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Author: brad

Books: “The Tulip” By Anna Pavord

Books: “The Tulip” By Anna Pavord

“I suppose there must be one or two people in the world who choose to not like tulips, but such an aberration is scarcely credible.” – Anna Pavord The Tulip: The Story of a Flower that has Made Men Mad – By Anna Pavord, 1999. The allure of the tulip is well known. One of the earliest and the most impressive of the Spring bulbs, tulips have been planted the world over in home gardens, palaces, and magnificent public parks. Tulips are beloved…

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Some Recent Before and After Pics

Some Recent Before and After Pics

I have actually remembered to take some pictures of work that I have done. I think what appeals to me so much about decorative gardens as work is the feeling of creating order out of chaos. Which is why my favorite place to work is in well designed, but majorly overgrown gardens. Unfortunately I am not the best photographer, and am bad at remembering to stand in the exact same place. It’s not entirely my fault, the sun makes it…

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The End of Fall Work and Into the Winter

The End of Fall Work and Into the Winter

I have been remiss in making blog posts as I try to finish Fall work and prepare for Winter. The Palouse region has four-season weather, but as anyone who has lived here knows, those season lengths are not consistent. Around a month after it really came into being Fall, the weather is wintery already. We’ve already had a morning snow storm, and a few days of snow sticking around. There was a period of consistently freezing nights, though we’ve in…

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Compost Pile: Awakening the Behemoth

Compost Pile: Awakening the Behemoth

As I’ve said before, it has been quite the wait for finished compost, especially in the quantities I desire. My gardens have been compost deprived for some time. This has been especially difficult as I’ve needed organic matter for my hugelkultur beds before it could break down. But I am determined to finally solve this problem- with an even more enormous compost pile. Since I work as a gardener I collect a high volume of organic matter over the course of…

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Books: Robbing the Bees

Books: Robbing the Bees

“Ace handed me a plastic bear full of his most recent harvest, and when I tilted it to my mouth, head back, eyes closed, I really experienced honey for the first time, standing next to its creators. In that glistening dollop, I could taste the sun and the water in his pond, the metallic minerals of his soil, and the tang of the goldenrod and wildflowers blooming around his meadow. The present golden-green moment was sweetly and perfectly distilled in…

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Pressing Apple Cider with my Neighbor

Pressing Apple Cider with my Neighbor

Background My next door neighbor, from a family that values the traditional self-sufficiency skills, is an avid maker and consumer of apple cider. Every year he is out with friends in the fall making gallon after gallon of delicious fresh cider. For the most part, he stores it in a dedicated freezer, having developed the habit of drinking cider regularly throughout the year. I, on the other hand, have realized that I rarely think to drink fresh cider if it…

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Beekeeping: Combining my Hives

Beekeeping: Combining my Hives

I have been remiss in discussing what has gone on with my hives in my first year of beekeeping. There are pictures on the beekeeping page, but I have failed thus far to write a good description of the story. Long story short: my bees swarmed in early July. This is not normal behavior for bees in the first season when they are still filling out a hive. As near as I can tell, they overbuilt due to rapid weather…

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The season is changing, Fall is here

The season is changing, Fall is here

There was a hard frost overnight. It’s the second one, but it seems like a killer- though some of my sensitive plants weathered it surprisingly well. It’s always bittersweet, watching it go from summer to fall. It’s particularly difficult to know how to think about fall this year. It was a brutal, long, energy sucking winter last year. It was late to get anything in the ground. I don’t think anyone is ready for winter to come. And as I…

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Books: Farming for Self-Sufficiency

Books: Farming for Self-Sufficiency

“Now, the sort of self-sufficiency which I wish to treat in this book is not the old, pre-industrial self-sufficiency: that of the illiterate peasant or hunter who has never heard of anything else. That kind of self-sufficiency is, for better or worse, on the way out. What I am interested in is the post-industrial self-sufficiency: that of the person who has gone through the big-city-industrial way of life and who has advanced beyond it and wants to go on to something…

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