What Worked – or NOT – in the 2013 Garden

Winter Garden, Vincent Van Gogh: Buy through affiliate link at Art.com

Winter Garden, by Vincent Van Gogh (it looks like a dark and twisted place, does it not? You needn’t go there.)

It’s Garden Planning Season, and you know what THAT means: deep introspection to determine what worked and what didn’t, because unless you incorporate what you’ve learned into this year’s garden, you will be going forth with an impending sense of doom….… Read more

To Convert an Orchard to a Food Forest, Start with the Soil

Orchard path at Barbolian FieldsWe have this old orchard on our homestead – how old is anybody’s guess. The house is over 100 years, so perhaps the trees are as well? How long do they live? It comprises 9 trees (apples, pie cherries, and an Italian prune), and despite its age, produces more than we can use, but not really enough for any kind of commercial enterprise.… Read more

The Willow Room Dance

In Praise of Secret Gardens

It’s no secret – I like secret gardens – those little hideaways tucked into nooks and crannies – or surprisingly, sometimes even right out in the open. They are like little sanctuaries within larger sanctuaries – even within larger sanctuaries, depending on your view of life – and if your garden is starting to feel like a slave labor camp, then all the more reason to have a place where you can take a break, and in the process, maybe even find the unexpected. … Read more

Three Sisters Corn Patch

I get a lot of questions about growing corn in the Pacific Northwest, where our weather makes this a challenging endeavor at best.  We usually don’t get much heat until after the 4th of July, and even that is relatively speaking.… Read more

Plant ON, Plant People!

Serious gardeners in the Pacific Northwest who are on top of things are already harvesting early-season veggies. In fact, I got an email today from Nash’s Organic Produce saying their first spinach is ready.

I can’t say that I fall into this camp, although by default, I did manage to get a good start with those things that overwintered or that self-sowed on their own.… Read more

Permaculture by Nature

Paul Gautschi

Strong, expressive hands – huge spirit – Paul Gautschi shares his love for God and His creation.

Paul Gautschi is not a big man in stature, and one cannot help but notice that just walking is difficult for him, as his body is quite crippled from the ravages of Agent Orange.… Read more

Lasagna Gardening and the Great Mulch Cover-up

Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza
Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!

Seems like everyone has already read this book – except me. I put off reading / buying this book (I hate to admit this) because I figured I already “got it.” I mean, c’mon – “lasagna” is a perfect description for layers – and “lasagna gardening” immediately conjures visions of several good things layered on top of something relatively flat, the strata are repeated, and lots of garlic is infused throughout – so how can you go wrong?… Read more