Category Archives: Gardening & Homesteading

Berry Anticipation (This Week in Pictures)


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My boys comb the garden every day for ripe berries. This year will be like last: 100% of the berries will be eaten right off the plant and my children will have berry-stained faces most of the summer.

I grabbed a picture of berry blossoms and ripening berries. I am not even sure how many berry varieties we have — quite a few indeed. We have several varieties each of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.


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California Hot Springs Bantam


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Seeds adapt to specific locations and, over time, can develop a distinct variety of seed. Four seasons of adapting has turned this golden bantam corn into a local specialty: California Hot Springs Bantam. Though the kernels are smaller and the ear not quite as full, this is a tasty corn may someday be famous. :)

Minimally, it’s really cool to save seed.


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Tomatoes and Homemade Ranch


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Sometimes it’s the simple things like these garden fresh tomatoes topped with homemade ranch dressing.


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Compost Bins


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These compost bins house spring-time grasses and other miscellaneous yard waste. What they are missing is strong guys with free time to turn them. We are growing our own: two boys, aged 9 and 2. We’ll see how they do as field hands. :)


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Harvest is Here


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The garden had a late start with cold temperatures through May, but it was worth the wait. The harvest begins.


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“The Chicken Leader”


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“He looks like the leader of the chickens in that picture!” exclaimed his 9-year-old brother.

Chickens really do need leaders because these chickens at our son’s home school charter school are as close as this toddler has gotten to chickens lately. Our own chickens learned first-hand about the “state of nature” when a large animal tore open their outdoor run and marauded their coop at night. We are now chicken-less for the first time in years.


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Gardener In Training


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We are at that stage where everything is getting watered, even over-watered.

I am glad we suck the water out from 200 feet under our mountain top only to let it percolate back down again.


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Projecting a Bad Year For Fruit


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Late snow is a disaster for an orchard. Most of our trees survived, including this cherry.


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No Electric, No Water


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With all the downed trees, the area was without electric, which means no water in our case. Below is snow melting on the wood stove. All that snow melts into about two tablespoons of water.


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April Snow


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It is a rare April to see snow at all, much less 8 inches. The trees had leaved and buckled under the snow pack. Below is a tree on the ground that luckily slid down slowly away from the house. We had several other major limbs down. The lilacs below survived after I brushed the snow off.


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