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…]

The Sweet, Sweet Taste Of Beer


The other night, over a glass of porter, Erica asked me how to make a sweet beer. It was a reasonable question – the porter in question is big, boozy, and sweet in the same way that a bar of Sharffenberger 62% is big, chocolatey, and sweet. “Put a lot of sugar in it,” I [Continue Reading…]

Taking The Homestead In For Lunch


I used to pick up lunch at work. You know, a cheapo sandwich from Safeway, a burger from the cool indie burger place across the street, takeout teriyaki from the stand that seemed to have new owners every week. Back in the day, four years or so ago, I used to budget $6 a day [Continue Reading…]

Homebrew Husband’s Top Ten Homesteading Surprises


Now that you are an urban homesteader, let’s talk about some of the surprises. Yes, I’m sure you knew how rewarding it would be, you expected that sense of satisfaction that only shoveling a quarter ton of fresh compost can generate, that pride that that comes with lacerating your entire torso in pursuit of just [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…]

Homebrew Husband Plants Something!


A few weeks ago, our garden witnessed an unusual event: I planted something. Usually I confine myself to hard labor, philosophical musing, or self mockery and only get down and dirty with the plant life when following specific orders (“no, more to the right…now turn it a little…”). But fresh back from the Seattle Tilth [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…]

Friction: Lessons From The Dot.com Days

Fuel prices are up, food prices are up: pretty much everything except for a Costco hot dog costs more these days. So thrift is on our minds – the Northwest Edible Life Facebook page recently posed a question: with food prices on the rise, what are people doing to try and keep budgets under control? [Continue Reading…]

Taking Control in the Garden

Apparently we’ve been thinking about control a lot the last few weeks over here. Erica’s post about my employer’s likely buyout talked about what can prepare for and her reflection on gardening and kids discussed those things we just don’t have control over. Last Wednesday, after a day that felt completely out of control, something reminded me [Continue Reading…]

Happy In The Garden

A few years ago, when I was just starting my second career, I was working two jobs downtown. Killing time between gigs, my peripatetic wanderings took me into Barnes and Noble. There I spotted an interesting book, Michel Richard’s Happy in the Kitchen. Though the culinary technique was as far over my head as loop [Continue Reading…]

Sometimes Preparedness Isn’t Just About Emergencies

Nick the Homebrew Husband works at T-Mobile. He has a pretty typical “good job”: a long commute, a forthright and supportive boss, meetings that make him want to poke his eyeballs out, and a nice middle-class paycheck with an above-average benefits package. Thank you very much, T-Mobile. Yesterday morning AT&T announced they were buying T-Mobile. What this [Continue Reading…]

In Praise Of Old Standby

Today I will put on my curmudgeonly engineer hat. This is the same hat I like to wear when I tell the story about how, back in 1992, my response to the World Wide Web was “what’s the big deal?” (it is worth noting that there were then three web servers in the world so [Continue Reading…]