Low Maintenance, Highly Productive, Annual, Summer Vegetables.

The things I grow in summer are things that I don’t have to baby. Today our “feel like” temperature was 103 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m not interested in doing manual labor in that sort of heat (Although, I did. I was out in that heat for about an hour and a half yesterday weeding and pulling…

Be The Bee! How And When Hand Pollinating Makes Sense.

We had a nice long winter, down here in Texas, that had enough chill hours for my fruit trees. Unfortunately, our bee population in the spring is pretty sparse. I had some hardships that made it impossible to get out and pollinate my pear tree. After I watched all of the small fruit abort I…

How I Restored My Antique Iron: Two Methods

Both of my grandmother’s had cast iron collections. These were things they either purchased in Kansas or are my family’s heirlooms. My family on a road trip to Washington DC. My granny on my mom’s side married a jerk, (to say it mildly) after my grandpa died. He made her get rid of her antiques,…

Reaping The Rewards Of Spring Planning

This month is heavy on the picking and light on the work. Why? Because I worked hard in the spring to create this exact scenario. Water-wise, deep beds have yielded incredible amounts of produce. See how we built them here: Hugelkultur, Keyhole Gardens: Bridging Ideas and here: Mother’s Day Raised Hugelkultur Bed! Instructions for creating…

Mother’s Day Raised Hugelkultur Bed!

This is a great time of year to plan and build raised beds. This is how I built my raised beds and I have given them no supplemental watering in the last two years of San Antonio heat. I’ve had bumper crops with almost no input outside of planting and occasional weeding! This has been…

Ants, Aphids, Honeydew And Sooty Mold

Sooty mold is usually what tips gardeners off that there’s an aphid issue. The mold is black, ugly and can slow down growth by blocking light to the leaves of plants. In general the mold itself is not a huge problem, but it’s definitely an indication that you have a problem with two intertwined insect…

Planting In A Raised Bed: Getting Around Hardening Off

I live in Texas. Things get hot fast and our springs are usually very hot, windy and dry. Putting out transplants is tough. If you are using grow lights and have sprouted your seed indoors (or if you bought from a nursery that grew inside a greenhouse): your plants are not going to like immediate…

Painting Pavers To Look Like Books

I got a call the other day from a neighbor. “I have seven bricks, do you want them?” “Yes! Yes, I do!” I have plans for bricks, and free ones are the best kind! These plans were sparked by regularly spending hours on Pinterest (Can’t sleep? It’s Pinterest time!) and randomly remembering a few pins…

Are You Interested In Growing Elderberries?

Elderberry syrup (also called sambucus) is a fantastic home remedy for colds! The syrup is really tasty (if it’s done right) but it’s very expensive. The brand we have at the moment. We have a middle schooler and an elementary school student in our home. They both had their tonsils out last year because we…

Best Damn Rainbow Fruit Skewers And Dip Out There!

This Easter we went to our family’s low country shrimp boil in San Antonio. I love the food every year! This year though, was a bit different. I discovered last year that I can’t eat wheat. I’ve developed an allergy to it, and it’s pretty serious. I’m not gluten intolerant, either. I can eat other…

An Update On My Pear Tree Iron Implants

Last year our summer was baking hot: 100+ degrees for months and no rain. It was hard on my trees, especially my pear tree. My pear gets iron chlorosis (many fruit trees do) and also I had calcium deficiency in the fruit, causing corkey spots. For both of these to develop you need high ph…

Conquering Seed Packet Clutter

I have a confession: I am a messy gardener. I have been gardening for decades and I have been collecting seeds all along my journey. I have attempted to organize before. But invariably, half way through the season my carefully cataloged seed packets are a big honking mess. I have tried different ways to organize…

Decadent Herbal Cold Remedy: Turmeric Milk

Update: It’s now 6 years after I wrote this article and every part I’ve included in this post are things I’m still using! It works! I’m sick. This has been a bad year for colds in our home. My youngest boy started school and he loves to germ up while he’s there and then come…

Beginning Gardening Classes

This is why I started this blog in 2013. I repost these classes yearly and they really are: everything you need to know when you are starting out in gardening. I would say if you have under 10 years of gardening experience: this will be the best tutorial you can find on the subject. If…

Decadent Herbal Cold Remedy: Turmeric Milk

Update: It’s now 6 years after I wrote this article and every part I’ve included in this post are things I’m still using! It works! I’m sick. This has been a bad year for colds in our home. My youngest boy started school and he loves to germ up while he’s there and then come…

Treating Iron Chlorosis In Pears and Other Fruit Trees

I live in Texas. On top of our heat and drought, I have high pH soil. In fact our ground is so basic, that our tap water will kill acid loving plants, just by watering with it. High pH soils make certain nutrients hard to take up by your plants. For me I’m almost constantly…

Biscamp Pear

I’m going to share my pear journey with the hard to find, but ridiculously tasty Biscamp pear. There’s not much information out there and even 6 years, post purchase, the company I bought it from still has very little information and nothing new added to their website. I bought my Biscamp pear from justfruitsandexotics.com I…

Best Damn Rainbow Fruit Skewers And Dip Out There!

This Easter we went to our family’s low country shrimp boil in San Antonio. I love the food every year! This year though, was a bit different. I discovered last year that I can’t eat wheat. I’ve developed an allergy to it, and it’s pretty serious. I’m not gluten intolerant, either. I can eat other…

Be The Bee! How And When Hand Pollinating Makes Sense.

We had a nice long winter, down here in Texas, that had enough chill hours for my fruit trees. Unfortunately, our bee population this early in the spring is pretty sparse. I had some hardships that made it impossible to get out and pollinate my pear tree. After I watched all of the small fruit…