Dilly Green Beans

I've been harvesting green beans from the garden for a month or so. On one of those days when my harvest didn't quite match up with my dinner plans, I found myself with more beans than I'd be able to use fresh, so I decided to preserve some. I've not had much luck in the […] Read More

Eliminating Pests in Compost

I have to admit, when I first started composting, I was horrified to find bugs in my pile. I didn't want earwigs and sow bugs in there! What I didn't realize is that those bugs were all a part of the decomposition process. Some bugs commonly found in compost actually feed on the decaying matter, […] Read More


Giving up on Growing Squash

Earlier this year, I planted several yellow crookneck squash. I'd been told that squash and tomatoes are hard to grow here and that crooknecks were a good option for this warm, humid climate. I figured that if squash was prolific in normal circumstances, maybe here, where they're harder to grow, the plants would produce a […] Read More

June Challenge – One Local Ingredient a Day

I've written about our goal of including at least one locally produced ingredient in each of our dinners. As farmers market season kicks off in the USA and gardens begin to offer up some produce, I invite you to commit to doing something similar. (If you're in another part of the world, this may be […] Read More


You may not know this about me: in addition to spending as much time in the garden as possible, I'm an author and freelance writer. Much of my writing over the past decade has included developing craft projects for kids. It's probably a combination of my desire to waste less, my frugality, and sheer laziness, […] Read More

Hidden Treasure: Avocadoes

This is what happens when the avocados that are out of reach start to ripen. We find several of these treasures lying around the yard a day. Happily, they don't seem to be too damaged by the fall. All we have to do is collect them and give them a day or three to ripen […] Read More


I've struggled to grow bell peppers in the past. They just didn't thrive and they took a really long time to mature. A couple of years ago I picked up a six-pack of hybrid Gypsy bells and planted them in my California garden. And oh my word. Talk about prolific! These peppers were nice and […] Read More


It's Memorial Day Weekend and normally, I wouldn't even consider posting here. However, the WordCount blogathon continues, and I've made it this far, posting every day in May. For the weekend, you'll have to content yourself with an image a day from my garden. Today: broccoli. This is the first time I've grown broccoli, so […] Read More

Saving Seeds

I'm kind of an intermittent seed saver, but it's something I'm interested in doing more of. With so many questionable seed sources these days, I think it's a good idea. It will allow me to maintain a continuous supply of heirloom seeds for my own use, plus I can share or trade the seeds with […] Read More

Wild Chickens and Ethics

Someone asked about our wild chickens - how exactly does that happen? We have maybe 15-20 that roam the gulley behind our house. These are chickens that are descended, I believe, from some of the cock fighting roosters that are prolific here, in spite of the fact that the "sport" is illegal. Did they escape? […] Read More