Late July Garden

Here are the garden pictures I promised. Late July, and things are getting big. Tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers are coming on. The sunflowers are about a foot and a half tall. My garden may be behind a little bit, but seeing as I created it beginning in November, I feel pretty good about things. Luscious fruit is growing. Pears overhang the garden. Flushes of greens come and go. Flowers grace the borders. It brings me Joy and Peace.

IMG_0897Yes, beefy green tomatoes.

IMG_0899I love my Nasturtiums. Even though their taste is not my favorite, bits of the leaves torn up in a salad bulk it up, as well as diversifying the taste. And as my stepdaughter says, it’s nice to see some other colors besides green in a garden. I am coming to appreciate this wisdom more and more.

IMG_0915Bean City! Pole beans aclimbin’. We have bush beans and pole beans both producing fruit. I mostly munch the green beans raw as I work in the garden. Same way I eat the peas in the spring.



Fall garden plantings. These were started awhile back. Green cabbage and chinese cabbage.

IMG_0919More big beautiful green tomatoes.

IMG_0928Baby swiss chard. Started recently for our fall garden. River helped me plant the seed. It is everywhere in the garden. Hooray!

IMG_0937The garden as a whole.

Enjoy soaking up the comfort your garden has to offer.

Stay tuned for August when more posting will flow like water.

Posted in garden, harvest | 3 Comments

Guests and Summer Goodness

I feel most lucky that some beloved friends have moved to the area and are staying with us until they settle in. Our home is full. Full of kids, full of laughter, full of parenting, and full of food. What a joy it is. I am grateful for all the bounties that summer has to offer.

As always, I’ve been doing a variety of things, including watering my garden and trellising my pole beans, sewing up a mini-storm, hanging out with babies and animals, drinking coffee with friends, and of course, making sauerkraut.

I have a batch fermenting on the counter right now, and tomorrow a friend is going to walk me through her process; she is going to show me how she makes spicy kraut for her family.

IMG_0723 IMG_0731 IMG_0737Awww, it’s so cute. A red checkered cloth can make all the difference in the world.  : )

Oh yes, then there’s been baking. A wise and wonderful woman once told me to go out and buy a pastry blender. Good thing I listened to her. My fresh cherry scones are all the rage.

IMG_0740 IMG_0742

River helped at her play kitchen, making her own tiny batch. I think the chickens got the scraps, but she got the experience.



More toddler shorts. The fabric I used for both the previous pair and this pair kind of make the shorts look like long undies. But that seems fine to me, especially considering all the skirts we have been given. I washed and dried some darker fabric and some stripey stuff. I’ll use the same homemade pattern to make a few more pair, and hope that those will look a bit more like true shorts.


Today we hit up the Farmers’ Market with our new temporary roommates. It was packed. And vibrant. We’ve got local zucchini, tomatoes, blueberries, and peaches gracing our fridge now.

I saw how hard the folks at this stand were working. And I thought about how they had probably been up since five or some such thing. Thanks Farmers. We’re gonna love up your veggies.


Well I hope everyone is doing well out there. How are your gardens? Mine grew by leaps and bounds when 3 cool rainy days followed 3 hot hot weeks. Pole beans are climbing so high, collards so full. Goodbye to the peas and hello to the beans. Hello fall plantings. Hello baby greens. Hello second plantings of oh so much.

I’ll try to get out some photos of my larger than last time garden. Next Time.

Posted in baby, baking, garden, home, kitchen, parenting, preserving, sewing | 2 Comments


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.

IMG_0575 IMG_0580 IMG_0539 IMG_0536 IMG_0532 IMG_0552 IMG_0549 IMG_0543 IMG_0564 IMG_0562

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.

IMG_0515 IMG_0505 IMG_0508 IMG_0489 IMG_0487 IMG_0477 IMG_0476 IMG_0470

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!

IMG_0389 IMG_0396

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!

IMG_0593 IMG_0596 IMG_0613

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…


Posted in baby, chickens, garden, harvest, parenting, preserving | 1 Comment













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-

IMG_0095 IMG_0103IMG_0124

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