Hi there,

boy, summer is a full time. We have been picking berries like nobody’s business. Our freezer is loaded with them. The garden is growing and growing. So is my little one, who is two now. We’ve had friends come to stay, relatives come to stay, and now more friends are on their way. I’m working two and half days a week now, which has been tricky for our family to adjust to. I think for where we are as a family, it would be better if I were working less outside the home. But life goes on. I am grateful that this fall I will go down to one and half days a week.

Anyway, here are some snapshots from from around here. I know I’ve been posting less than usual. Busy busy.

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Nimbus is still doing great, all things considered. I am amazed. She is 5 years old, and I think she is still even laying an egg every day. She’s a ‘wild’ chicken, so she hides them, and honestly, we don’t want to eat her eggs right now. What a strong and lovely lady.

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Growing winter chinese cabbage. I know the spider web looks icky, but I welcome spiders in my garden because they love to eat aphids. Eat away spiders!

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We took a family trip to the Oregon Coast. I mostly read my book and sipped coffee. It was amazing to be alone, at least in my mind. Being a mom of a two year old is both joyful and filled with two year old needs. It feels good to fulfill my own needs.


I grew turnips!

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My friends and I have been going to Sauvie’s Island every other week to pick produce. Mostly berries so far, but soon come more green beans. pickling cukes, summer squash, and then corn. I day dream about a chest freezer. Luckily, our fridge’s freezer is pretty hefty.

River has been doing well on these excursions, but I think that I will bring a long a mother’s helper for a few of the upcoming trips. I know a wonderful twelve year old who wants to help watch my little one, for free no less! I will invite her along, and send her home with some veggies for her fam.

Bye for now…


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Blueberry picking on Sauvie’s Island with our multi-branched family and our friends. Back home now, with the freezer stocked and tummies full of blueberries.

Happy pickin.


Posted in baby, harvest, preserving, thrifty | 2 Comments

Sewing Summer

I have declared this summer a Sewing Summer, as a way to create the mental momentum needed for me to sew up the projects I have in mind.

Remember the homemade hand towels I posted about in early June? I hemmed up the first of them tonight! One more hand towel for us. And beautiful it is.



Posted in crafting, sewing, thrifty | 1 Comment

Summer Time

Summer is here, and life is full.

There is so much food to preserve. Our freezer is filling up with fruit. We have gallon zip top bags full of strawberries and raspberries and even fava beans frozen.

Raspberry jam was made, as was pickled asparagus.


My stepdaughter’s brother is staying with us. He is 18 and in that transition phase. For rent he does 5 hours of work trade a week. It has been really great to have projects get completed around here. My husband and I both have so much on our plates that it is hard for us to accomplish every project we dream up. My step step son fenced in a huge chicken yard for our chickens, so they’re not free range anymore, but they still have a large grassy and diverse area to call home.


The plants are growing like crazy. Our tomatoes flowered yesterday and I swear that bean sprouts turned into full fledged bean leaves in the course of two hours. Last night we ate steamed greens and baby broccoli heads over white rice with olive oil and homemade vinegrete. Delicious.

Here are some photos of beautiful plants that grace our front steps-




And the lovely kitty that graces our front steps-


My tiny little daughter has learned to pick up chickens. So there’s that.



My little one turned two recently. I tried to make sweet felt prayer flags for her birthday, but to no avail. The felt triangles are cut out and lying on the counter. They’ll be sewn in time for my stepdaughter’s birthday. I am working two and a half days a week this summer until August 1st, teaching at an environmental summer camp. It is cool, but definitely takes away from my time for at home activities.


Here are some mushrooms my husband found growing in our backyard. And here is the spore print he made from one. I love my mushroom guy.


Hope you all are having a fun and nature filled summer. What is everyone up to?

Posted in animals, baby, canning, chickens, garden, harvest, parenting, sewing | 1 Comment


Hello Again.

I am out in the garden a lot these days, and boy is it growing. I feel I haven’t shown you enough of the garden this spring. And now it is summer. Officially and by ambient air temperature.

Here are some new photos-

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Nasturtiums, grown from seed. The first nasturtium bloom opened today.

IMG_0098 IMG_0099Chickens and the garden. A fence protects my veggies. I learned the hard way. Now I know.

IMG_0101Turnips turnips turnips! I have 3!


Baby broccoli

IMG_0112Bolting lettuce bought as starts. These wonderful ones fed us throughout the spring. Mostly they fed me, but they also went into the creation of occasional all family salads.

IMG_0118New smaller lettuces that I grew from seed. I started them indoors in February and they are now getting large enough to pick from.

IMG_0125These little guys will grow into storage onions. I have quite a few planted around. A circle of them around my second planting of peas, some interspersed in a planter with lettuce (that the chickens and baby sadly have harvested a bit prematurely), and many interplanted in the main garden bed.

IMG_0122A cucumber and a sunflower growing together in perfect harmony. It is a bit on the late side to plant each of these, but I am still within the time limit, and I have faith in the heat of the summer to come.

IMG_0094Peas! and the aforementioned onions. I planted three plantings of peas several weeks apart, and the girls and I have been snacking on peas for over a month now. Here in Portland, OR, we start planting peas on Valentines Day.

IMG_0100Some Brassica or another going to seed. I let them flower out to attract pollinators.

IMG_0106Garlic! You plant in October, pull in mid July.

IMG_0123Dill seed sprouting. A Michigan friend gave me this seed head out of his garden two years ago, and last week I planted them. I left the seed head there as a marker, so I would know what I planted. Plus, doesn’t it look sweet?

I hope everyone is getting in some gardening time, whether it is on your front steps, in a community garden, or at your grandma’s house.

So long for now.


Posted in chickens, garden, harvest | 1 Comment

Fresh Strawberries!

Hi Guys,

Sorry it has been so long since I posted. I accidentally deleted all the info and photos off my phone, simultaneously making it so I couldn’t post up blog posts with it. I will get it figured out again, I’m sure, it is just a matter of having the time. But life is full this time of year (when isn’t it?), with freezer filling activities like strawberry picking.

River Rain and I went to Sauvie’s Island last Wednesday with two friends and picked the local delicious variety of Strawberries called Hoods, which are named after Mt. Hood I believe.

Here is the little one in her strawberry picking gear-


We picked half a flat of Hoods in an hour. Then I bought another pre-picked flat at the checkout table. $20 for a full flat of strawberries seems like a good deal to me since they are twice that at the local natural foods store. The full pre-picked flat was also of the Hood variety.

Here are the strawberries in the trunk of my car.

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That night, after River was tucked into bed, soundly asleep, I watched a movies with headphones on and topped strawberries into the wee hours. I froze the entire full flat.

Here they are in the freezer-


Today I bagged them up, and tonight I must freeze my hand picked half flat. They are getting a bit soft, but they will still be delicious in the winter, during the long grey months when our cupboards feel bare, and fruit is either apples, or shipped in.

Here’s to local, hand picked fruit. Horrah!

Posted in baby, harvest, parenting, preserving, thrifty | 2 Comments

Home Hung Garlic

Here is a picture of some of last year’s garlic harvest.

This is soft neck garlic, which allows for one to braid the stems. I love how it looks braided as a decoration, And having it hanging in the kitchen makes it easy to pluck off a bulb for use in cooking.


However, soft neck garlic produces small cloves, and I find their papery skins hard to peel. Next October I think I will plant mostly hard neck garlic, perhaps a hardy, pungent variety like German Red.

As evidence of my finding this garlic hard to peel, I will show you how much I have left…


I still have the majority of last July’s harvest hanging in my kitchen. And this year’s harvest is just a month and a half away. Time to start using garlic. And time to change up my garlic variety planting choices.

Posted in harvest, home, kitchen | 5 Comments