Organizing Kids Toys: The Toy Closet Solution

Organizing Kids Toys

If you have kids then you know how toys can multiply, especially over the holidays. Here’s how we solved the Kid Toy Madness issue our house. We took the vast majority of our kids toys and moved them into The Toy Closet. The Toy Closet didn’t start out as a toy closet. It started as the [Continue Reading...]

Stop Chickens From Scratching Up Your Trees and Shrubs

Protect Trees from Chickens

Happy chickens scratch. They scratch a lot. Trees and shrubs are not so fond of having their roots unearthed by chickens, but that does not dissuade the chickens, who will happily scratch and dig until they practically uproot a small tree if they think there might be a worm in it for them. In my yard, [Continue Reading...]

To Do In The NW Edible Garden: January 2014

To Do In The Garden: January

It has been an unusually pleasant January up here in Cascadia – fairly dry and mild – and I’ve been out in the yard more, tidying and futzing and making a few changes to the layout of the garden. I am very eager to get going on this year’s garden. You know how some years [Continue Reading...]

{Giveaway} High Mowing Organic Seeds Garden Starter Collection

High Mowing Seeds Logo

I’ll make this brief so we can get to the good stuff, which is Free Seeds. Something happened a couple months ago when I started getting death threats for writing this blog. I had my own “put up or shut up” moment and realized that, in writing here, despite what I’d been telling myself about [Continue Reading...]

Habits, Not Resolutions. Here, Not There

New Year's 2014

It is January 1st, 2014 and I have no resolutions. Looking back at the past several years – what they were, not what I resolved them to be – 2012 was The Year That Knocked Me On My Ass, and 2013 was The Year of Recovery from 2012. And so here we are on the [Continue Reading...]

Happy Winter Celebration Thing

Happy Solstice

Today is the Winter Solstice. The long trek from one season to another has reached it’s U-curve bottom with the shortest sunlit day of the year. There is something about the solstice, and you don’t have to be a pagan or a Wiccan or a tree-hugging nature weirdo to feel it. Communities and religions and [Continue Reading...]

The Introvert’s Christmas

Introvert Chirstmas

Hi, I’m Nick. I’m an introvert, and I’m caught smack in the middle of my least favorite time of the year. No, I’m not the Grinch, I’m not a Scrooge. I’m just your average introvert, and I wish to hell that Christmas would just shut up. “Introvert” isn’t the same thing as shy or socially [Continue Reading...]

The Hardiest Vegetables For Winter Gardening (Why I Love Overwintering Cauliflower)

Overwintering Cauliflower

Overwintering cauliflower is right up there with giant kohlrabi as one of my favorite cool-season crops. I just want to share a quick before and after to show you how my overwintering cauli’s survived the recent Seattle cold snap. Now, keep in mind I am a Zone 7 gardener – cold is relative. In my [Continue Reading...]

How To Trim A Whole Beef Tenderloin For The Holidays

Trim A Whole Beef Tenderloin

Thinking of splashing out some cash on Christmas dinner? Beef tenderloin (the cut that gives you filet mignon steaks) is a classic “wow, nice meal” choice for the omnivores. There’s no getting around it: this is a spendy cut of meat – the grass-finished tenderloins I’m hacking up here cost me $15.95 a pound. But [Continue Reading...]

Bourbon Pecan Toffee Bark

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Apparently the average American gains ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years. This bourbon pecan toffee bark will be responsible for 9 of my 10 pounds, I am sure of it. I was reading my current favorite cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook, and staring at the recipe for chocolate toffee bark while drinking an [Continue Reading...]

Meyer Lemon Curd, A Love Affair

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My mom used to make me a special cake on my birthday. It was a four-layer white cake, each layer filled with lemon pie filling. The cake was frosted with Seven Minute Frosting – which is basically like marshmallow fluff – and coated with sweetened shredded coconut. I loved this cake. It went down like [Continue Reading...]

{Giveaway} Permaculture Playing Cards

Permaculture Playing Cards

Periodically there are advantages to being a blogger. I fell in love with these stunning Permaculture Playing Cards and was about to buy myself a pack on Amazon when I remembered that I knew the guy who made them. So I emailed Paul Wheaton, the founder of Permies.com, and said, “Hey, before I buy these [Continue Reading...]