To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: October 2012

To Do October 2012 (7)

This month, if you do nothing else – nothing – get your garlic in. With my eyes all wonky there is a very good chance that I will only be able to do (or delegate) a very limited number of things in the garden this month. My top three priorities are : garlic, garlic and garlic. Plan & Purchase: [Continue Reading...]

Mini-Money Challenge: Wrestle More Money Out Of Your Largest Appliances

2011House_3ALL_lg-1

Once I was visiting my in-laws in Central California. We were driving through what used to be Ag Land but is now, inexplicably, where people who work in San Francisco live. I say inexplicably because this area is about a 90 minute to two hour drive from San Francisco depending on traffic. People explain why [Continue Reading...]

Stop Leaking Money and Start Valuing It with No Spend Month October

Is This Stopping You From Owning Your Home?

It’s time to whip your finances into shape. Money is the band-aid we place over up the gaping flesh wound that is thoughtless, unsustainable consumerism. The wound isn’t healed just because you smack a $20 on it every few days and absorb more blood. If your money is busy covering up some financial wounds, No [Continue Reading...]

I’m Like A Pirate, Sorta (What I’ve Learned From Surgery)

Eye Surgery Pirate

As regular readers know, on Monday I had eye surgery. I had hoped to be back up and ready to talk applesauce and last minute fall crop options but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen for a while. Here’s what’s up: I was put under general anesthesia and my surgeon cut some of [Continue Reading...]

When and How To Harvest Broccoli and Cauliflower

How and When To Harvest Broccoli and Cauliflower (22)

You’d think that the hard part would be getting the seeds to germinate and coaxing that little seedling to grow. But time and again I see gardeners stumble just at the finish line: harvesting. All season long plants have been tended and, just at the big, edible moment of payoff, the gardener hesitates: “Is it [Continue Reading...]

On A Personal Note… (Or: What I Did On My Summer Vacation)

Attempted multi-tasking.

At this time of year millions of kids have to write essays entitled, “What I Did On My Summer Vacation.” I thought I would write a grown-up version of “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” to explain what’s been going on in life beyond this blog. So, at the risk of getting all Opera [Continue Reading...]

Half-Ass Earthquake Proofing The Pantry

Earthquake Proofing the Pantry (3)

“Nice shelves loaded with glass jars full of home-canned food, Erica! Now, don’t you live right on a fault line or something? Aren’t you guys in Seattle just waiting for an 8.0 earthquake to turn your whole city into rubble? What’s your plan for those jars of tomatoes, then, huh?” Yes…I know, I know. There [Continue Reading...]

The Propaganda of the Four Season Chart

Seasonal Charts (6)

You know how those elementary-school season charts always show the four seasons divided into nice equal pie-slices? Usually the season-slices are accompanied by a seasonally appropriate deciduous tree: leaves turning color in fall, bare and snow-studded in winter, leaf budding and flowering in spring and in full green verdancy in summer. The important part is that each season [Continue Reading...]

Turmeric Garlic Dill Pickles by Popular Request

Turmeric Dill Pickles (2)

I have gotten a lot of requests for the recipe for my new favorite Turmeric Garlic Dill Pickles since mentioning them in my Can-o-rama post. Ask and ye shall receive, friends. Turmeric Garlic Dill Pickles 8 lbs small pickling cucumbers Pre-Soak: 3/4 cups pickling salt 2 gallons cold water. Brine:* 8 large cloves garlic (or [Continue Reading...]

How To Make Jerky At Home with Venison or Elk

Lazy Homesteader: Venison Jerky

Some urban homesteading families have the inclination and skill to go beyond gleaning and gathering and put their meat on the table – literally – through hunting and fishing. Anisa Schell’s family is one, and today I am thrilled to share her recipe for Wild Game Jerky.  Anisa blogs at Lazy Homesteader and gets dirt under her [Continue Reading...]

Figs with Lemon Ricotta and Mint

Figs with Lemon Ricotta and Mint (2)

This is one of those dishes that, as a caterer, I could charge $3 per piece for and people would happily pay it. Perfectly fresh figs topped with homemade fresh lemon ricotta and sprigs of organic spearmint. Can’t you just hear the cash draining from wallets everywhere? Actually, figs are a beast to work with [Continue Reading...]

Stop Throwing Away Free Tomato Sauce

Making Thick Tomato Sauce From Tomato Skins (3)

It has come to my attention that many people are unwittingly throwing away free tomato sauce when they preserve their summer tomatoes. Here’s the thing: like all fruit, the skin of tomato is where much of the natural pectin resides. Pectin is the starch that gives jams their thickness and good tomato sauce its natural, [Continue Reading...]