"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Monday, December 17, 2012

Josef Holzer Permiculture Video

This is a fantastic video by Josef Holzer who has perhaps one of the most famous farms in the world (the world of permaculture and agroforestry.) Makes me dream big dreams (with lots of "if only" sighs in them). I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pumpkin Soup Again

We bought some pie pumpkins recently and processed them for the freezer. In honor of pumpkins, and all their goodness, I thought I would post my Pumpkin Soup recipe again.

Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan and blend after it is all heated through, or if you are using fresh pumpkin and sweet potatoes, you have to cook them through before you do any blending, obviously. See below for the best way to cook fresh pumpkin.

5 cups chicken broth
3 cups cubed and peeled cooked fresh pumpkin, or one 15 oz can pumpkin
2 sweet potatoes cubed, peeled and cooked, or one 15 oz can sweet potatoes, drained
1/2 of a 15 oz can coconut cream, or 1/4 cup coconut cream concentrate plus one tablespoon brown sugar, or one can coconut milk plus one tablespoon brown sugar.
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger - use fresh!
1/2 tsp dried onion powder
Dash of dried garlic powder or one clove fresh.
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/8 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup of fresh basil (don't leave this out, it is awesome!)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Butterflies

We have a little butterfly that really likes to hang around our house. We see it flitting everywhere, hanging out by the hundreds on the west wall of the house, or in the oak trees. It's very busy and flies very fast in crazy circles. We frequently see them chasing each other in butterfly battles. I had a laugh one day watching a Mocking Bird try to catch one (unsuccessfully.)

This morning I was attracted by the sight of a trail of ants going up my oak tree (I'll get back to the butterflies.) I needed to check this out and make sure the ants weren't chewing on my tree, or tending any aphids. I was busy trying to follow the trail of ants around the tree when my husband came out to say good-by in the morning.

 I said good-by distractedly, "Sorry, I'm following these ants."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Peach Butter

Its peach time! Our lovely peach tree blessed us with abundant peaches again this year, so I am on the look-out for ways to use and preserve all that wonderful bounty. My efforts to make peach jelly last year did not turn out too well, so instead this year I decided to make peach butter. I figure if they love apple butter, they will love peach butter too.

After picking some ripe peaches, we sorted them out into two piles. The perfect ones got put in a pretty bowl on the counter. The not so perfect ones - the ones the birds took one bite out of - filled up a colander. These were the ones destined for the peach butter.

Usually recipes for peach butter have you boil and peel the peaches, cut them up and sieve them. That is VERY messy and time consuming. We simply pitted the peaches cutting out any bad spots or bird pecks, and blended them skin and all (in a Vita Mix.)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Our Laundry to Landscape Greywater Project, Part 2

We have finished our Laundry to Landscape Greywater Project! It has been operational for a few weeks now and we are very happy with it. Click here to see part one of this post. Part one also has the link to the plans that we used.

Picture of the out-side part of the setup. You can see where the hole was drilled into the brick in the wall of our laundry room. This contraption allows air to escape the system, and has a back flow valve to keep dirty laundry water from going back into my washer. It also has a spot where you can hook in your regular garden hose into the system. (Part one shows the inside part of the system. The inside part has a valve that lets us direct the water into the sewer or out to the garden.)

The PVC pipe goes off to the left and meets up with a flexible water line at the fence line.

Mulch basin, empty. Garry is positioning an awl to drill a pilot hole in the water line. Once the water line is drilled, the white flower pot you see will have two large holes drilled into it to receive the water line. Water will drip out the small hole in the water line into the mulch basin - the whole thing will be covered over with mulch. The flower pot keeps the water line up out of the dirt and mulch, so that the hole does not get clogged.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Butterfly Days

During April we had masses of butterflies in our yard. I have always gravitated to flowers and plants that say "attracts butterflies", or "feeds birds/wildlife", so as the garden matures we are reaping the blessing of this lovely decoration. Hope you enjoy these pictures. Anna patiently took most of them.

I will not attempt to identify all these butterflies (being lazy), so if you know what they are, feel free to comment about it. I will restrict my identification to, "I think this is a (blank)", or "white butterfly" kind of thing.

Most of these pictures were taken in the Herbal Tea Garden. This garden is a few years old and is maturing up nicely. I posted about planting it in the no-till fashion here.

It's hard to get across in these pictures the sheer numbers of butterflies that were flying everywhere, but each plant had at least ten butterflies on it at a time!

This plant with blue flowers in the Herbal Tea Garden is Nepta, or Cat Mint. You can see several sulfur butterflies on it or flying near.

Sulfurs on the cat mint. I looked this up - its an Orange sulfur.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Watching Wasps

This morning I noticed that my roses were covered in wasps. I don't know what they were doing there. Looking for bugs? I know wasps are great predators of many pesky bugs and beneficial to the garden. It didn't look like they were getting any bugs and it didn't look like they were getting nectar either. Then I noticed that one of them was licking dewdrops off the rose leaves!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our Laundry to Landscape Greywater Project Part 1

We are finally getting our laundry greywater garden project under way. The design we are using is from Art Ludwig's book,"The New Creating an Oasis with Greywater"

We are starting at the garden end and working our way up to the house. Hopefully we will be all done by the time the spring rains are gone.

Here is a picture of one line dug with the mulch basins and pots in the ground. The black flexible water pipe has holes drill on the underside beneath the pots. The pots will be covered over in mulch, keeping all the grey water under ground.