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Portland Fruit Tree Project

Since I am gardenless this season after our recent move, I am completely dependent on local farms and generous friends to help fill our harvest basket. I was delighted to discover a local non-profit called the Portland Fruit Tree Project just as harvest season began to roll in, which has kept us up to our… Read more »

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Toddler Homestead Chores

Having regular chores was simply part of life growing up on my family’s urban farm. Everyone in our family, both big and small, had their jobs and it gave us all an immense sense of accomplishment to pitch in. Although Juniper is only two, she already has her share of chores on our homestead that… Read more »

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DIY Laundry Detergent

How is it that I have never posted my recipe for homemade laundry detergent? I started making my own homemade laundry detergent about a decade ago, tweaked the process over time, let the recipe evolve and even included it in my book Modern Homestead: Grow, Rasie, Create. It just takes a few simple ingredients and… Read more »

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Snowy Homestead

Portland’s cold weather kept us housebound for several days. Time seemed to stop as the days went on and on, without the distraction of modern life. Instead, our attention was really focused on keeping everyone healthy and happy – inside and out. Every morning started with a visit to the chicken coops. Their roof had… Read more »

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Buying Beef in Bulk

Winter storms are the perfect excuse to hole up inside on these dark days over a bowl of slow-cooked roast beef. We recently purchased beef in bulk from a local farmer to help us spend more time lingering at the table this winter and less time running out to the grocery store. If you are… Read more »

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Celebrating the Solstice

The days are growing shorter as the winter solstice draws near. In my part of the world, the sun is rising close to 8 am and setting before 4:30 pm. It leaves very little time to see the garden, let alone work in it, on weekdays when we are scrambling to keep it all together…. Read more »

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Signs of the Homesteading Movement

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of sitting down in my kitchen for an interview with garden guru P. Allen Smith (well, I was in my kitchen but Allen was in Arkansas…). He was talking with me via Skype about my book, Modern Homestead, for his public radio program Garden Home. We chatted about our personal… Read more »

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High Desert Family Vacation

Every summer we flock to the high desert country around Bend, Oregon, for our version of a family vacation. After 30+ years of vacationing there, the trip always seems to mark a moment in time for me. I take morning walks when the deer are awake, but most people are still in bed. Juniper joined… Read more »

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Environmental Stewardship: My Hidden Agenda

Those cold, drizzly days of winter seem like a distant memory as we soak up summertime in Oregon. I am so much in love with this blissful time of year that I refuse to leave the state between the months of July through September. Instead, summertime is a chance to show off our great state… Read more »