Lessons In Beekeeping: Remember To Wear Boots

...allowing us to scoop them up and pour them into the deep box. We took a couple of breaks to allow worker bees in the field to return to the hive. As they returned we sprayed them with sugar water and poured them into their new home. It was a long day. Demolition work started at 9 am and it was 5 pm by the time we put the box in the car to be taken to their new home at Maurice’s apiary. What you can’t see in this picture is all the ra...

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The glass is half full–even if it’s full of greywater

...k’s notorious pickled crosne: Or this salad of greens, avocados, nasturtium and arugula flowers, all from the yard: Ooh..there’s this. Our carrot crop wasn’t big, but it was good. Yellow carrots. They got chopped up and roasted and tasted like candy: And then there’s the creature comforts. Our chickens are doing well, still laying and haven’t been pecking on each other so much. I took this picture during one of the...

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Tuesday Morning Fruit Linkages

We’ve been reading Adam Leith Gollner’s entertaining book The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession and Gollner mentions a number of intreguing internet resources, perfect for a little post holiday weekend surfing: More than you ever wanted to know about the world’s smelliest fruit: Durian (Durian Palace) The California Rare Fruit Growers, “Pushing the Limits of Fruit Growing, Worldwide...

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Advances in Gardening Series: The Perennial Herb Bed, Patience and Plant Spacing and Breaking Your Own Rules

...t express their natural shape, and different plants end up intertwined and melded together like conjoined twins, then forcibly sculpted to size in odd box and muffin shapes. In short, when planting perennials, you have to place them in reference to their full size. And that size always sounds impossibly big, but in fact, it is is true. My perennial herb bed above does not follow this advice on conservative spacing. You can’t see from the pi...

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Plantain for rashes

It’s hard to take a decent picture when both of your hands are covered in green slime!  Mrs. Homegrown here: A couple of days ago I made a mistake: I attacked a stand of rogue borage without gloves. You know how it is when you think you’re just going to make one pruning cut, and then end up hacking for an hour in a mindless frenzy? Borage is covered with irritating little hairs which made my hands and forearms itch and burn....

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We’re Changing

You might recall that several months ago we said we were going to do a website redesign. Well, we’re finally getting around to it. Over this weekend we’re going to be monkeying with things, so if you check in, you might encounter strangeness. When it’s all done, we’re going to have a new name and a new look. “Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good” is a favorite saying around here, frequently...

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The binoculars are always close at hand

A typical breakfast scene: Erik surveys the neighborhood from our “hilltop aerie.” What’s he looking at? Perhaps a lithesome jogger? Actually, no. When I took this picture he was admiring something poking out of a recycling bin over on Coronado Terrace. I’ve never quite got used to my man’s propensity to snatch up the binoculars, but I don’t really disapprove either. Erik is a peculiar peeping tom. His viewin...

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Shiitake Bloom

This is a photo taken on the third day of the second bloom of my shiitake birthday log. The first bloom had two mushrooms, this time it’s five so far (that’s a tiny one on the left). After I shot this picture I tipped the log back as far as the cloche that covers it would allow so that the caps wouldn’t grow up against the log and limit their size like last time....

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Growing Greens Under Fruit Trees

In the photo above is Scott Kleinrock showing off a section of the edible garden he designed at the Huntington Gardens. At first glace it looks like a lot of weeds, but it’s a clever idea: growing greens in the understory of fruit trees. In this picture, which was taken last weekend, you see a field of: mallow daikon radish arugula mustard  vetch calendula cabbage Except for the vetch, which helps build soil, all are edible and nutrit...

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