Barbolian Fields http://barbolian.com In support of useful plants and things handmade.... Mon, 05 Nov 2018 22:46:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://barbolian.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-Sunflower-draw-web1-e1360434730187-32x32.jpg Barbolian Fields http://barbolian.com 32 32 Malabar Squash Hunt (Cucurbita ficifolia) http://barbolian.com/malabar-squash/ http://barbolian.com/malabar-squash/#respond Thu, 01 Nov 2018 01:00:59 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7778 Malabar Gourd, Malabar Squash, Fig-Leaf Gourd, Pie Melon: There are many names for the Cucurbita ficifolia. No matter what you call it, this is one of the most amazing squashes EVER. Tremendously versatile - it can be used in soups, stews, goulashes, pies, puddings, beverages, and more! Every part of the plant is edible. The biomass is incredible! Join me on this Malabar Squash hunt and be prepared to be amazed!

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Garden Chaos – The Rest of the Story http://barbolian.com/garden-chaos/ http://barbolian.com/garden-chaos/#respond Sat, 22 Sep 2018 06:18:21 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7752 The rest of the story... the late summer garden has turned out nothing like what I envisioned in the spring, but in some respects, is so much more. It's hard not to get discouraged when once again, I've truly lost the battle against grass, thistle, and bindweed. Garden chaos rules, but neatness and control are so overrated, are they not? Here were my "Ah ha!" moments.

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The Return of the Bees and the Dreaded Dearth http://barbolian.com/bees-summer-dearth/ http://barbolian.com/bees-summer-dearth/#comments Thu, 09 Aug 2018 05:12:14 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7682 The bees have returned! Yay! Here’s the whole story. And with them, responsibility. Do they have enough food? Nectar is suddenly scarce when the fruits are fruiting and the flowers are done blooming. The dreaded dearth can hit a hive harder than winter. What can you plant to ensure they make it through late summer? In this post, I list the main bee plants that we have growing right now, including the bees' favorites.

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April Garden Survey: To Do or NOT To Do… http://barbolian.com/april-garden-survey/ http://barbolian.com/april-garden-survey/#comments Fri, 06 Apr 2018 20:30:33 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7596 It's another drippy day in the Pacific Northwest. What to do ... or not ...  that is the question.

April is National Gardening Month. The blogs are full of To-Do Lists on what you should be doing if you had your act together (which is making this overachiever feel like a real slacker). What is truly feasible? How to find balance? Taking an April Garden Survey is a good procrastination technique. In this post, I explain my strategy for this year's garden (and for minimizing my workload) and take a look around at what is up and blooming.

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On the Wings of March http://barbolian.com/wings-of-march/ Wed, 14 Mar 2018 07:45:18 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7567 Walk along a soaked garden path in early March and what do you see? Raindrops, birds, insects, and the world waking up. So amazing, it drove me to write poetry. Herein a poem for March, the wondrous transformations in a garden, and the miracles of spring. They're everywhere. If we build it, they will come.

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Solexx Greenhouse Kit Sale! http://barbolian.com/sale-on-solexx-greenhouse-kits/ Tue, 06 Mar 2018 19:45:43 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7504 [caption id="attachment_7514" align="alignright" width="350"]Solexx Conservatory kit The Solexx Conservatory kit is made for serious gardeners! Solexx Greenhouse kits are on sale through 4/15/18![/caption]

Adaptive Plastics, maker of Solexx greenhouses, is having a “tax refund” sale through April 15, 2018. As a Solexx Distributor, I'd like to pass the savings on to you. If you've been thinking about getting a greenhouse, now might be the time. In this post, I talk about how much I love ours and the pros & cons of the kit vs. the DIY route.

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Goodbye, Winter http://barbolian.com/goodbye-winter/ http://barbolian.com/goodbye-winter/#respond Wed, 28 Feb 2018 09:30:26 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7471 A gallery of winter scenes from the garden. Farewell, Winter. Tomorrow is Spring!

[gallery link="file" size="large" targetsize="full" ids="7482,7481,7480,7479,7478,7477,7476,7475,7474,7473,7472"]

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Winter Berries: the Autumn Olive, aka Autumn Berry http://barbolian.com/autumn-olive/ http://barbolian.com/autumn-olive/#respond Fri, 29 Dec 2017 03:41:32 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7334 Fresh fruit in late December! What a treat! Autumn Olive, aka autumn berry, Elaeagnus umbellata, is an amazing shrub. It is a nitrogen fixer, great for pollinators, and provides fruit when little else is available. The berries are high in lycopene and antioxidants and can be made into jams, syrups, elixirs, wines, fruit leather, tossed into baked goods, sprinkled on salads, or eaten fresh by the handful. I love this shrub. And the red berries beneath fresh snow are strikingly beautiful.

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The Power of Tea: Herbs for Coping with Grief and Hard Times http://barbolian.com/herbal-tea-for-grief/ http://barbolian.com/herbal-tea-for-grief/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 23:26:54 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7245 There are times in your life when you are blindsided by events that turn everything upside down and inside out. The path forward is not at all clear; the only thing you know is that things will never be the same. This post is about how a cup of herbal tea can help us cope with grief, get some rest when we need it most, boost our immune systems when we are most vulnerable, and get ourselves recentered. We dedicate this post to the memory of our good friend, Andy, who was hit by a drunk driver. Please don't drink and drive.

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Turning the Corner into November http://barbolian.com/autumn-garden-inventory/ http://barbolian.com/autumn-garden-inventory/#respond Sat, 04 Nov 2017 22:22:02 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7221 We turn the corner into November. It is amazing how much is still blooming and how many fruits are still available! Here is a quick autumn garden inventory. Lots of pictures of flowers, fruits, fall colors, and cute grandkids - plus an amazing bald-faced hornet's nest that was revealed after the leaves had fallen!

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All Hallows’ Magic in the October Garden http://barbolian.com/all-hallows-garden/ Tue, 31 Oct 2017 19:38:26 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7172 Be Aware! There is Magic in the Gardens on an October All Hallows’ Eve!

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Rain! http://barbolian.com/rain/ Fri, 08 Sep 2017 18:49:10 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=7055 Rain! This post was written after we had gone 3 full months without a single drop. Living in the Rainshadow of the Olympics in the Pacific Northwest is sometimes a challenge for the garden. Now we begin our transition to a time of drizzle and gray...and I couldn't be more thankful!

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Wild Harvest with Mac Smith: Seaweeds and More from the Strait of Juan de Fuca http://barbolian.com/seaweeds/ http://barbolian.com/seaweeds/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:47:16 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=6966 Forager Alert: If you've ever wanted to identify, harvest, cook, & eat seaweeds, this post is for you! So much abundance right out our back door! If you are local, heads up: Mac Smith is hosting another Wild Harvest class at the next minus tide that will teach you how. Upland plants also included.

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Travels in Ecuador http://barbolian.com/ecuador-travels/ http://barbolian.com/ecuador-travels/#comments Thu, 06 Apr 2017 07:20:12 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=6613 A little break from our regular Barbolian garden chatter: We escaped the Pacific Northwest February drizzle (and snow!) on a trip to Ecuador! How crazy! Turns out, it was one of the best things we ever did. Here is our story of the wonderful people we met, the gorgeous country we traveled through, and a way for me to share our photos with friends and family. Hope you like them! We are looking forward to going back!

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Victory Gardens for Change http://barbolian.com/victory-gardens/ http://barbolian.com/victory-gardens/#comments Sat, 18 Feb 2017 04:00:17 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=6341 The fact is, the greatest changes come from people, not from government. Now is the time to bring back the Victory Gardens of yesteryear. We can change the world, one garden at a time -- together.

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A Quest for Cottonwood Buds – and How to Make Cottonwood Salve http://barbolian.com/cottonwood-buds/ http://barbolian.com/cottonwood-buds/#comments Sun, 05 Feb 2017 20:59:57 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=6315 Today, we are on a quest for the cottonwood - Populus balsamifera – and more specifically, the cottonwood buds on windfall branches with which to make a healing salve. Cottonwood is powerful medicine - the bees make propolis out of it, so that should tell you something - and now is the best time to collect the buds for making what is commonly known as "Balm of Gilead." Prepare for a sticky adventure. The scent will make you swoon....

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Garden Journal – Do You Have One? How to Make One – and Why? http://barbolian.com/garden-journal/ http://barbolian.com/garden-journal/#comments Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:03:28 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=6277 One of my main goals for the garden this year is to do a better job of tracking things. This post is about ideas for a garden journal, and I would be very interested in hearing from my readers as to what works for them.

It seems that garden journals fall into two categories: those that are more like Planners and serve as guidelines, schedules, and a means of recording results for production gardens and small farms – and those that are more like Art Journals that document not only observations but also a spiritual journey, sometimes with a bit of flair and whimsy thrown in for good measure.

In the past, I have been on the practical, production side of things – make that, borderline fanatic about recording stats on the garlic crops, but I have always fallen short on keeping track of other things. This year, I'd like to try something different and make something that will be fun to look back on.

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Permaculture Resolutions (and Where Do We Go from Here?) http://barbolian.com/permaculture-resolutions/ http://barbolian.com/permaculture-resolutions/#respond Mon, 02 Jan 2017 02:40:28 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=6228 Happy New Year from Barbolian Fields! We live in "interesting times." This year, we are incorporating Holmgren's Permaculture Princples into our New Year's Resolutions. Our goals, in general, focus on reaching out, buying local, being prepared for uncertainty, optimizing our backyard ecosystems, and keeping things in balance by also taking time to enjoy life. We hope you will join us in making a difference!

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Politics and PermacuIture: Is Permaculture a Political Act? http://barbolian.com/permaculture-politics/ http://barbolian.com/permaculture-politics/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2016 05:47:28 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=6172 Change brings opportunity! A return to the 3 Permaculture Ethics: Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share, provides solutions amidst political turmoil.

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Spring Equinox – a Discovery of Miracles! http://barbolian.com/spring-equinox-discovery/ http://barbolian.com/spring-equinox-discovery/#comments Sun, 20 Mar 2016 05:09:29 +0000 http://barbolian.com/?p=5977 It is, at long last, the Spring Equinox. I love this time of year when each new bud is a discovery.

Cornelian and Nanking cherries, forsythia, daffodils, nettles and purple deadnettles, the first dandelions...

The first buds of the new season are such an inspiration! Everywhere you turn is another miracle...another bit of magic.

This is a somewhat wandering philosophical post, but full of pictures and a quick read.

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