Head Count – June 2013

Just six months ago, we moved to our starter ranch, a few animals in tow. A half year later, we’ve grown more quickly than expected, and find ourselves considering things months earlier than anticipated. Here now, our June head count – Humans Mike, the dad Annette, the mom Nik, the almost grown son Dogs Goliath,…

99-cent Garden

My nearest shopping area, for more than a bag of ice or a candy bar, lies thirty minutes away. Since I’m not there often, I tend to shop weird. Like forty cans of tomato sauce or 25 ears of corn. It should come as no surprise then that a favorite store is our lone 99-cent…

Many Faces of Mulch

Given enough time, and inclination, one can amass a vast knowledge on the subject of soil. Perhaps too much, but then I’d have nothing to blog about, so join me now on a journey into the ground beneath our feet. Metaphorically speaking, of course, I won’t be covering carpet, laminate, or any other flooring you…

Free For The Taking

As I’ve mentioned before, we have dirt that’s older than, well, dirt. It grows weeds at an amazing rate though, everything from dandelions (which my bunnies love) to evil prickly weed (which no one loves.) My manure ringed raised beds keep themselves nearly weed free, but my walking paths between the beds are inundated. To…

Somewhere around pallet three, they figured it out!

I’ve long dreamed of a white picket fence surrounding my front yard. Rose bushes, white of course, woven through the wood slats. I see those sort of yards weekly… In my old neighborhood. Out here, plush is having a patch of green grass in front. The house with the white picket fence has no rose…

If I give my goats strawberries, will I get pink berry milk?

Strawberry season is in full bloom in Southern California. And I’m making preserves, jams and jellies from the bounty nearly every night. I use up between eight and ten pounds on average, cooking and toiling over my bright red brew. I’ve only boiled over once… So far 🙂 My latest batch, made last night. It…

Herb Crates

I had a few milk crates sitting around after the big move and decided to put them to work in my garden. Knowing that almost any container can be turned into a planter, I set to work. First, I lined the inside with straw. I use Timothy hay straw, which is a grass straw. You…

Hot Compost Version 1

The soil here is horrid! Sandy, dry, rocks everywhere, no discernible nutrients. Growing in that takes creativity, research and sweat. Luckily, the Internet and a good library thirty minutes away make the first two possible. I decided to try composting and checked out several books on the subject. I’ll be adding a bibliography section to…

Strawberry Jam

Fresh from the fields, each pint jar holds nearly one pound of luscious strawberries. Just $4 per pint, $10 for three. Yes, we will ship. Ingredients – strawberries, lemon juice, pure cane sugar Sealed, the jam keeps on the shelf for six to eight months. Once open, store in the refrigerator.

Making Potato Towers

I went to grab a few potatoes for Easter last Sunday and realized it must be time to plant – they’d all sprouted! I’d read about using stacks of old tires, but that wouldn’t exactly add to the French country villa look I’m trying for with my garden. Then, not one but two friends in…