Posts in Homesteading

A Moment

When Hugh and I are strolling about town, me hoisting his increasingly heavy frame in a front facing carrier, we’re frequently greeted by those we walk past.

Allowing Moments of Simple Enjoyment

Hugh is 7 and a half months old and my garden is ripe within the heyday of summer.

A Good Start

Instead, Justin often proudly remarks that it’s the most productive and healthy garden I’ve (we’ve) ever grown.

Good...and its Opposite

“Good Baby”.

Uncanny Similarities between Parenting and Gardening

Daily life is frequently driven by our imaginings of present bliss and future success.

Growing for the Long Term

I have a son.

Shaking Off Frustrations

A garden can lift you up or break you down, and this year, our garden has succeeded at doing both.

The Best Time of Year (For a Garden)

The garden really comes into its own by early July.

Already Outdated

I water, examine, assess, and enjoy my garden daily, and yet it wasn’t until I started editing these photos snapped two weeks ago that I realized how much had changed in a short amount of time.

A New Year, A More Measured Approach

I walked into the house this morning and casually mentioned to Justin that everything in the garden was “looking good...so far”.

There is No Finish Line

The summer garden is in its final days.

The Gardening Identity

I know that my garden is a living, breathing entity, a “creature” that will blossom, thrive (or not), and eventually die.

A July Garden in June

Given the heat of 2015, our yard and garden is rapidly approaching end of July appearances, for better and for worse.

Informative Observations

When people ask me what I’ve done in 2015, my answers might sound less than adventurous to you (running and gardening), but the details in each of those “tasks” are greater, and more complicated, than those two words.

Ahead of Schedule

The calendar says early April, but garden activity has felt three weeks ahead of the actual date for all of 2015.

Garden Planning

In my two-ish seasons of planting last year, I never found a balance between the whimsical and poetic dreams of my aspirational garden, and the realities of planning and structure.

Thoughts from Afar

I edited and uploaded the images for this post almost four weeks ago.

One Cuttlefish Hoe to Rule Them All

It’s bizarre how we wrap tasks in an artificial scaffolding of lists and timelines, knowing that, inevitably, a surprising gust of wind will blow through, crumbling your weak scaffolding as you scramble to rearrange timelines and to-dos.

Adventures in Canning: Tayberry Jam

In the summer, the words “Oregon” and “berry” are practically synonymous.

Adventures in Canning: Cherry Rhubarb Jam

When I hustle down the basement stairs to grab another jar of jam, what stops me from reaching for the cherry?

Optimism and Possibilities

June in the garden: a time when anxious planning transforms into fleeting optimism.

Observations for Next Year

We moved in February, leaving behind two years of garden experimentation at our rental house.

Winter Squash Impulsivity

We stopped at People’s Coop several rainy Fridays ago, drawn to lower SE Portland with the idea of enjoying a smoothie from Sip before heading inside to re-fill a few bulk spice containers.

Adventures in Canning: Revisiting Tomato Jam

Two summers ago, this tomato jam recipe transformed me from a canning dabbler into a canning convert.

An Adequate Response

It’s happened again.

Adventures in Canning: Apricot Jam

There were a few food trade-offs I was prepared to make when I moved to Portland.

The Garden Takes Care of Itself

The past few days aside, May and early June felt like summer in the Pacific Northwest.

Growing Season, Already?

After a long winter hiatus, when I first picked up the little green notebook in which I record gardening notes, I flipped to see when the last entry was.

Fresh from the Market: Salsify

When salsify showed up in our CSA share a few months ago, I tucked a whiskery bunch of the vegetable into our bag with curiosity.

Adventures in Canning: Pickled Beets

I didn’t reveal this in my previous post on beet brownies, but the reason I had a a few extra beets – the perfect quantity for those brownies – was because I’d over-purchased beets for my pickling project.

Artisan Profile: Darling Press Stationers

Portland is currently the capital of the independent craftsman (as Crafty Wonderland's recent massive, convention-hall-sized-spread of Etsy sellers clearly illustrated).

Mimosa Tree Woes

As July turned to August, I didn't share a garden update because much remained the same.

Adventures in Canning: Plum Jam

On Sunday, our neighbors invited us over to pick plums from their Italian plum tree.

A Melon Primer

The Saturday before we traveled to England, I found myself easily able to predict what fruit we'd find at the farmers' market, and planned accordingly.

Fresh from the Market: Romano Beans

If you and I closed our eyes and simultaneously thought of summer foods, I bet we'd come up with similar lists: tomatoes, corn, peppers, watermelon, beans.

Adventures in Canning: "Grown Up" Red Cherry Jam

Cherry season was finicky in New York.

The Ladies Across the Street

You can barely walk a block in SE Portland without hearing a soft 'cluck cluck' or an insistent 'bok bok' from a back or side yard.

Adventures in Canning: Pickled Asparagus

I first started canning last year; because it was my first year, I kept things fairly straightforward.

A Pea and Legume Primer

Sugar snap peas, snow peas, shelling peas, and fava beans.

Fresh from the Market: Rhubarb

I know I should have posted a "Fresh from the Market" on rhubarb before I shared the last two rhubarb recipes, but when thinking about baking versus writing, espeically with fresh rhubarb in the fridge, I had no choice but to bake first, and write later.

Adventures in Canning: Roasted Rhubarb Jam

I'm clearly on a rhubarb streak, as the last recipe I wrote about also features the stalky vegetable.

Midnight Gardening with “Ladies in Red”

The last time I wrote about gardening and general backyard maintenance, I was still cleaning things up and progress inched along.

Dandelions, Slugs, and Buried Yard Tools

To me, one of the most exciting parts of home rentership, aside from doing laundry whenever I want and not hearing the neighbor's conversations, is having a yard.

Fresh from the Market: Spring Radishes

I've taken to eating radishes as the French do: whole, served with one ramekin of whipped butter and another of chunky sea salt.

Adventures in Canning: Pear Butter

I knew I wanted to tackle one more canning and preserving project this Winter before we move.

Adventures in Canning: Apple Butter

After my previous disastrous canning attempt, I needed a victory in the preserving department.

Fresh from the Market: Brussels Sprouts

In my mind, the reason "Brussels sprouts" is capitalized is because they're some of the best vegetables around.

Adventures in Canning: Not the Kind of Adventure I Wanted

It was bound to happen.

Adventures in Canning: Tomatoes

Canning and preserving tomatoes felt unsettlingly like participating in a high school biology class experiment.

Summer Garden Update

In May, I shared that I was gathering items to start my own fire escape garden.

Tomato Glut Sauce

Earlier this year I read Joan Gussow’s memoir, This Organic Life.

Fresh from the Market: Apricots

We enjoyed an apricot filled weekend, making and eating a delicious apricot crumb cake and enjoying Kevin West’s smooth apricot jam on our toast.

Adventures in Canning: Ginger Peach Jam

I’m so hot right now that I’m tempted to write:  yum peaches.

Fresh from the Market: Zucchini

Zucchini can be so much more than a bland addition to the side salad you’re planning on pushing around with your fork.

Fresh from the Market: Fava Beans

I’ve eaten favas before this summer, but I’d never cooked with them-- meaning that I’d never had the pleasure of uncovering the vibrant green bean pod, layer by layer.

Fresh from the Market: Strawberries

The Fresh from the Market posts have gone by the wayside for awhile--but not without awareness on this end!

Adventures in Canning: Rhubarb Jam

I fear I may be too late on this post...but I'll share this recipe anyways, in case you spot some rhubarb at the market this weekend.

Adventures in Canning: Strawberry Jam

Several Saturdays ago, we brought a cardboard box up the farmers market.

Fresh from the Market: Fiddleheads

Ramps, nettles, fiddleheads.

My Third Try

Last year, I grew several herbs from seed.

Fresh from the Market: Asparagus

Asparagus is here!

Adventures in Canning: Apple Jelly

"If you've never made jelly before, this a great place to start.

Fresh from the Market: Spring Parsnips

I love parsnips, especially when paired with carrots.

Merging Nature, Design, and Self-Sufficiency

Terrariums recently captured my attention.

Adventures in Canning: Lemon Curd

As previously mentioned, I've spent a few chilly Winter days researching the intricacies of canning and preserving, with the goal of capitalizing on the glut of strawberries, tomatoes, and more that will soon overtake the farmers' markets.

More than Kale

This Winter, I've slowly gathered books on canning and preserving.

Fresh from the Market: Carrots

It distresses me that too many children (and adults) first associate carrots with those baby carrots with ranch dip, served alongside celery: the stereotypical crudite platter.

Fresh From the Market: Acorn Squash

I have to be honest:  I find acorn squash to be beautiful on the outside and lackluster on the inside.

Fresh from the Market: Bosc Pears

I admit to knowing very little about the differences between pear varieties.