Lessons From Plants And Children


As my regular readers are aware, I am usually wearing my kiddo on my back when I’m gardening or building stuff.  This is not because I’m angling for an attachment-parenting mother of the year award or because I can’t be parted from my little boy for even a minute. No, it is because my almost-seven-month-old son [Continue Reading…]

Seed Starter’s Roll Call


Late March is the busiest time of year under my seed-starting lights. I’ve got assorted tomatoes and gypsy peppers up and growing right now. The tomatoes are nearing pot-up time but the peppers are slower to get up and go. I’ve also got brassicas which are pouring out and over their small 72-count cell-packs. It [Continue Reading…]



Dear readers: I recognize that for some of you, spring does not represent chickens and eggs. I kindly implore you to indulge me one more chickens post. Then, I promise, I will return to our regularly scheduled program of veggie gardening and wonderful food. Thank you. The coop is up. Three days of sawing, hammering [Continue Reading…]

All Cooped Up! (Almost)

This weekend has been a total whirlwind. We’ve been building a coop for our new chickens and planting fruit trees like crazy. I had hoped that I’d have a nice, wrapped-up project to write about for Monday morning, but the truth is, as I write this post at Sunday at 10 pm, none of our [Continue Reading…]

Meet The Girls!

As you may have heard through the Facebook page, I adopted a pair of chickens on Wednesday. As little as a week ago, the plan had been to hold off on chickens until next spring to give us time to finalize our mini-orchard and the gobs of other things around the ol’ homestead. And then [Continue Reading…]

Happy In The Garden

A few years ago, when I was just starting my second career, I was working two jobs downtown. Killing time between gigs, my peripatetic wanderings took me into Barnes and Noble. There I spotted an interesting book, Michel Richard’s Happy in the Kitchen. Though the culinary technique was as far over my head as loop [Continue Reading…]

Keeping Dry: Securing Tunnel Cloches

The past few days in the Seattle area have been so lovely, I think the weather Gods are apologizing for the veritable monsoon of rain that dumped on us two weeks ago.  If you are not in the Maritime Northwest, you might be shaking your head right now, saying: “Seattle is called Rain City for [Continue Reading…]

Garbage Made Useful: Milk Jug Garden Scoops, Two Ways


Got Milk? Then you’ve got milk jugs. We don’t drink a huge amount of milk, but I do buy several gallons at a time to make yogurt. That leaves me with a lot of these: Empty plastic milk jugs are recyclable in my area, which is good, but they can also be made into handy [Continue Reading…]

Sometimes Preparedness Isn’t Just About Emergencies

Nick the Homebrew Husband works at T-Mobile. He has a pretty typical “good job”: a long commute, a forthright and supportive boss, meetings that make him want to poke his eyeballs out, and a nice middle-class paycheck with an above-average benefits package. Thank you very much, T-Mobile. Yesterday morning AT&T announced they were buying T-Mobile. What this [Continue Reading…]

Weekend Inspiration: Global Gotcha Down? Look Local.


Well, I think I speak for just about the whole world when I say this week has sucked. The triumvirate of devastation that has hit Japan is horrific and mesmerizing and terrifying. The cries for democracy around the Middle East are being met with brutal repression. My state’s government just announced we are $80 million more in the [Continue Reading…]

Rosemary Salt Rubbed Pork Chops


The pork chops aren’t from the garden, obviously. But this time of year you need to be grateful for what you can harvest. And a year-round flavoring in my kitchen is garden-grown rosemary. I step outside the kitchen at least once a week and snip from the rosemary hedge alongside the house. I’ll cut a [Continue Reading…]

In Praise Of Old Standby

Today I will put on my curmudgeonly engineer hat. This is the same hat I like to wear when I tell the story about how, back in 1992, my response to the World Wide Web was “what’s the big deal?” (it is worth noting that there were then three web servers in the world so [Continue Reading…]