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...]

Being Everyone

A friend came up to me at a party. “So I’ve finally started reading your blog and now I totally feel like shit!” she joked. What my friend was really saying is that when she reads about No Spend Month, and keeping the garden, and cooking from scratch, she feels like maybe she should be doing that stuff [Continue Reading...]

I Wish Somebody Would Have Mentioned…

When you prune a hop vine, wear long┬ásleeves. And a ski mask. Those things are mean. There is no such thing as weed free straw. It is possible to have a hard time growing zucchini. It’s not you; everyone had green tomatoes in late August. The best fertilizer is the gardener’s boots. There will come [Continue Reading...]

We Hang Together, Or We All Hang Separately

Hey you! Yeah, you – the 22 year old barista with the excessive facial hair and the Che Guevara tee-shirt, riding around Portland on your Marin Point Reyes, wondering if you can make it to both rallies for raw milk that are happening tonight and still get your winter cabbage starts planted in your Urban [Continue Reading...]

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Asparagus

Seven Deadly Sins In The GardenPride “Looks like Sally hasn’t gotten her beans in yet. My beans are already to the top of the trellis. People are going to notice when I’m eating fresh beans three weeks before Sally.” Greed “I’m grabbing all the basil starts I can carry at the plant sale. Outta my way, [Continue Reading...]

Father’s Day Dreams

As boys, we are taught to dream big.  To throw the game-winning touchdown, to fly the Space Shuttle, to slay the dragon. The world is our oyster, we can be anything. Over time, the probabilistic realities of life and our own limitations get in the way. We grow up and take the jobs that our [Continue Reading...]

Fear And Sowing In Suburbia

I had a long conversation with my mother-in-law yesterday. She lives in California, and she told me that word on the Cali street is, if your home is burgled you don’t call the cops, because they won’t come. Because of budget cuts, there aren’t enough police officers to take a report at the scene of the crime. [Continue Reading...]

A Public Defense Of The Enthusiastic Beginner

It has come to my attention that some of the best voices on the internet – writers I admire and read and am dedicated to – would rather chew their own arms off than see another damned blog post about homemade yogurt. Okay, I get it. It’s yogurt. Homemade yogurt is so done. Jams and [Continue Reading...]

Hope In A Bottle

For the first 30ish years of my life, I enjoyed stuff as much as the average American. I bought a lot of it, and used it, and got pissed off when I had to dust it. When my stuff got a little long in the tooth, I tossed it out and bought more stuff. Several [Continue Reading...]

Life At Walking Speed

The stars aligned yesterday. Everyone was up and dressed early, it was a beautiful sunny morning, breakfast and a packed school lunch came together without a fuss. My daughter was done eating her breakfast and we had an easy half-hour until we had to be at the bus stop, so we walked. It’s a long half-mile to [Continue Reading...]

Urban Homesteading for Corporate Tools

For those of you transitioning from the corporate world to the homestead, I have prepared this helpful guide, dual homed with one foot in a Muck Boot and the other in a Wingtip Oxford. Though they may seem divergent, the core competencies of gardening and cubicle wrangling are not so different after all. The language [Continue Reading...]

Self-Sufficiency, Not All-By-Yourself-Sufficiency

I was attempting to turn and loosen one of my most heavy-soiled beds this weekend. I needed a good stout garden fork. Sadly, I had not yet replaced the fork I snapped in half while transplanting asparagus crowns a few months ago. Without a garden fork, I was hacking at my soil with a pick-mattock. Doing [Continue Reading...]