Spring Things

I was so busy with the garden during the beautiful March weather we had that I didn’t have any time to write about it. Now, the daily Portland rains have set in, so I’ve been working less outside. My vegetable garden and orchard already seem to be off to a good start, though. The Early…

“Beefy” Vegan Miso Soup

The only winter crop that I have to harvest now are my carrots, which have gotten to be extremely sweet and flavorful due to the cold weather, as the plants store more nutrition in their roots, rather than expending it in their leaves at this time of year. I decided to make some soup to…

Pruning Pomes

I tackled the pruning of my apple tree the other day, February being the best time of year to do this for pome fruit trees in the northern hemisphere. Though I am far from being an expert yet in orchard pruning, I have many years of experience in general pruning for the health of small…

Boon Companions: Blueberry and Thyme Scones

  Continuing to experiment in the kitchen with plants that make good companions in the garden, I whipped up a batch of Blueberry and Thyme Scones on Sunday afternoon. My blueberry bushes are so new that I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting any berries from them yet, but the thyme I used came from…

Boon Companions: Blueberries and Thyme

I recently added to my companion plants for my orchard by tucking some German Winter Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) into a corner beside my two blueberry bushes. Thyme makes a good companion to blueberries because they both like acidic soil and the thyme will attract bees and help to get those berry bushes pollinated. I also…

Boon Companions: Fennel and Apple Crostata

Writing in a recent post about the beneficial relationship that fennel has with apples in the garden made me think about how they might make great companions in the kitchen, too. I don’t think I’ve experienced the combination much before, if ever. Recipes for the two together seem to be fairly thin on the ground…

New Beginnings

I always find it exciting to begin to plant seeds again, after a hiatus in December. Planting radish seeds outdoors and starting artichokes, arugula, fava beans, kale, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, onions, peas, scallions, and spinach indoors is my favorite way to start a new year. I use Portland Nursery’s Veggie Calendar as my guide…

Boon Companions: Fennel and Apples

Companion planting is not something that I’ve practiced much in the past, but now that I have a more permanent situation for gardening, I’m going to make an effort to plant things together that will benefit one another, and to keep things away from each other that will cause trouble. Since I haven’t been able…

Blue Camas

Some of my favorite things to plant in my garden that are not fruits or vegetables are native wildflowers. Though they may not be edible themselves, many flowers have the benefit of attracting pollinators, which will help to get those fruit and vegetable blossoms pollinated, too. I like to grow native flowers, specifically, for a…

Tuscan Kale, Sausage and Tomato Broth with Linguine

  I’ll be honest. Kale isn’t one of my favorite vegetables, in and of itself. But it’s one of my favorite vegetables to grow — because it’s easy; it lasts in the garden forever; and it’s one food that I can pick fresh in the winter. I decided to use some of my garden kale…