Home About Tom and Tall Clover Farm

About Tom and Tall Clover Farm

Seattle Greenlake house

After years of living in some great Seattle neighborhoods, I left my teeny-tiny house in Seattle (a real-life version of the cottage I drew as a kid, complete with pointy-tip tulips of unnatural colors and spiral smoke escaping the chimney). I moved to the country, to a schedule of tides and ferries, to five acres of possibilities and a community of kind people.

Tom’s farmhouse in 1900

I found a gem of a house, just needing someone to provide the polish. (photo circa 1900)


Locally, the farmhouse is known as the Peach Palace, a moniker not so much based on the fruit in the orchard or the size of the house, as much as on the paint hue that covers its frame. (One pays a price for the savings found in another person’s paint mixing mistake.) Actually the color has grown on me, and no matter what the hue, I am smitten with my home, its history and welcoming presence.

In the orchard, my newly planted trees bend with the promise of future bounty. For now, they’re just getting settled. I grow apples, peaches, pears, persimmons, quince, berries, figs and cherries, mainly because I love to eat apples, peaches, pears, persimmons, quince, berries, figs and cherries.

Tom and the Boz

On a personal note, I’m someone who embraces the beauty of the bulldog…

a slice of homemade blackberry pie

Succumbs to the power of pie…

Boz the bulldog takes a dip in the pool

Contends that summer is never long enough…

Boz and Gracie: bulldogs in a hammock

Shares his hammock…

Boz and Gracie, snuggling bulldogs

And sofa with bossy (and weighty) interlopers,

Plays with his food (reprising my role as Cyrano de Raspbergerac)

foot in tall clover

And finds  that any time his feet are walking in tall clover, it’s a good day.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me here. [contact_form]


  1. Stumbled upon your website after googling the best way to freeze blackberries, blueberries, etc. Absolutely love your writing, sense of humor and am intrigued with your island home. I lived in a lakeside community in Upstate New York for 10 years and miss my little cottage terribly. For writers block, I have found that reading previous pieces of writing, changing my writing location and simply sitting in the beauty of nature helps me to gain new prospective and get “re-inspired”. Looking forward to returning. Thanks for the inspiration, Mary Ellen.

    • Hi Mary Ellen, Great to make your acquaintance and really appreciate your kind words and tip. Here’s to more writing and less block. Warm regards, Tom

  2. Tom, I have sought some northwest gardens dilemma delight from you and your blog in the past. While on a long stint away from my home in the Pacnorwest woods, I decided to visit your blog as a reminder of home. I have to say I was terribly saddened to see the copious advertising in front of me. I understand the importance of providing for the future, but these advertisements were so auspicious and completely out of line with what you assert yourself to be. Again, I understand, and still I find myself wondering if anything remains without a price tag these days?

  3. Hi Tom. I was looking for Antique Fire Place Andirons and saw the picture on google images. I saw your picture of your 2 bulldogs curled up together. That is how I found your site. I love it. I am going to try your Leek soup recipe this weekend. I have a bulldog too. His name is Winston and he is in his senior years now (11). We also have Annie (Saint Bernard) and Little Man (Golden Doodle). I just wanted to say I love your website and love Tall Clover Farm.

    • Thanks Ken, I sure appreciate the visit and kind words. It sounds like you have a houseful of great pals. And anyone who loves bulldogs is alright in my book; it’s a sign of keen insight and smarts, I always say. 😉

  4. Great website.
    Could I bring my students to visit your farm in the Autumn?
    We have 11 raised beds at our school and we love Apple trees.
    Thank you

    • Thanks Sharon, for bringing that to my attention. There is now a subscribe heading on the upper menu bar, next to Radio Show.
      Well wishes, Tom

  5. Finding your blog was the “way less traveled” for me. I rarely read blogs as just as you feel like you’ve come home, the blogger has left the building.. and I know this sounds terribly selfish, but I so love to read the moments of a day that are my vacation from my own. but, i digress. I love pie. .o my gosh.. no matter how the day has gone, it is .. the moment of release, that quintessential soul food.. and on FB, I belong to a group, Pie Nation, and your blog was highlighted today from a reader who adored your wee blog on Pie Crust washes..
    …. but for me.. I found myself staring at the pies like you had them framed.. such art! I paused over the descriptions: crunchy, crispy and such.. next thing you know.. I was searching for pie in the fridge. .you had me.. I had to bake. I choose the milk with sugar and a filling of Honeyberries, blueberries and strawberries. I rarely do lattice, as I adore my pie birds and wooosh. into the oven.. its hrs hence.. but I couldn’t sleep. Had to at least say, Thank you Merci~ your sunshine, flowers, grasses among the toes, the pups at rest, the fruit on your nose… thank you .. what a lovely day we had!

    • Blue, I am deeply moved by your very kind comment and delighted to make your acquaintance. Thanks for taking the time to share your generous words and thoughts, and love of pie, pups, and general farm antics. I’m an early riser, so my morning, though still dark is blessed with your light. Thank you so very much. Tom and Buddy (who’s not an early riser)

  6. Hi Tom, I just found your blog while Googling a recipe for apple berry pie for my Thanksgiving table. My granddaughter, Brooklyn has requested it for dessert. I’m can’t imagine where she got the idea; she’s only six, but her wish is my command, lol. I’m going to try your recipe (it was the custard that got me). Your life in Vashon Island sounds like a dream to me and I am compelled to reach out and tell you as much. Congratulations, you lucky man.

    • Hi Sue, I like how your granddaughter thinks and I hope the pie recipe is worthy of your holiday and family get together. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and our neighbors to the north. And thank you for the kind words. I try not to take my life, my farm, my friends and my family for granted, and yours is a good reminder of that wish. Thank you Sue!

  7. Tom, I found you on a search for Blackberry Vine removal. Your approach to their demise was exactly what I was looking for. One of my daughters has 5.5 acres in Ravensdale and every time I go there I imagine how beautiful her property would be with a beautiful grass pasture void of the nonnative blackberry vines. I will follow, (with patience) your recommended procedure to rid her property of these brambles. By the way, you seem like a guy that once we meet it is as we have known one another for a lifetime. Like, dude we are living here in the 21st century, but we feel perhaps we should have been born 80 years earlier. Your approach to all things appear to be basic, unassuming without pretense and thoughtful. John

    • Hi John, I salute your effort to tackle your daughter’s wild blackberries. You are obviously a good dad. And thanks for the really kind words. I so appreciate your generous support. Let me know how it goes. I have a new area that’s succumb to brambles after one season of looking the other way. Back at it again, and this time I won’t take my eyes off of them. Cheers! Tom

  8. Hi Tom. I have subscribed because every time that I am googling something luscious for the garden or the kitchen (Nanaimo peaches and growing tomatoes to name a few) your interesting, well written and informative site pops up. I have enjoyed all of your posts that I have read and thought that you should know. My weather is not so different from yours. I am on the island to the north and across the invisible line, on lovely Vancouver Island. Not as small and quaint as Vashon, but still a PNW island that contributes to my glad heart and my l sweet life. So your gardening tips are both relevant and welcome as is your light hearted wit.

    • Thank you so much Karen, your kind words warm my heart and fuel my love of writing this blog. Vancouver Island is a wonderful place. Like the words on the Peace Arch in Blaine read, we are “Children of a Common Mother” and that not only is between the U.S. and Canada, but around the world. Merci!


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