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Gardens

The Tree of Life

Our neighborhood park has a wooded stand of towering Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar trees.  Long ago, my children abandoned the formal play structure for racing bikes down the walking paths and playing fort within the forest of trees.  The cedar tree in particular provides a leafy canopy, protecting and hiding its inhabitants, and…

The Scent of Fall

The house is filled with the scent of burbling beef stew (my personal favorite is Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon) and roasting squash.   Outside, the day is crisp and cold and our breath hangs in the air for just a minute before wisping away.  The freshness of the morning gives way to the musk of…

Patience

They tell me that with patience comes rewards.  Be they to your spirit, your treasure or your community.  Or to your garden.  However, I don’t tend to be the patient sort.  When I work I want to see progress made.  If it’s not immediate then I would like it to be at least incremental.  At the…

A Ray of Sunshine

My daughter got in the car the other day and announced, “It smells like summer.”  The day had been one of those extraordinary early spring days where everything is warm and feels of promise.  The car had that earthy warm smell that comes from sitting in the sun after transporting two active children.  Perhaps it…

Winter Blooms

Those of us from the Pacific NW seem to be obsessed with our weather.  Furthermore, we are a fickle bunch.  Perhaps it is similar where you live?  Last year, after an unusually wet summer, we spent much of our winter complaining about the incessant grey drizzle.  This year it was different.  A playground chat actually…

I Love Blueberries!

As I have said before, each summer I look forward to loading up our baskets and heading to a nearby farm to do a bit of berry picking.  My son will eat them as fast as he can pick them off the bush.  My daughter, on the other hand, has never liked any sort of berry and so…

Picking and Preserving the Harvest

My kids and I have very different styles when it comes to berry picking.  My daughter is efficient and thorough, from her sitting position.  I try to pick as fast as possible, knowing that time out in the berry field with my children is limited.  And my son puts each and every berry he pulls from the vine…

The Forests and Wetlands are Healing

A couple weeks ago, I had a health scare. It is nothing that cannot be fixed. It has, however, reminded me that I am getting older and I need to take better care of myself. Too often, it is too easy to say that work needs me or kids need me or my garden needs…

It was a Feast

Last week our farmer’s market was overflowing with strawberries.  Quite literally overflowing.  And yes, like the rest of the produce in the Pacific NW, the abundance was a couple weeks late.  But that’s ok… it only delayed, it did not dampen my enjoyment.     The strawberries in my yard are only mildly productive and…

The Summer my Father was Ten

Things are moving along at a gentle hum.  The summer herbs and vegetables have been planted.  The spring vegetables are providing us with lots of tasty treats for the dinner table.  My job right now is to weed and water and make sure my little plants are happy.  I feel like I can take a…