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 »

asparagus-crowns

Growing Asparagus

Asparagus is an adaptable, hardy vegetable that is also a rare perennial vegetable – meaning it will come back year after year to produce a harvest. It does best in climates with either cold winters or dry summers. That includes most areas of the country, so it’s likely you can grow this delicious vegetable on… Read more »

mama-junebug-coloring

A Big, Big Project

It’s been year of change for us here on the homestead! At home, we are busily transforming our new space into a homestead. At work, I decided to leave my job last fall and am now blissfully happy balancing residential projects with creating nature-play spaces for Learning Landscapes Design. Life feels very full! But our biggest project… Read more »

evergreen-huckleberry-buds

Winter Awakening

I love the quiet of winter and stillness of it all. The cold and rain forces us inside, pleading with us to slow down. Yet in between rain showers there are signs of late-winter life and a hint that spring is closer than we might think. You can find varieties of heaths and heathers to bloom at anytime… Read more »

play-kitchen

DIY: Upcycled Play Kitchen

Juniper loves to help – in the garden, in the kitchen or wherever we happen to be. So when my Aunt T called me from a thrift store and said, “There’s an old cabinet here that could really make a cute play kitchen…” I just had to say yes. And so began a do-it-yourself Christmas… Read more »

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 »

Latest
  • tulips

    Yes! Spring!

    To my dearly beloved Spring, I say yes! Yes! A thousand times yes! Welcome to my garden, Spring. I have missed your clean smell after a heavy rain. I have missed the lushness of your flowers. I have longed to see real live tulips once again greeting me after a long day at work. The… Read more »

  • spring-row-covers

    Spring Row Covers

    We are in the middle of a cool, wet spring which is very typical for the Pacific Northwest. Although you can plant several crops outside right now (kale, chard, lettuces, broccoli, etc), most vegetables won’t grow too much until the weather warms up. Thankfully, I have a trick for planting my vegetables outside a little… Read more »

  • spring-brunch

    Fritatta Three Ways

    The chickens have announced the arrival of spring with about fifty-thousand eggs. We’re averaging 4-5 eggs a day, which means the pressure is on to eat all those gems up. My favorite go-to recipe for any meal is a delicious frittata using any other ingredients I have on hand. I love frittatas because they are… Read more »

  • rainbow-chard

    Spring Planting

    Spring fever is in full swing and it’s time to get the first round of vegetables into the ground. We recently prepped our garden soil for the season with a thick layer of homemade compost. Juniper and I were both very excited to finally be able to move our vegetable starts into the ground. We… Read more »

  • spring-soil-prep

    Spring Soil Prep

    Before you get spring planting fever, take the time to replenish your garden soil first. It’s the best way to ensure you have an excellent harvest this year. Great soil makes a great garden, and it’s something you have to keep cultivating year after year. Vegetables draw lots of nutrients from your soil, which is… Read more »

  • Cornelius

    Let’s Hang Out This Saturday

    Planting season is upon us! There are baby chicks to pick up! Your garden soil needs fresh compost! And I want to meet you! These are all excellent reasons for you to stop by and say hello to me while I hang out at Wilco’s garden store in Cornelius this Saturday, March 15th. I’ll be there… Read more »

  • Florence and Maude in their glory days

    Reluctantly Sentimental

    I am sad to say that old Florence has passed away. We raised this Rhode Island Red from a baby chick several years ago, she graced the pages of my book and delivered a steady stream of eggs for us through much of her life. She worked hard on our homestead before settling into retirement… Read more »

  • florence-vet

    Our $85 Geriatric Chicken

    Last fall our six-year old hen Maude passed away. It happened quickly – she lost weight and became lethargic in just a couple weeks. We tried nursing her back to health, but she passed away just a couple nights later. Chickens can live to be 7-10 years old, so we thought Maude’s passing was a bit… Read more »

  • warm-water-birdbath

    Winter Wildlife Care

    Snow and ice blanketed our fair city, which puts a strain on wildlife as well. Critters expend more energy trying to stay warm and forage for food, when winter doesn’t offer a lot of options. Thankfully many neighbors have bird feeders for our local feathered friends, but fresh water can be scarce when the temperatures… Read more »