Friction: Lessons From The Days

Fuel prices are up, food prices are up: pretty much everything except for a Costco hot dog costs more these days. So thrift is on our minds – the Northwest Edible Life Facebook page recently posed a question: with food prices on the rise, what are people doing to try and keep budgets under control? [Continue Reading…]

A Half-Dozen Of My Favorite Things About Chickens


Best things about adding chickens to our backyard, in no particular order: 1. Their eggs are just better. Homegrown egg on left, organic store-bought on right. Note the larger, darker, richer yolk and the firmer, tighter white on the homegrown egg. They fry up beautifully too. 2. Chickens make very willing weeders and soil cultivators. (I wish [Continue Reading…]

Garden Inventory: April 2011


April is a month for delayed gratification. Our minds and palates are eager for peas and carrots and spring onions and asparagus but the garden just isn’t there yet. At the same time, this month requires a huge amount of work, in the planting and tending and hardening off that will mean bounty in a few short [Continue Reading…]

Self-Sufficiency, Not All-By-Yourself-Sufficiency

I was attempting to turn and loosen one of my most heavy-soiled beds this weekend. I needed a good stout garden fork. Sadly, I had not yet replaced the fork I snapped in half while transplanting asparagus crowns a few months ago. Without a garden fork, I was hacking at my soil with a pick-mattock. Doing [Continue Reading…]

What Am I Going To Do With These Tomato Seedlings?


Despite my limited success with tomatoes, I have yet again found myself with a whole gaggle of seedlings.  I’ve got three flats of tomatoes and peppers; I think there’s 26 individual tomato plants. Goodness knows where I’m going to put them all this year. I’m thinking of trying grow bags placed up on my black asphalt-shingled roof. There’s [Continue Reading…]

Taking Control in the Garden

Apparently we’ve been thinking about control a lot the last few weeks over here. Erica’s post about my employer’s likely buyout talked about what can prepare for and her reflection on gardening and kids discussed those things we just don’t have control over. Last Wednesday, after a day that felt completely out of control, something reminded me [Continue Reading…]

Bags Aren’t Just For Chips: The Potato Sack Experiment


Every year I run out of room. So this year I am moving my biggest space-hogs out of the raised beds and into containers I can stash around paths and patios. I’m starting with potatoes, which I am attempting to grow in huge bags. I received my seed potatoes from Territorial several weeks ago and have been [Continue Reading…]

Yuppie-Hippie Artifice

There is this term I bandy about: YuppieHippie. As in, “I picked up my grass fed milk at the YuppieHippie market. It was on sale for $10 a gallon.” In my town there is a segment of the population that cares about the eco trendy trinity of local-organic-sustainable because they can. They drive their hybrid [Continue Reading…]

Good From The Garden: Kale and Sweet Potato Salad


Kale is a hearty green. It is tough and fibrous and people think you have to cook it to make it palatable. But kale can be fabulous raw, in big-time cold weather salads that double as a meal. One of my favorite combinations is finely shredded raw Cavalo Nero kale with roasted sweet potato. Every few weeks through [Continue Reading…]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: April 2011

It is officially Springtime! The apple and cherry and pear trees are in blossom, ambitious joggers are wearing short shorts and it is safe to start sowing seeds with reckless abandon. No foolin’.Plan & Purchase:Now’s the time that nurseries start carrying a wide assortment of seedlings, ready to harden off and pop right in your [Continue Reading…]