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TAG : gardening

The Importance of Soil (and Soul) Mending

When I look back, it's hard to believe that I have been a therapist for over half of my life. It makes sense, though, that my life's calling would end up being a mender of souls. As a young child, I was often found on a porch swing, visiting with my lonely, widowed neighbors. Or, giving ...

Getting Our Hands Dirty

March has arrived and came in like a lamb! Last weekend we began to prepare the garden beds for planting.In the past, we have always bought bags upon bags of dirt for the beds and containers, but this spring Greg decided he wanted to dig from my father's old garden plot. It has lain fallow for ...

Ouch! Roses and Fire Ants

In the Central Valley of California, my roses and I are subjected to hot summer temperatures, which leave both of us a little worse for wear. This past summer it was over 100 degrees for 70 days out of the 90 days of June, July and August. I know. I kept track. The bad part is this: when it ...

Growing Saffron

Photo by Getty Images/FotoCuisinetteI love to try growing new things. I love to grow the tried-and-true things, too. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I always learn something new. Recently, I started thinking about what new plant I could try that would work well for my climate ...

Dudley Do-wrong in the Garden

Dear readers, It's been a while since I've posted. I've missed you! I can only say that putting up a brand new homestead from (nearly) scratch is a lot of work. Especially if you have a day job like I do. However, things have simmered down and now I hope to post on a regular basis. I have so ...

Storing Pumpkins and Winter Squash

Last summer we only grew about 200 pounds of squash and pumpkins. I say "only,"because the year before we hit 290 pounds! For the last five years, we've been in the 150+ pounds range for this crop.We've tried every storage method you can think of. We tried putting them up as is. We tried ...

Uncle Carlos’ Strange Carrot

From our Family's Album of Gardening Lore:I found this clipping in my family album and thought it would be fun to share with all the Capper's Readers. I'm sure you all have oddly-shaped vegetable stories, too!December 23rd, 1976This strange-looking item was brought into the Time-Republican ...

Harvest Festival: The Cornucopia of Fall

Dear friends,When I was growing up, our small town of Washta, Iowa had fall harvest festivals to raise money for the Methodist church. I remember the first time I attended and the excitement of the evening. However, while the grownups were probably interested in all the donations and money ...

Sustainable Gardening for Compact Spaces

Not everyone who wants to begin living sustainably can move out to a homestead and work their own land. Sometimes this effort must start in an apartment, in a city, in a suburb. So how do you live frugally in such a compact space? Lolo Houbein has the answer in her book, One Magic Square ...

Front Yard Gardening

Our entire back yard is a vegetable garden and we have a community garden plot, so when we wanted to expand our food growing this year we were sort of at a loss as to where to go.Short of asking neighbors if we could rototill up their lawn and plant a garden, we didn't have a lot of ...

Early Garden Rewards

Dear friends, On a past post called "The Garden of Hope," I shared my feelings about the enjoyment I felt while planting our garden on Mother's Day at our farm. Then I left for three weeks, hoping that the weather and the sprinkler system would be kind to me. They were. Three days after ...

Eating Your Curds and Whey

Mary Lou Shaw is a former physician, current homesteader, who has seen the consequences of unhealthy eating firsthand. These experiences have shown her the difference that good eating habits can make. And the easiest way to eat healthy? Grow your own ingredients. While processed foods put ...

Backyard Foraging

"When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you." — Leviticus 23:22The Bible instructed farmers to leave something behind when they harvested. Is ...

We’ve Always Known

We always wanted land on which to build a homestead. But then, some stuff happened:Decades of work and learning, Trying to build a career, make money and raise a family, Working in gardening, eating fresh vegetables (too much most of the time), Loving the smell of freshly tilled soil, the ...