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 »

Prepping Beds for Winter

The days are growing darker and there is a bite in the morning breeze. Before the first frost hits, which for Portlanders is around November 15th, the homestead needs to be prepped for winter. We have had some fierce rain and wind storms already, so when we had a clear weekend I jumped on my… Read more »

January Harvest

It has been a cold, dry January thus far – at least it seems that way to me. Some of the crops that typically overwinter uncovered have been barely hanging on. This chilly swiss chard is one example. The plants are still alive, but we won’t be harvesting them until it warms up enough for… Read more »

Protected Raised Beds

Vegetables and herbs grow all around the homestead, but a big portion of the harvest is grown in our four raised beds. They are as attractive as they are functional, but unfortunately we are not the only ones who feel that way. Neighbor cats and our backyard chickens also love the raised beds. The cats… Read more »

Winter Harvesting

My outdoor garden beds have been providing me with a steady supply of the usual winter suspects: kale, swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, leeks, and tasty brussel sprouts. Oregon, especially the Willamette Valley, is fortunate to have relatively mild winters and we pretty much live on brassicas from November through February. This is the first… Read more »

Is It Just Me?

Perhaps it is just my own impatience this year, but it seems like everything is taking longer than normal to grow in. I feel like my garden at home and my beds at the Urban Farm are like a watched pot that is not boiling. I hover over the sown seeds and little transplants searching… Read more »

Spring Greens

Oh, the wonders of a greenhouse! The Urban Farm has a pretty simple, plastic greenhouse that has been keeping me well-fed for the past month. This lovely photo is an abundant harvest from a couple weeks ago. Today we hauled out about twenty pounds of these fabulous greens. What we are looking at includes, starting… Read more »

Vegetable Beds Planted

The raised vegetables beds have been planted periodically since early March. The cold weather spinach and kale went in first and I used thick plastic as row covers to keep them toasty. A few weeks later I added carrots, lettuces, beets and parsnips. The plastic have given all those vegetables a great start and they… Read more »

Building Fort Knox

One giant compromise of letting the chickens free-range in our backyard is allowing them to ravage our vegetable beds from time to time. They scratch up seeds, eat young shoots, and sometimes decide a newly planted bed is a terrific place for a dust bath. Every year I get a little smarter with how to… Read more »

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