The last bites of summer


I already miss warm summer evenings, call me crazy. But time is ticking away for my tomato plants as the evenings get chilly and the nights become perfect for bonfires and terrible for cold intolerant plants.

I pruned back the tomato plants that survived the summer around September, and now we have pounds and pounds of green tomatoes hanging heavily from lanky branches. I keep waiting to see the first signs of ripeness. No luck yet. At worst, we hit a cold snap and these precious heirlooms will turn into fried green tomatoes and roasted green tomatoes with feta.

What I really long for are ripe tomatoes, the last bites of summer.  Continue reading

Upcoming event: Self-Watering Container Gardening Class

Toy pak choy and a chinnese cabbage that snuck in

Toy pak choy and a chinnese cabbage that snuck in

When: October 24th
Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: Caraway Urban Farm


Container gardening makes growing your own food accessible even for those with difficult or limited spaces. Come join me at our suburban farm home for a FREE class to learn how to create your own self-watering container for gardening.

You can use all kinds of containers, but for the class we will upcycle some black plastic tubs that mineral lick for cattle comes in.

If you’re interested in taking home a self-watering container made from these tubs at the end of the class, please let me know. We will assemble one together during the hands-on class, but I have materials to make a few more in advance for anyone interested in purchasing a self-watering container for $25 — the proceeds will go back into our suburban farm and help make it possible for me to continue offering gardening and homesteading classes where knowledge is free.

For more info, check out the Facebook event here or register below on Eventbrite.

Continue reading

2-step Habanero Vinegar

Austin harvested quite a few habaneros this weekend from our garden, and I made spicy vinegar with them — a super simple way to store them for future culinary use. 

The other method I like to use to preserve them is dehydration, but making chili powder takes more time. 

If I had any fruit, I would have opted for a habanero jam. Alas, we did not. That idea will have to wait until peaches or blackberries are in season again. 

The vinegar is best after a couple of weeks, and we just use plain white vinegar. I refill it with vinegar when the level gets low and peppers are exposed to air. I try to avoid that air exposure so that the nasty microorganisms don’t spoil the food. It is highly acidic, so no need for sterilizing the jar more than a good clean and no need to refrigerate. 

Here are some ways we use spicy vinegar in our house:

  • Serve it as a condiment for fried fish or fried veggies, eggs or tacos. 
  • Use it to make a vinegarette. 
  • Add a little fish sauce and lime juice for a delicious Thai hot sauce to use with Asian inspired dishes 

You could also probably use it to make a delicious meat marinade. I just haven’t tried that one yet. 


  The thumping life rhythm in my chest stretches arms out, limbs curling toward the sun like the tendril of a green bean recently emerged from the soil. 

A cotyledon’s tender true leaves come unhinged and two stronger leaves unfurl.  

The tendrils grow and grasp until a trellis is found — oh miraculous mound of earth that placed me so close to a chainlink ladder. I’m lucky. I’m upward bound, no eyes to look down. 

Somewhere near me human eyes blink. And during that space between observation and appreciation, my leaves crash up, ever up, toward the rainbow hiding in every blue sky. 

Soon blossoms will grace the crooks of my arms — from which I will nourish the tender pods created like all living things create beauty. Simply. Living fully. 

I am thankful for rich, dark soil. 

And sunshine.