Archive for the 'permaculture' Category

Food Forest in a box

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

I scored an absolutely fantastic deal on a bundle of fruit trees. was advertising a special bundle through the Survival Podcast (a podcast with which I do not align politically but which is always interesting and has especially enlightening sections on homesteading and permaculture issues). Anyway, these fruit trees were all species I had […]

Sculpting the woods

Friday, April 1st, 2016

I’m finally to the point that I’ve cleared out and colonized all the land left inside the garden. I want more room, specifically more room to grow perennials, and I’ve been eyeing the little strip north of the garden – maybe 1,000 sf or so – between the top of the garden and the road. […]

Hugeling again

Monday, January 18th, 2016

I spent this last weekend preparing to make my second hugelkultur bed. Last year, after the torrential rains drowned all my plants again, I decided that having raised beds was a must. I didn’t want to go that route because of the lack of flexibility in terms of garden layout, but last year was so disappointing. The […]


Thursday, November 26th, 2015

When I first started gardening on Backfill Hill, I was in such a hurry that I didn’t give a thought to layout. I didn’t take into account Maryland’s torrential rains, or the packed rock-like soil, or the steep slope.  I should have – native to California’s hard-baked desert clay soils, I was well acquainted with washout, […]

Beyond the worksheet – trace minerals and biological soil remediation

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

In the past two blog posts I’ve gone over the methods with which to figure out not only what is needed by your soil to attain the ideal ratios between its minerals, but also how to apply that information to real life and find fertilizers you can actually buy in a store. So that’s great – […]

Remineralization worksheet download, part 2

Friday, November 20th, 2015

So now that you know exactly how much of each individual element you need to remineralize your particular square footage, it should be easy, right? Wrong. Coming up with the proper ratios of elements in natural form is just mind boggling, a labrynthine math problem that used to take me weeks to figure out. It’s […]

Spring Cheepers

Monday, June 1st, 2015

We had a sweet little surprise this weekend: Three fluffy chicks under our first broody australorp. It’s a long story – there were some problems at the beginning with her not keeping her eggs under her – she kept kicking them out by accident as she turned around, some broke and made the nest dirty… eventually […]


Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Josh used to say, “How can they be ‘volunteers’? So your plant made seeds and those seeds grew… isn’t that what plants DO?” I just laughed. Any experience with gardening will tell you that if it were that easy, there wouldn’t be colleges and libraries and $2,000 academic courses dedicated to figuring it out. That’s why […]

Another humble hugel

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

I’m probably overdoing it on the hugelkultur here. I mean, I don’t even know for sure if it really works! But since I can’t help but overdo things, I went ahead and made one of my worst, soggiest beds into a long, low heap of branches, covered with brush I cleared out from around the garden […]