Among a long list of foolish things I’m taking up in my maturing years, I can now add learning how to work with draft horses. I don’t know how far I’ll take this interest. One thing that sunk in at a recent weekend workshop is how steep the learning curve is and how dangerous it […]
On the day of the predicted rapture, I was too busy to follow the news of its not happening — busy taking care of all that was actually happening….
Urban homesteading is not usually the term I use to refer to what I’ve been doing for the best twelve years or so. I tend towards kitchen gardening or urban farming. And these days, I’m transitioning towards rural food production at Amaranta Farm. But I see those who do call themselves urban homesteaders as allies in the same movement, and I’d like to see that movement grow….
It’s that time of year again, when my taste buds give up on peaches and berries and begin longing for crunchy pears and apples (…)
Elderberries are blooming in northeastern Oregon….
With all the rain out over the last few weeks and the challenges of getting the summer garden in, I’ve been grateful for food that sprouts with no effort on my part. I might not want stinging nettles in my cultivated garden, but I like having a patch on a distant corner of our property. […]
Rain. Day before last, it was relentless. We had a reprieve yesterday, and I got some planting done, but most of my garden is flooded and impossible to work. I’m already a week or two behind. In this short season, that could mean a lean year for vegetables. So when I woke at five this […]
I’m ecstatic to be back on our property in Northeastern Oregon. There’s lots to do: organizing inside the yurt to make cooking and storage more convenient, building a spring box and laying pipe to get potable water into the yurt, putting in the garden. And there are many challenges: a muddy road, cars that get […]
I used to be the Christmas tree enthusiast in the family. I’d drive around Seattle for hours looking for the perfect tree, set it up, decorate it….
On Thanksgiving, we couldn’t bear to slice and roast this huge homegrown potato face. Nor could we boil and mash it. So we pardoned it. I’d like to claim we did it in the tradition of pardons given for poultry on Thanksgiving, but it was nothing that grand. We just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it in.
A week later, I’m hungry for potatoes but still can’t cut into this one. Perhaps if I set if on a windowsill and let the eyes grow sprouts….
I love how persimmons hang on the tree after the leaves have fallen.
Many persimmons need to be fully ripe before they’re edible. My fuyu persimmons are non-astringent and can be eaten when still crisp. I enjoy them most at that stage. I often grate them and mix them with lime (or lemon), fresh chili pepper, green onion, cilantro and salt for an Asian-inspired salad.
My persimmon tree began as a whip from One Green World and thrives in my temperate Portland garden. They can also be found at my other favorite source for fruit trees: Raintree Nursery. Consult either nursery to learn more about the differences between Asian and American, astringent and non-astringent persimmons.
What’s your favorite way to eat persimmons?
Growing food this summer in northeast Oregon, I relied on all that I’ve learned over the years from books, conversations, observations, and personal experience. But I probably heard Ama’s voice more than any other….
One of the things I loved best about teaching high school social studies was shaking up students’ perceptions of history. And one of my favorite lessons was in Ancient History. I’d bring in a a jar of beans and a potato with so many sprouts it looked like an octopus (the fact that I always found one in my cupboard could have doubled as a cautionary lesson in the domestic arts)….
Like many who follow environmental and sustainable agriculture news, I woke this morning to tweets and retweets of a Michael Pollan quote: “A vegan in a Hummer has a lighter carbon footprint than a beef eater in a Prius!” I’m not vegan or vegetarian and suspect the statement glosses over vast differences in the way […]
The cool, clear nights that make autumn so beautiful here in the Blue Mountains also bring frosts that kill tender vegetables. With the harvest spilling over boxes and racks around our tiny yurt, it’s a good time to reflect on what I learned this summer….
My mom made sauerkraut when I was a kid, and it was good. But during the years I lived in Nepal, I discovered a fermented world that went beyond cabbage….
I’m excited to try my new steam juicer on this first crop of wild elderberries. Mixed with a little honey, the juice disappears pretty fast in our home. But later batches may make it into jelly, wine, or apple pies.
With our short-growing season, I wasn’t sure I could get this to sprout, let alone grow, blossom, and fruit. So this makes me very happy.
In other gardens, I haven’t had much luck with bulbing onions. Rationing bed space in small spaces, I lavished most of my attention on more flashy vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, corn. Walla Walla Sweet and friends: destined for the grill. But this year with plenty of space, I tried several different varieties of bulbing onions. […]