Storing / Saving Seeds

With the end of the gardening season near we’ve started saving some seeds from our heirloom veggies. Next year we will plant a mixture of new store bought seeds and saved seeds from our first year garden.

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Homemade Wheat Bread

Wanting to try something new I decided making a loaf of homemade wheat bread would keep me busy for a few hours. I was anxious to try out our Country Living Grain Mill that had arrived a few weeks before (a complete write up on that will be coming soon). …

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Dallas Red Lantana

This is my favorite non fruit producing plant we have this year. The dallas red lantana with its stunning vibrant blooms has been extremely low maintanance.

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Vegetable Garden Status

We are finally enjoying the fruits of our labor! We’ve learned the harvesting season is much later (as expected) up here than down in the valley. The average daily temperature is still in the high 80’s to mid 90’s with evening temps averaging in the low 60’s and a few …

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Picking Blackberries

Well its mid-August and we finally have a steady supply of ripe delicious blackberries. We have cut back and ripped out a large quantity of the berry bushes during our clean-up efforts.

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Deep Bed Gardening / Double Digging

As it sounds, this method involves a deeply dug garden bed. The preparation is more labor intensive but the yields much greater…up to 4 times that of a conventional bed.  Deep bed gardening aka the Chinese method or the French intensive method  has been around for hundreds of years used …

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Self-Watering Container Gardening

I recently came across Incredible Vegetables from Self- Watering Containers by Edward C. Smith. This book goes into detail why self watering container gardening has been more successful (for the author) in many cases than traditional in ground gardens.

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Water Efficient / Saving Toilets & More

Being on a well is just another reason to be water smart and not use more water than you actually need. Some people with a well have to be careful they don’t dry their well out by using to much water in a short period of time while others may …

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How our well & plumbing is setup

When we were looking at the house the power was off and the pipes were dry so we weren’t exactly sure what we were getting into until the inspection.  As it turned out we had a few copper pipe leaks under the house, and the well pressure tank needed to …

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Clay Garden Soil

Clay garden soil is composed of 0-45% sand and silt and 50-100% clay. Clay soil has low permeability and high water retention. Clay soil will absorb less than .25″ of water in an hour and does not drain well, often times resulting in water logging.

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Broccoli Aphids

What strange creatures. I wasn’t sure what  I was looking at the first time I saw these guys on my broccoli leaves. They were so densely packed they looked like some sort of dusty mold growth with virtually no color. Gray/white patches that seemed to prefer the curled parts of …

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Loamy Garden Soil

Loamy garden soil is composed of 25-50% sand, 30-50% silt, and 10-30% clay. This is considered the ideal soil because it drains well, holds moisture and is full of nutrients. 

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Sandy Garden Soil

Sandy soil is composed of 80-100% sand and less than 10% each of silt and clay. Sandy soil is highly permeable and a poor water retainer. While it can absorb upwards or 2″ of water an hour, it tends to drain through quickly which can leave plants thirsty.

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Garden Soil Structure

Finding out what kind of soil you have naturally in your garden will allow you to improve your soil with composts, insects etc. to reach the ideal growing conditions. There are a number of soil types. The most common are:

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