You Know You’re A Veggie Gardener If…

Territorial Seed Company Store

You go to Costco and buy one thing – Sluggo in bulk – and ask for 8 large cardboard boxes to take it home in so you can smother more lawn. You frequent a horse stable even though you have no interest in riding horses. You have a ridiculous multi-component compost hierarchy to handle kitchen scraps and you assume [Continue Reading...]

Worst Soil Amendment For Tomatoes?

Tomatoes in Self-Watering Containers

Rachel Shadoan is a writer of exceptional wit. I know because she posted a story of gardening loss on the NW Edible Facebook page that was both so terrible and so hilarious that I read it twice. I asked for her permission to share her tale of tomato-growing woe (and lessons learned) here. This story appeared originally on Rachel’s [Continue Reading...]

Seed Organization For Gardeners With Too Many Seeds

NW Edible Seed Inventory Organization Database

On Monday I talked about seeds for beginners. Well, after a season or two of growing from seed you may become (like many of the commenters on Monday’s post) a Gardener With Too Many Seeds. You have become a G.W.T.M.S. when you have file boxes dedicated to your seeds and you debate with yourself every season [Continue Reading...]

3 Myths About Chickens, Debunked

Chickens in Arugula

Chickens are not what you expect. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my hens. I love their enthusiastic productivity, their damn near egg-a-day fecundity. I love their retirement plan (soup) almost as much. But there are a lot of myths about chickens floating around out there, and they deserved to be debunked. Myth One: [Continue Reading...]

Should You DIY or Hire A Pro?

DIY Infographic

Sometimes we face the question of whether to Do It Ourselves or cough up some cash and let a professional handle the particulars. Let’s say there’s a spectrum: make jam would be an easy DIY call. Perform brain surgery on your child would be an easy Hire The Pros call. In between, things are less obvious. [Continue Reading...]

The Man’s Guide To Manly Water Boiling

My dad, a capable man by any measure, a highly skilled Marine in his youth, a brilliant car mechanic and automotive diagnostician as an adult, and a generally handy-about-the-house guy, has long confessed that he does not know how to boil water. If a man of his skill and diverse competencies cannot boil water then [Continue Reading...]

Confessions Of A Total Garden Failure

A woman – a great photographer – came by and took pictures of my garden for a book she is doing on urban homesteaders. She was interviewing me and I said something like, “I think if I bought vegetables at the store at this point, I’d feel like a total failure!” This was one of these things [Continue Reading...]

The Turkey Vortex: The Next Five Days Of Your Life, In Crayon

Happy Thanksgiving, all. I’m off to go prep for dinner. Have a warm and wonderful holiday, completely free of fried-onions-in-a-can. See you next week, if I’m not sucked permanently into The Turkey Vortex. What are your plans for the mass of leftovers the Grand National Gluttony Festival will inevitably leave you with?

The Finnish Potato Masher I Can’t Live Without

A fellow personal chef friend of mine who is married to a Finnish man gave me this…uh…suggestive kitchen tool a few years back. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely certain what it was (Scandinavian modern sculpture? World’s biggest muddler? Minimalist bishop from an oversize chess set?) or what to do with it, though several inappropriate [Continue Reading...]

No Use For Coupons

I hate coupons. I consider myself frugal, and I love saving money, but grocery coupons just don’t do it for me. I’ve tried. About every 10 or 12 months, I forget that I hate coupons and decide that I could shave some money off our grocery bill if I just applied myself to couponing. So [Continue Reading...]

Herding Chickens

If you had told me ten years ago that I’d spend part of my Sunday herding chickens through a vegetable garden, I never would have believed you. But as I spent part of last Sunday herding chickens through our vegetable garden, something struck me: herding chickens is essentially – perhaps entirely – probabilistic. Gently persuade [Continue Reading...]

Little Monkeys Making Messes

Dirt. Dirt, dirt, dirt. When you garden, a certain amount of outside comes in. Fine. When you cook 2 to 3 meals a day on a stove (in pork fat, no less!) a certain amount of grease distributes in a fine layer over everything. So in my 7 years as a gardener and my lifetime [Continue Reading...]