Chronicles of a New Garden: a timeless tool

by FrancescaFuoriBorgoMy single greatest gardening discovery is the sickle, which in fact folks around here have used since prehistoric times. I bought my sickle about 10 years ago, after noticing that all the village women carried one when they headed out to their fields and gardens. My elderly neighbor taught me how to use it and keep it sharp, and it's been my faithful gardening companion


Terra Farma just brought in a stack of books to kick start our future lending library! They are also looking for a farm worker as the neat farmer they hired on had to head home for a family emergency. They have hens, vegetables and dairy goats in Corbett, just 20 miles east of Portland.Master Gardener Pam Garten, who writes the garden column for Growing Gardens, has offered to help us set up

Consider Kefir

by Sadge, at Firesign FarmI like yogurt. I use it in smoothies, atop fruit and granola with honey, and interchangeably with buttermilk in baking and some recipes. I know how to make it at home, but it's such a fussy process I never do. Keeping it at a constant warm temperature in a house heated with a wood stove (when I light a fire at all) is difficult. Then, you're supposed to start with fresh

Comfrey: Wonder Plant

by KateLiving The Frugal LifeI'm posting one from the archives of my own blog today, in anticipation of planting season in the northern hemisphere. If herbs or perennial plants are on your mind for this year's garden, this one's for you.Image originally posted by ButtersweetI rarely cheerlead for products or services, and I don't think I've ever promoted a particular plant before. But today I'm

Do You Love What You Do?

by Melinda Briana Epler, One Green GenerationThis weekend I spent a lovely evening with my grandfather and his wife celebrating their 99th birthdays. I shared a bit about it at One Green Generation, and many people wanted to know his secret.When my grandfather was in the hospital 2 years ago - for the first time ever! - he was asked that very question:A nurse came in to see my grandfather just

Moon Shark

has landed. He is a boer goat, born last spring and rejected by his mother. The farmers bottle-fed him and worked on giving him special care. He'll be 1 year old this spring and the herd became too aggressive for him. They brought him here so he can get lots of love, visits and hikes. Some of you might remember hearing about Muddles... this is him, now Moon Shark. Nellie and Sebastian have

Make it From Scratch

by Chiots RunHere are Chiot's Run we don't buy much manufactured food. Our pantry is filled with dry goods, home canned items, and spices. We make our own pasta, butter, cheese, bread, granola bars, salad dressings and try to stay away from food that contain long ingredient lists, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and any weird unpronounceable ingredients.We occasionally buy

Not just for wreaths

by Throwback at Trapper CreekMaybe you just read Sadge's recent post on grape vine pruning or are coveting a neighbors grapes, or that grapevine you see on your walk in an old vacant orchard gives you a sly look every time you pass by. This is the time of year to take cuttings for rooting, and bring that special grape to your small fruit orchard.I know grapevines are abundant in catalogs and

Menu Planning with Leftovers ($70 a week menu plan with ethical meats)

byEilleen (Consumption Rebellion) Pizza ingredients. Photo by J ColmanHello everyone!Well, its been awhile since I posted here at the co-op. A combination of things really - time, net problems and conflicting priorites. I have been reading here though! And its good to finally be back contributing to this blog again.I've been noticing many of the food related articles here lately. I


Fruit tree sale today! Benefiting Grow Portland which is a non-profit + fruit tree workshops at 12:30 and 2:30pmMore chicks landed: White Rocks, Ameraucanas, New Hampshire Reds, Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons and Gold-Laced Wyandottes

Recipe - Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers with Orange Ginger Dipping Sauce

Posted by Thomas from A Growing Tradition BlogIf I were to write a cookbook one of these days, this would probably be one of the first recipes to make it into the manuscript. I have to admit that I am very proud of this one. I have been making these pork and shrimp potstickers for many years, but only recently decided to jot down proper measurements. Hopefully, some of you will decide to

new arrivals

Update - new batch of peepers are in: Gold-Laced Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps... more books landed yesterday and a new goat is here....


Posted by BelFrom Spiral GardenIt's summer, and one of my favourite things to grow here in summer is the Rosella, or Malvacea – Hibiscus sabdariffa.The rosella is an attractive bush with dark green sparse foliage and beige to yellow flowers with a scarlet throat. The woody stems of the bushes are scarlet also. It is native to West Africa and prefers a warm climate.Plant the seeds around March

The Green Life With A Reading Addiction

By Notes From The Frugal TrenchesWhen I first became more environmentally conscious and decided to make major changes in my spending, both by spending less and by committing to spending on quality local, fairtrade etc, it occurred to me the one worry I had was my addiction to books - the last time I looked there were no fairtrade books available yet! For a few weeks I worried and fretted and then

Cognitive Dissonance

by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin.

Back in September last year, I wrote a post about this subject.  It around this time in my journey that I felt a little burnt out from all the environmental and sustainable living activities I had been undertaking and were continuing to volunteer for.  I had been doing all of this work in the community, with little outcome to visibly show for it and was

Chronicles of a new garden: the beginning

by FrancescaFuoriBorgoThis year I have to start a brand new garden. I had a hard time wrapping my head around this fact, but it's necessary: last year all but a few of our crops were devoured or stomped on by deer, which were introduced in the area some years back, and have reproduced at an astonishing rate (I posted about this here, and here). Previously, the only four-legged threat to gardens

Changes that Shape our Future

by Lynn at Viggies VeggiesI spent a long time being the sort who put in my time at work, came home to an easily prepared or packaged meal, and flopped down in front of the TV for the evening. Needless to say urban homesteading has been a wee bit of a lifestyle change for me. Although I made the decision to be more self-sufficient in fall, the changes that I needed to do in my life started a

The Well-Mannered Grapevine

by Sadge, at Firesign FarmA grapevine can be a wonderful addition to your permanent landscaping, and to your food supply. But this is not a relationship to be entered into lightly. Grapevines are remarkably long-lived. A deep taproot both protects the plant through a wide range of weather conditions but also means moving an established plant is not advised. Research what varieties do well in your

Baby Chicks, Organic Blueberries, Seeds

Ameraucanas, Barred Rocks, Black Australorps & Golden SexlinksDelivered by the breeder on Friday morning and have been going to many happy homes - we look forward to your photos and stories about the little peepers!We also have Heritage Baby Turkey Poults - 'Beltsville Small Whites' with wild turkey mixed in, they are cute and mellow, from breeder Brian Decker in WA.Updates on these things in

Valentine's Day on the Cheap

by KateLiving the Frugal LifeIf you regularly read frugality blogs you'll find plenty of good suggestions on economical ways to enjoy a romantic day with your sweetie. Whatever you do, don't plan on dining out on V-day itself. It's one of the busiest restaurant days of the year, and you're pretty much assured a limited menu, prepared in haste, and served by overworked waiters in a room that has

How Do You Get Your Friends To Care?

by Melinda, One Green GenerationRecently I received an email from Nicole with a very interesting question:How do you come to terms with the fact that so many people in the world don't seem to want to become educated about how their actions affect their world? For example, I am learning a lot about our food system lately and I really want my friends to become educated about it, too. I feel like if

Dried Heirloom Beans

by Chiots RunI really like dried beans of all shapes and sizes. They are a great alternative to meat-centered meals, if you're trying to consume less meat. Not only are they inexpensive, they make healthy hearty warming soups in the winter and wonderful salads in the summer. I usually purchase my beans in bulk at the local health food store, but when I can find them locally I buy them up.

Plastic in my food :(

by Throwback at Trapper CreekWe all love our modern conveniences, and plastic is one of them. But our world is also getting more toxic for us, because of our modern way of life. Most of us have been affected by cancer, if not personally, probably a loved one, or dear friend has battled the disease. My brother died of cancer 20 years ago, this past December. His long illness, made me rethink

Survival Seeds

A couple of weeks ago, Hometown Seeds offered to send me a "Survival Seeds" kit, which contains 16 varieties of open-pollinated vegetables. My initial reaction to this was - "Do I really need more seeds this year?" But as I read and thought more about it, I began to realize that unlike the other seeds I've purchased and intend to grow this year, this kit serves a different purpose.I am a 32

Growing Community

Posted by BelFrom Spiral GardenAlternatives to a globalised food system include diverse methods of growing food suitable for those without a garden at home, or in addition to the home garden. Three which stand out as successful models in producing and distributing food are school gardens, community gardens and community-supported agriculture.School gardens are increasing in popularity. The

Making A 5 Year Plan

By Notes From The Frugal TrenchesI began making 5 year plans in my late teen years and have continued ever since. I've learned, through trial and error, not to make my plans and goals too specific and to focus on being on a journey. Five year plans work well for me because they fight my tendency to want everything here and now! They also allow me to work backwards with my planning, which helps

Veggie treats from a local caterer... yum!

InFARMation - Feb 9thOSU Small Farms - Feb 27thPortland Monthly - The Chicks Are Coming!Updates on Chicks, Seeds, Plants and Workshops soon...'Naomi's Mineral Mix' new label & batch coming! in 5, 25 and 50lb sizes(the old window 'red' greenhouse it was first made in is here from our old alley garden and needs re-assembled...roof is currently porching over the hens and goats)

Nine Meals From Anarchy?

by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin.

Back in the year 2000, a fuel protest bought London, the capital of the United Kingdom, to within three days of running out of food.  The then Blair government commissioned Lord Cameron of the Countryside Agency to investigate, who came back with a chilling report: "The nation is just nine meals from anarchy."
Lets just think about that for a few minutes.