How-To

How to Make a Tomato Trellis: A Cagey Alternative

How to Make a Tomato Trellis: A Cagey Alternative

Tomatoes need our support.  (You trying maintaining vertical with 10 pounds of green, red orbs hanging off your branches. ) Some people cage them in, others rely on the stake. As for me, I’m a fan of trellising. I create a vertical plane that the […]

Daffodils: How to Encourage Next Year’s Blooms

Daffodils: How to Encourage Next Year’s Blooms

In late winter, drifts of daffodils punctuate my property like streams of sunshine. They are a welcomed sight and a needed reminder that better weather is on the way (which is a good thing since that’s about the time I start to resemble Jack Nicholson in The Shining). As flower […]

How Not to Make Ketchup

How Not to Make Ketchup

I fancy myself as someone who is pretty handy in the kitchen, a man able to smoke a brisket, assemble a tart, craft a Cassoulet or conjure up some ice cream. But one day, one sad summer day, I entered the kitchen overly confident that […]

How to Know When a Fig Is Ripe and Ready to Pick

How to Know When a Fig Is Ripe and Ready to Pick

Knowing when a fig is ripe There’s nothing like a fresh ripe fig and there’s nothing like a fresh unripe fig.  Ripe delivers a juicy, succulent and melting gem to fawn over. Unripe tastes like a wasted opportunity: dry, starchy and flavorless.  It’s good to know the […]

Baked Beans, Bamboo & Bees: Recipe for a Mason Orchard Bee Home

Baked Beans, Bamboo & Bees: Recipe for a Mason Orchard Bee Home

One can, a bunch of bamboo and one home for your mason orchard bees How to Build a Mason Orchard Bee Nest, House I discovered the benefits of Mason Orchard Bees years ago when I stumbled upon Brian Griffin of Knox Cellars at the Washington […]

Build a Wattle for Your Pole Beans

Build a Wattle for Your Pole Beans

Our friend Jack and his structurally-sound beanstalk are the things of which fairy tales are made. In my garden, a goldfinch can bring down a pole bean just by considering it as a pleasant and potential perch. Like everyone, poles beans need all the support they can get. Here’s how […]

How to Build a Better Berry Basket (or Bucket)

How to Build a Better Berry Basket (or Bucket)

A bountiful morning when you have the right tools. Berry (and cherry) picking is serious business; you pick, eat a few, then try to get them in the bucket or basket without spilling your handful from a high altitude. And then there’s the bending down to fill the bucket part. […]

The Best Way to Ripen Peaches

The Best Way to Ripen Peaches

A Ripe Peach Is Worth the Wait I love peaches too much to eat them as the rock hard flavorless orbs we’ve come to expect from the local grocer.  It’s worth every penny to buy from local growers or grow peaches yourself as it seems impossible to ship […]

How to Plant a Bareroot Fruit Tree

How to Plant a Bareroot Fruit Tree

   My Avalon Pride peach tree takes root and sprouts some shoots one year after planting. I wanted to add some peach trees to my orchard and thanks to One Green World nursery and UPS, three peach leaf curl resistant varieties showed up on my doorstep […]

He’s a Smooth Pollinator — When Peach Trees Need a Helping Hand

He’s a Smooth Pollinator — When Peach Trees Need a Helping Hand

  Let me just say peach trees are worth the effort, and in the Pacific Northwest that’s some effort. Our rainy cool climate tricks the peach into blooming early–early enough that no bee worth his knees is going to be foraging for pollen or nectar. Even the […]