Category Archives: Homesteading

Anything and everything that has to deal with living on the land – critters, 4 leggeds, flowers, gardens, canning, off-grid, solar, building our house, and making a home.

Blueberry Jam and summer garden

My first try at canning blueberry jam.. I think it set up nicely..only time will tell.

Blueberry Jam

And summer finally begins with basil for pesto making, squash starting to come on, and the tomatoes not too far behind, I hope.

Basil, summer squash, tomato

We still have a huge lettuce and salad mix bed feeding us and friends going strong, and sugar snap peas too. I love eating from the garden.


Spring 2012

Been a busy spring, just starting to get the veggie garden going:

Lettuve bed April 2012

The sedum is happy this time of year.

Sedum 2012

Russel got this shot of a Redwood Moth.

Redwood Moth

We went to a birthday party .. here we are in April 2012.

Russel & Me April 2012

Seems like I never have the time and energy to work on my sites, as this one still needs a new theme..hopefully this summer when the new WP upgrade happens.

I have spent a bit of time on this site which is still in production and not ready at all for prime time, but there a few photo galleries from long ago finally housed there.

And this weekend — well we are off to see Bruce Cockburn in Arcata at the Van Duzer theater on Sunday. I am excited and longing for the juice… so hope it is a good one!


Canning Tomatos

The garden is in full harvest mode, so what energy I have is going there.
Haven’t had time to work this site theme or any other Word Press projects right now.

We did harvest many of our tomatoes:

early girl tomatos

big beef tomatos

And we canned up 7 pints. We used the cold pack – 60 min water bath method.

7 pints canned tomatos

Russel also made some fresh tomato sauce, which was so good, I am tempted to harvest and or buy more tomatos and can up some pints of that.

We have also eaten corn (so sweet and fresh), we have eggplant almost ready, and the peppers are really turning red. Cukes and squash are still producing, as is the salad bed. I love eating fresh organic food.. makes all the work worth it!


Caterpillars on the dill

Today I went out to pick some dill head and leaf.. and found a least seven black swallowtail caterpillars on my dill plant! Guess they love dill, and I am mostly done with it so they can eat it. I hope they form their chrysalis close by so I can watch that transformation.
Next year I will plant more dill and some fennel to bring them into the garden.

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Here’s another site with some good butterfly info: butterflies

I was picking the dill for another round of squash pickles, because we have just too much squash! I canned up 7 pints this time.

I have been making Pesto every couple of days, and freezing about 2 cups with each run. I figure I have at least 7 runs (6 cups packed leaf) left to do. And we figure we can eat pesto every week all winter and until harvest next year starts! What a treat that is.

Our tomato plants are 6 feet tall! Lots of just now starting to ripen toms. We will also be canning tomatoes, quartered & cold pack way I think. Russel will be helping me with that!

Blueberries started coming into the Farmers Market in the middle of July, I have been buying lots to eat as this is the only time of year we get them and I like to buy local. I also found a great new recipe for blueberry -zucchini bread that I like way better than the one I used to use with raisins. It’s been quite a hit with everyone.

Our garden is doing really great. We have watermelons (not harvested yet), and tons of winter squash on the vine. The lettuce is still producing and I just put in more starts. We have enough summer squash and cucumbers to eat all we want, the peppers are big and still green, I am waiting for them to turn red to pick. Lots of work, but worth it to eat good organic food that you grew.


June and July in the Garden

The garden is doing much better now that some heat has finally come on.



We started harvesting butterstick summer squash and black beauty zucchini last week. With tons more to come on. We also have planted light green Lebanese squash, some globe zucchini and a few others, I am sure Russel will be tired of it long before the harvest is over!

July 2010 in the Garden

Tomatos in July

We have been harvesting salad greens, cilantro, mustard, mizuna, parsley, dill and arugula for about a month now. So wonderful.. so thankful we can do this.


I am starting more seed now, and hope that it takes.. the birds, mice, quail.. who knows? have been eating the tiny little starts so I have covered the latest batch with remay.


The basil is about ready to start harvesting for pesto. Did you know there is a shortage of pinenuts this year! I am so bummed.
The next town trip I am buying all I can find (if I can find any).
Besides using in pesto, they are one of my favorite foods..being allergic to most nuts, makes them all that more desirable for me.

The tomatos are doing great.. we have about 15 plants of 3 or 4 different varieties.. hopefully there will be enough to can at some point.

The rats have eaten the corn crop down to the ground 2x.. and Russel replants.. it’s not even ‘knee high by the 4th of July’ but perhaps because our gardening year seems to be about a month behind, we may actually get some corn.

We spend at least 2 hours a day in the garden, many days if both of us are out there, it’s really 4 hours. We don’t have anything hooked up to drip or timers, so watering daily is needed for several things. The rodents of all kinds have played havoc on lots of the beds.. trapping doesn’t seem to make a dent in them at all. But as my friend Sue would say, ‘ya gotta share’!


Bumper Crop of SugarSnap Peas!

As I talked about ( in this post ) I have, for lack of a better way to describe it, been sick for going on 7 weeks now.

We also had a cold and wet spring, which made the sugar snap peas very happy.. and me too.

This doesn’t look like it, but every other day for the last 3 weeks or so we have been harvesting 2 to 3 pounds of sugar snaps!
Best snack food there is:

SugarSnap Peas