieties? Seed catalogs respond by offering dozens and dozens of varieties to choose from. And plant developers are cultivating new and unusual strains every year to feed our desire to find the next great tomato. My method for choosing tomato varieties focuses on reliability, production, flavor… Read more »

covered-tomatoes-inside

Planting Tomatoes Outside

Everyone seems to have a different rule of thumb on when it’s time to plant their tomatoes outside. Some wait for Mother’s Day. Others swear by the first week of June. One my local growers was even recommending folks in the Portland area move them outside in late-April, due to our unseasonably warm spring. The… Read more »

protected-raised-beds

Cat-Proof Raised Beds

Vegetable seeds have been getting gently tucked into the garden beds for several weeks now, but neighborhood cats have been a major problem. They see this seemingly “empty” area of fine textured soil and think it would make a great litterbox. Adding composted steer or chicken manure to your beds is one thing, but cat poop… Read more »

finished-teepee

Bean Play Teepee

Long before I had a kid, I always had bean teepees in our garden. I didn’t have a lot of existing vertical space in full sun for growing beans, so I would collect long branches and pop one of these up every spring. They add a really fun, vertical element to the summer garden when… Read more »

blue-crop-flowers

Mid-Spring Garden

The early spring blossoms have faded, but the garden is still growing by leaps and bounds. Here is a little snapshot of what’s catching my eye on the homestead in mid-Spring. Several new perennial herbs have been planted – either in ground or in pots. Springtime is a great time of year to plant them,… Read more »

spring-old-growth

Spring Adventures

It has been a busy, busy spring on our homestead! Here is a little snapshot of what our life has looked like over the last few weeks. Juniper turned three! How did that happen? Thanks to some sweet well-wishers, she now has a new wheelbarrow, watering can and bean seeds – all awesome ways to encourage little… Read more »

spring-planting-helper

Early Spring Outside Planting

I love early spring planting! You can’t plant just anything – the warm season crops still need to wait for the last frost to be well past. But in many climates you are safe to plant cool-weather crops like onion sets, potatoes, shallots, peas and others. “Plant your peas on President’s Day” and “Plant your potatoes… Read more »

seed-packets

Early Spring Indoor Seeds

Early spring has officially arrived and it’s time to start planting the garden. Seeds should be started indoor pronto, so it’s high time to get organized and get to it! I started my seeds a couple weeks ago inside under a grow light. In past years I have made newspaper seed pots, which then get… Read more »

companion-planting

2015 Vegetable Garden Plan

It’s time to plan those vegetable beds! Spring is around the corner and thoughtful planning now allows you to maximize the amount of vegetables you can fit in your space.  Think about what produce your family eats most often and make sure to include those in your plans. Also, consider factors like crop rotation and companion planting… Read more »

raised-beds

Building Raised Beds

It took a village to pull it off, but we finally have some gorgeous, new raised beds! The planning started a few months ago when I finished our garden plan, which included four 4×8 raised beds for intensive vegetable growing. I wanted the beds to match the style of our mid-century home with thick, horizontal… Read more »

Latest
  • august-062

    First Egg

    This evening I had the delight of discovering a fresh new egg from one of the younger ladies. It’s hard to say without stalking the hen house whether it was Maude or Florence, but either way I am very excited. Unfortunately the little egg had a little hole on one end. I think this can… Read more »

  • steve

    Farewell Steve

    I am looking forward to a Sunday evening when I am not butchering livestock in my backyard. For the past week I have been trying to find Steve a new home. And to no avail. Sadly, you only need one male for every 20 something females in multiple species, and chickens are included in that… Read more »

  • Potato Tires: Final Stack

    This summer I am trying out the method of intensively growing potatoes in old tires. I wrote about it back in this post if you want more details. Essentially the goal is to grow more potatoes in less space, and reuse some old tires in the process. So far, so good with the tires experiment…. Read more »

  • july-159

    Hello Steve

    I hate to even write this post… It was a quiet Thursday afternoon and I was working from home, getting tons of stuff done. No distractions from the office, no phone calls, no interruptions. Just the soft clucking of the hens. Oh, and a nice, long crow. I heard the crow loud and clear. I… Read more »

  • MuddyClogs Grows Up

    MuddyClogs began as a casual garden journal for me, but over the last year and a half my needs have grown and I no longer fit those shoes. I will continue writing my blog about the budding food forest, urban chickens, and quirky Portland life as a hip chick digging life on an urban homestead…. Read more »

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  • Chickens Coming of Age

    The chickens are of the age where they are leaving their adolescence and entering adulthood. The major sign will be the day we either discover an egg in the nesting box or hear a crow from the coop. Just to update you, neither has taken place with the three younger chickens. It has been five… Read more »

  • Tour de Coops Recap

    The 2008 Tour de Coops was last Saturday and we estimate somewhere between 125-150 people came through our yard from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. By the end, I felt like I was slurring my words from talking so much that day. I had my “chicken-experience-in-a-nutshell” down to about two minutes. As you may recall,… Read more »

  • Summer Garden Transition

    The garden is undergoing the late summer change. I am allowing the lettuce to go to seed, so I can attempt to save them for next Spring. The arugula and spinach were allowed to do the same thing, and I pulled them out to dry about a week ago. I have never tried saving seed… Read more »