Homestead Collage: An Overview of My Garden

Homestead Photo Collage

I have had several readers say they need an overview to get themselves kinda settled in to where everything is in my yard. I went up on the roof and took some photos, but that didn’t quite explain how all the various components work. So I turned to the lazy garden planner’s best friend, Google [Continue Reading...]

The Time In The Garden Formula

Time In The Garden

I have developed a formula which I think allows us to estimate how much time and labor a food growing piece of land will take. Size of Land x Diversity of Plantings x Intensity of Management = Time and Labor required! Now, there are no units associated with this formula, so it’s not going to [Continue Reading...]

Bee Friendly Gardening In The Pacific Northwest

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Seems like some people insist on not knowing what they’ve got till it’s gone. And that’s kinda how it is with bees, and pollinators in general. Most of what we think of as food is highly dependant on our pollinating insect friends.* All fruit, tree nuts, squash, seeds for most vegetables, chocolate… Oh, never mind, I don’t [Continue Reading...]

Understand Thermal Mass To Be A Climate Zone Hacker!

Themal Mass, Gardening, Climate Zones

Picture yourself on a beach. It’s late August and you’re sinking your bare feet into the sand. You can feel the warmth of the sand on your toes. It’s not just warm, it’s downright hot. It’s starting to be uncomfortable, so you wiggle your feet a few inches down into the sand where it is [Continue Reading...]

If You Give A Gardener A Book, She’ll Wonder About A Swale

If You Give A Gardener...

It’s really amazing how quickly a week can slip by with barely a post written. It’s not that there isn’t anything to write about. Au contraire. There is so much to write about, I don’t even know where to start. Let’s start with my shoulders. Cause, damn, they are sore. I’m no stranger to a [Continue Reading...]

World Domination Gardening?

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You guys probably know that the half-ass hugelkultur beds I built a few years ago rock my world. They have been super productive. In fact, I like this permaculture bed-building technique so much that in a recent re-build of some of my old traditional raised beds, I experimented with making a normal raised beds into [Continue Reading...]

How Green Is Your Organic Soil Amendment?

Soil Amendment

This is a guest post from Rachel of Dog Island Farm. Rachel and her husband Tom intensively urban farm a quarter acre parcel in the San Francisco Bay area. They are pretty famous in the urban homesteader world for going a year without stepping foot in a grocery store and providing no-nonsense advice on urban [Continue Reading...]

What Does Climate Change Mean For Gardeners?

Climate Change for Gardeners

A few weeks ago the smartest dude I know got a bit maudlin about how warming waters over the Arctic and methane burping forth from the melting permafrost is likely to increase the speed and effects of climate change. (Read more here and here.) This, in combination with the polar vortex in the midwest and the [Continue Reading...]

Build vs. Buy – A Garden Soil Dilemma

Build vs. Buy Garden Soil (1)

We’ve all been there, out of room and eager to expand the garden. That sod starts to look like the enemy and eventually the only question is, do you smother the grass with whatever you can find, or do you buy ready-to-go soil and get your seedlings in the ground asap? Build vs. Buy, a [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...]

The Keep It Simple Guide To Cloches

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Here in the Maritime Northwest, year round growing is easier and, to my mind, more rewarding, with season extension techniques. Perhaps the cheapest and easiest semi-permanent option for season extension is the low tunnel cloche. With a low tunnel cloche, any garden bed can be turned into something like a very petite hoophouse with some [Continue Reading...]

How To Right-Size Your Lawn: In Defense Of (A Little) Turf

How To Right-Size Your Lawn

Something amazing has happened. I no longer loathe my lawn. For nearly ten years, I have hated my lawn, and muttered curses at the landscaper who insisted that, “with small kids, grass really is the easiest thing to maintain,” before hydroseeding everything in sight. Lies, damn lies. I am no shirker. In fact, I like physical work. [Continue Reading...]