Grow & Forage

In Praise of Bumblebees

In Praise of Bumblebees

It’s National Pollinator Week, and I want to sing the praises of bumblebees. Without them, nothing in my own garden would be pollinated. We do get a few honeybees (we’re sure they come downhill from the hives our Pioneering the Simple Life friends keep), but bumblebees outnumber them by at least 100 to 1. My […]

Sorrel & Miner’s Lettuce Pesto

Sorrel & Miner’s Lettuce Pesto

In which I make yet another version of pesto using what’s in season in my own backyard.  It’s been HOT here, not just warm – The other day, Seattle was warmer than Palm Springs, and although we’re across the sound from the Emerald City, it was plenty toasty on our island. When the sun shines […]

Nettlekopita

Nettlekopita

With apologies to the Greek language and culture. It’s nettle season in our local marshes, so we’re eating our fill of these wonderful, free greens.  Our local grocery had some organic phyllo dough on sale the other week, and now that we can eat some gluten again, I was excited to bring a box home. […]

Eat Like a Bee: Dandelion Jelly

Eat Like a Bee: Dandelion Jelly

Bees Know a Good Thing – Dandelions are Sweet This is the time of year when I harness my in-home child labor to make dandelion jelly. I pay my girls 1 cent for each fully opened yellow dandelion blossom they pick from our yard – They might be the one remaining thing worth a single […]

DIY Garden Trellis Ideas

DIY Garden Trellis Ideas

Looking for an inexpensive garden trellis that harnesses the power of reuse for function and beauty? As a devotee of immediate gratification building projects and frugality, I’ve got a few suggestions. Branches: I share a community garden plot with my Trash Backwards co-founder and great friend, Liesl Clark of Pioneering the Simple Life. When we […]

Maple Blossom Pesto

Maple Blossom Pesto

We had a full day of true spring, almost summer, on Sunday. I can’t remember the last time we had a sunny Easter. Usually, egg hunts here are moved inside, where small foil-wrapped chocolates go missing in the cracks of couches, or they take place outside in the rain, where the dye on hard-boiled eggs […]

Miner’s Lettuce: Grow Your Own Wood Elf Greens

Miner’s Lettuce: Grow Your Own Wood Elf Greens

I don’t grow lettuce any more. We’ve found other greens that are hardy in winter, less attractive to slugs, and even more delicious (although I do have a thing for butter lettuce). Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata, is one of our favorites. Not only does it taste wonderful, it has a certain wood elf magic to […]