Plum Jamtini Cocktail – Pass The Ice, Pass The Shaker!

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My friend Theresa is the Co-Executive Producer of Growing A Greener World, a fantastic TV show about all things gardening. She’s also a wicked good urban homesteader, master canner, great writer (check out her personal blog), and a super nice person. Theresa knows I have a soft spot for combining jam with booze (strawberry jam margarita, anyone?), so [Continue Reading...]

Fresh Blackberry Sorbet

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So, my last post was about making ice cream and then I got busy and haven’t posted in a week and now I’m back with a post about sorbet. This is not what I’d call a blogging win, because clearly I am obsessed with homemade frozen desserts. You can’t really blame me – it’s 85 [Continue Reading...]

Turn Your Homemade Jam Into Easy Homemade Ice Cream

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Perhaps, like me, you are rolling into preserving season 2013 with some, shall we say, overstock in certain areas. In 2012 around this time I still had apricot preserves hanging on from 2011. Then I happened into a giant windfall of free apricots. I turned that bounty into cases of delicious homemade apricot preserves and promptly learned [Continue Reading...]

How Not To Die From Botulism: What Home Canners Need To Know About The World’s Most Deadly Toxin

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You may have seen this article. A Seattle man recently contracted botulism from his improperly canned elk meat and is lucky to be alive. His description of how he canned the elk is like a checklist for everything you never, ever do when canning food. I love to see so many new people taking up home [Continue Reading...]

Whole Life Integration: Tips To Simplify Nearly Everything In Your Productive Home

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A reader emailed me this past weekend and in a few sentences got right to the heart of why getting started with productive home- and garden-keeping can be so dang challenging. Hi Erica, I’ve been working on getting a garden going and redesigning my life, but the current life really gets in the way.  Lots [Continue Reading...]

Three Simple Steps To Bring Beneficial Insects To Your Garden

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You want beneficial insects. All the cool kids have them. Beneficials can protect your crops from “bad bugs”, pollinate your fruit, and have intriguing bug sex on your flowers (and some times, on your beer bottles). But how do you get our beneficial buggy friends to party at your house? Most gardeners know that certain [Continue Reading...]

Saying Goodbye to Bleary Eyed Exhaustion?

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My son is almost three years old. A week ago he slept for 4.75 hours straight, from 8 pm until nearly 1 am. That was the lifetime record for maximum time slept in his own bed. He does not nap. He’s never napped in any consistent way. I was estimating with my husband a few [Continue Reading...]

The Garden in Pictures: Late June

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I’ve been out in my garden a ton lately, getting the fall crops going, transplanting the last of the summer crops, and in general attempting to tidy up from a year of garden neglect. Here’s where the garden stands as of late June 2013. Things are starting to really fill in. Many of my beds [Continue Reading...]

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Gardening with Children

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One My greenhouse had gotten away from me. Weeds were threadening to overtake the tomates. Slugs had overtaken the cucumbers and basil, both of which needed a replant. And so I embarked on a clean-up effort. Out came the mini handheld hoe and the red plastic mulch. Somewhere along the way I decided to redo [Continue Reading...]

Free Seminar: Year Round Vegetable Gardening – Sky Nursery

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Hey local peeps! Two important (and related) announcements! First, I am a featured farmer in the new book Backyard Roots by photographer/author Lori Eanes. My little backyard homestead is one of thirty-five West Coast gardens and backyards farms in the book, each well described and gorgeously photographed. If you have plenty of “How To Grow [Continue Reading...]

How To Grow The Most Delicious Strawberries

Super Delicious Strawberries In Five Easy Steps

It’s strawberry season in the Northwest. Every year around April I give in and buy a plastic clambshell full of gorgeous berries trucked up from California. Winter’s been long, you see, and those berries just look like perfection. And every year, about two months later, I taste my first homegrown berry and I remember what [Continue Reading...]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: June 2013

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For the first June in four years it actually feels like we may get a real summer. Ladies and gentleman, start your tomatoes! (Well, actually, you needed to start them three months ago, but maybe if this unusual Northwest sun keeps showing up they’ll really start ripening fruit for us?) Plan & Purchase: Shocking, isn’t [Continue Reading...]