Householder Haikus – My Weekend In Poetry

Juice of two lemons To ensure a proper set I feel every cut. “Can’t finish the peach. The juice runs sticky, too far down my elbow, mom.” My apricots float They will do it every time Maybe more syrup? (big thanks to Harriet Fasenfest for this one) Met the orchard man Blushing fruit, picked by [Continue Reading...]

Get Off The Rack: A DIY Alternative To The Canning Rack

Most beginner food preservers (and I count myself as an advanced beginner) start with the standard issue water bath canner. It’s usually blue or green with funny speckles on it and can be found pretty cheaply new or really cheaply used. My ginormous canning kettle came from the thrift store and cost, as I recall, [Continue Reading...]

Culture Your Cukes: Lacto-Fermented Pickles

My pickling cukes are starting to come on, which means it’s time to get cozy with your friend and mine – the¬†beneficial¬†microbe! I am a tremendous fan of pickling through lacto-fermentation. Think of it as yogurt making with vegetables. Beneficial bacteria chomps down on the natural sugars and starches in the vegetable and converts it [Continue Reading...]

Roadtrip! Peppers, Sun, And Locavorism

Because summer refused to come to me this year, I went to summer. Yesterday I drove to Eastern Washington, a region as dissimilar from Western Washington from a gardening perspective as Iowa. I was visiting a friend and, for the first time, stomping around her garden. Lots of wind farms on the drive out. Eastern Washington [Continue Reading...]

Gardening Goals And Edible Expectations

My friend Fruit Lady is brand new to veggie growing. This spring she put in several good-sized raised beds, but doesn’t care how much she harvests. She grows vegetables so that she and her kids can learn about the process. Really, it’s mostly for the kids, and anything picked is bonus. That’s not how it [Continue Reading...]

Rooster Porn And Reader Help

A friend – and more experienced chicken raiser than me – came over to check out the coop and the flock. She showed me how to inspect a chicken vent and we noticed that our only laying hen looked a little…uh…weird, down there. Later that day I received the following email from her: “So my evening consisted [Continue Reading...]

Salad Days, Summer Style

Salad Days are here….again. But this time, spring’s tender lettuce isn’t taking center stage. Because it’s moderately warm here in the Maritime Northwest (and, I gather, roughly as hot the 6th circle of Hell elsewhere in the U.S.) I want to cook and eat cold food, and entree salads fits the bill perfectly. Here’s a [Continue Reading...]

Toddler: 1 – Zucchini Chips: 0

I made zucchini chips for the first time. They were easy, they were a hit, they made zucchini into something fun. Something really fun. Maybe too fun. This is how it happened.  Zucchini Chips 1 medium zucchiniOlive Oil, for brushing dehydrator traysSalt, to taste Slice zucchini very thin. I used a Japanese slicer (like a mandoline, but better, [Continue Reading...]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: August 2011

From the Maritime Northwest Garden Guide:“The cooler weather that takes the heat out of summer frequently arrives during the final two weeks of August.” So just in case you’ve been feeling beat down by the sweltering high-60s/low-70s weather we’ve been having, relief is on the way! I jest of course. This summer officially isn’t. Still, there [Continue Reading...]

Good From The Coop: Duck Eggs

Yeah, yeah, I know, I don’t have ducks. Rub it in. But Jon Stiebrs has ducks – lots of them – and was kind enough to talk to me about how he raises ducks for small-scale, commercial duck egg production. I wrote about my love for the duck egg, and about how Jon raises his quackers, [Continue Reading...]

Nosy Neighbor Urban Homestead And Garden Tour 2011

Wowza! I am so excited to share some incredible gardens and urban homesteads with Northwest Edible Life Readers. I’ve taken a sneak peak at a few of the gardens being shared today by amazing gardeners all over the US (and possibly beyond!) and I’ve been blown away by the creativity and solutions I’ve observed.  It [Continue Reading...]