Late summer can be a time of dearth, which can spell death for the bees. Most plants are producing fruit or seed. What is blooming now that provides nectar and pollen? And do your bees have access to water?
The 2013 garlic harvest is IN and lookin' good! However (and this is a big however), quantities are limited. I cut back on both the number and varieties of bulbs this year. This blogpost givesa few reasons why. If you are in the Sequim, WA area, we still have some for sale, while they last!
Critical time in the garlic patch! Yellow tips? Yellowing leaves? How much to water? Fertilizer? Cut the scapes or not? When to harvest? Part science; part experience; part juju. I hope we can answer your questions.
We were loading up a humongous potato salad for a Mother's Day feast when what's this? ANOTHER bee swarm! Our swarm boxes made this swarm catch & installation so incredibly easy and gentle. No chaotic frenzy! When it comes to bees, I like that!
…The bee saga continues…. Where did the swarm on the cedar go - in the bait box in the tree or in the hive on the ground?
And what's this? MORE excitement the morning after? Adventures in backyard beekeeping...
We noticed the little cedar tree over by the beehives looked a bit odd yesterday - and as we got closer, we realized, Holey Moley! a swarm of bees was almost completely covering it! Now for the hard part: how to persuade them to move into our hive!
Does anyone else out there see the utter impossibility of shaking 15,000 bees through a small hole in the center of a box DOWN into another box without them all just flying UP into your face??? There has to be a gentler way. In my attempt to avoid Shaken Bee Syndrome, I managed to completely botch this bee installation. Learn from me and avoid. Or follow. The choice is yours.
The Willow Room in spring takes on a life of its own. Individually, the reeds are supple. They bend with the forces that shape them. Together, however, they are strong - forever interlocked. Recent events in Boston remind us how together we are stronger, and, too, how each of us needs an inner garden sanctuary in which to find peace and make sense of this world.
It’s officially spring and that means the beginning of Panic Season! So much to DO! Here is one more urgent task on your to-do list: WEED YOUR GARLIC. Early Spring is the most important weeding you will EVER DO in your garlic bed - and here is why.
Still looking for heirloom, open-pollinated, non-GMO plants and seeds? Check out this list! So many to choose from! And what an opportunity for each of us to be a steward of our food heritage!
What? Looking for shadows to predict weather? I'd say the bees are better indicators! As well as the snow geese, the pussy willows, and the Cornelian cherry…not hard to find things that say Life is Good! Happy Groundhog Day!
A list of seeds I collected last fall - and also some roots and tubers. Care to trade? Buy? Barter?
Personally, I think New Year's resolutions are over-rated and goal-setting can be counterproductive. A To-Do list, though, Yes! Break it down into action items! Here's what's in store for the garden!
Frost is on the grapevine! The dill looks like a sparkling fireworks! And our friend, Toad, well, he looks like he could use a little warm sunshine!
Wow. What a transformation! Here are 12 accomplishments and lessons learned in the 2012 garden. It's all good! And 2013 promises to be even better!
I had to throw out my words today about crazy holiday gift ideas. The recent news of innocent children slain in Newtown make us all question who we, as a human race, have become. Maybe it's time to get back to the garden...
A sunny day in early December and the bees are out! Hooray! And even more amazing - they are finding pollen! But where? Should I feed them? Are they ready for winter?
Wishing you abundance in your life, however that may be defined! Have a safe and happy holiday - and may it be full of love and laughter!
Grass, to me, is Orchard Enemy #1. I talk about how to get rid of it, how to turn an orchard into a food forest, and what to do to get your orchard ready for winter, thanks to tips from Michael Phillips' book, The Holistic Orchard.
Welcome to my secret garden: the Willow Room. It didn't start out as much - just a few twigs; but it has transformed into something truly magnificent! A place to dance and celebrate autumn!
Time to get that garlic in the ground if you haven't already! Need garlic? We still have some! Want a tool to make the planting easier, faster, & more uniform? We have just the thing! Need planting tips? Look no further!
The time to plant garlic is NOW through November, depending on your location and climate. With a little forethought and planning, you can minimize the chances of your garlic garden of paradise descending into a den of decay. However, you need a strategy - and I am here to help.
What's Wrong with My Garlic? Does your garlic have yellow-tipped leaves, signs of mold and rot, falling over stems, thirsty insects sucking the living juice right out of the plants? If you don't think you have problems, after reading this, you might change your mind.
It's been awhile since I've played harmonica for the ol' garlic patch (or at least shared it). We are bringing her into the kitchen for her own protection… bwahahahaha
I am getting lots of questions about where we're at with the garlic - when we'll have bulbs for sale - and how about the bulbils? Here's my final, not-so-final, wishy-washy answer to predicting the future.
Thinking of a "3 Sisters' Garden"? (corn, beans, and squash together). Can you still plant corn in the Pacific Northwest? I planted June 16 last year, sort of 3-sisters' style (sort of not). Great results! Read on!
A short post to give you an update on the status of Barbolian Fields garlic and a couple of thoughts about the value of taking plant surveys.
Is it too late to plant spinach? When should you plant tender veggies? What to plant? Did you miss your planting window? Or is it just opening? These questions and more, not necessarily answered.
Before we coined the word, "Permaculture," Nature was already perfecting it on her own. Here, Paul Gautschi describes his methods of mimicking nature by applying mulch in his garden. The results? Absolutely amazing! His approach has recently been featured in a film, "Back to Eden." Happy International Permaculture Day!
A heroic effort on my part, as well as by the bees. We all had the same mission, really, to Save the Queen - we just had slightly different approaches, being as I was perceived as a smoke-breathing giant intent on raiding their hive!
Do you install bees? Dump them? Pour them? Knock them in? Release them? And what happens when you let loose 15,000 (or so) bees? Here's how it went down, folks. Happy Earth Day!
A video and some close-up pictures on the Warre hives we built. If you are looking for something simple, inexpensive, and something that naturally lets the bees do what they instinctively do - this is it!
Happy Earth Day! In celebration, we are releasing somewhere around 20,000 bees into their new home, a Warre Hive situated on the back side of Barbolian Field. Here are a few videos to show you how we are getting ready for this big event (and conquering a few fears in the process!)
Looking for a good recipe for Nettle Soup? Look no farther! All these nutrient-dense weeds growing out there wild and free - and free for the taking! Indulge in one of nature's superfoods!
Hooray! It's officially spring! Days are getting longer than the night - finally! Here are some cool tools to help you track the way the sun changes with the seasons and some ideas on how to apply that info to your garden design.
Has winter exposed your garden as a bunch of boring rectangles and squares? Do you wish it more replicated real life, running in circles? There is help for people like us. Work WITH nature to transform your labor-intensive squares into a self-supporting food forest.
Winter doldrums got you down? Beware of March Madness - when everything goes a little crazy - and not just the weather and the weeds. Indulge your compulsion to "buy more plants." They are good for you.
A gallery of buds and blooms - the garden is waking up and it looks like it has been watered with a triple shot of caffeine! Spring is only 16 days away! Yippee!
Mid-February and the garlic is UP! Tallest in the patch is the Chinese Pink, a Turban variety, but all varieties are making a showing. These hardy little bulbs can handle the rough weather ahead. Just be careful with the mulch!
February is a weird month - we get a little bit of everything in the weather department. We do a lot of fantasizing through seed catalogs and are anxious to get our hands back in the dirt. When the winter blues & blahs get you down, our latest kale recipe, "Death by Garlic, Revived by Kale," is sure to bring you around.
What's to salvage out of a garden hammered by winter storms? Italian Lacinato (or Tuscan) Kale stands strong! Here's a great recipe for Chicken-Kale-Cauliflower casserole (with a fair amount of garlic, of course!)
Got pruning phobia? Never fear. This 5-step approach to fruit tree pruning will help you get those old apple trees back into shape in no time! (Well, maybe in a few years, anyway.)
Do you make garden resolutions? I'm going to keep it simple in 2012 - going to make it a year to slow down, linger awhile, and smell the flowers. A garden teaches us so much if we just stop, look, and listen.
Ok. We're in countdown-to-Christmas mode. We love the idea of handmade gifts, but finding time to make them is another matter. Here's a strategy on how to manage your time and achieve your wildest dreams. Ok, maybe not that exactly.
Here's the basic recipe: turkey, pumpkin, whole eggs, rice flour, nutritional yeast, a little oil and molasses. No wheat, no corn, no artificial anythings. Give your dog something to howl about!
Hope your Thanksgiving was full of giving thanks. A few thoughts on gratitude, abundance, and how fortunate we are. Thank you, readers, for following my posts!
Did you grow a giant pumpkin this year and are now wondering what to do with it? We've got some ideas...
Have you thought of planting garlic bulbils? Let me count the ways! Easy, fun, cheap.
Halloween Night! What a fright! Protect yourself with Transylvanian Garlic! Special sale on braids - while supplies last. Warning! It packs more than just a little bite. Seriously. I warned you. Vampires need not apply.