Tag Archives: Apple

Good by Snow Moon

Somehow we came to the end of February and the chores are all checked off of my list.

  • Soil Blocks made. I can see broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage sprouting
  • Winter Sowing didn’t get to those, but we did plant artichokes, and parsleys.
  • Fava Beans were the last to go in , but they are in!
  • Potatoes were beyond Chitted, we found our seed potatoes had sprouted.
  • Onions had a hair cut
  • Fruit trees pruned

Just made it! I had to put our yellow potatoes into dirt. There is a huge pot of yellow potatoes in the green house and a tub of potatoes growing just off of the deck. As I write this they are being snowed on. Last hurrah for the Snow Moon.

2february-23-2017-1 Late start on the greenhouse salad because of rat wars. YUCK They are not gone yet, but they seem to be out of the greenhouse. Thanks Ray! If I look closely I can see mixed Asian greens from Botanical Interests. Grab a pack if you ever come across them. They make a lovely spring mix. We like them while they are still tiny. I also see French Breakfast Radish from seed I saved a couple of seasons ago. Still waiting for winter Spinach and Scallions.

2february-23-2017-5 Artichokes and parsley are doing a nice job, Onions have had a hair cut, even the Tarragon has been divided and repotted. I was worried about my Tarragon. I’ve had this plant for as long as we have lived in Everett. If I had to buy a new start it would not be the end of the world. I guess it is a matter of pride that I’ve kept it alive and fresh all this time. Wa-hoo Creation!

2february-232017-3 Outside, under our kitty kover, the garlic and shallots are doing great! Every time I flip the lid off for the day the scent of the herbs inspires me to make soup. Yes, I see weeds, but they are not ALL weeds It looks like the chamomile is already coming back. I think it liked wintering under the kitty kover.

2february-232017-1It was late when I pressed the last Fava Bean into the chilly loam, but I promise the day was clear and bright when Ray and I went out to putz in the garden. Ray pruned our trees. There is a video but I have not tackled that yet. The new plum is covered with buds. On the espaliered apple tree I think he might have removed as much wood as he left. We still need to tackle the the different cane and vine berries, they are waiting for us. I planted my Fava beans near by that day. Now and then he wanted my opinion on what did I think about what he is cutting. Isn’t he awesome! Look at the beautiful soil under the chips. Sadly, the rows look a little red neck (I r redneck). There are not many open spaces for the dogs to run in the garden. The mini fences and blue bailing twine is to discourage the dogs from running through the new bed of beans.

2february-25-2017-1 Just a hint of whats happening in March, under the Worm Moon. Why Worm Moon? It is going to start warming up enough to make happy worms!

  • Choose your tomato seed
  • Get a bed ready for peas
  • Choose pepper seed
  • Get ready to plant onions
  • Are your early potatoes ready?

Now, Whose going to teach me about Dahlias?


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Filed under Back to Eden Garden, In the greenhouse, Urban Farm

Why is it called the Snow Moon?


Grandpa’s old wind mill needed paint last year. Ray had a little fun.

After a two year absence, urban snow has a measure of charm. Since there is nothing else to do, Ray took pictures for me. I’m ready for it to go away, but it is pretty.


Front View, The Toy Box SubUrban Farm

It came late at night with blue lightening. We’ve heard of it but this was the first time we’ve seen snow lightening. OK, truth? I slept through it. Ray saw it.


Akani, Honeycrisp and Winesap… I think?

Ray turned our front yard into a garden. Doesn’t garden sound prettier then yard. Prisons have yards, homes have gardens. We put this multi-espalier apple tree in last season. The neighbors came by to tell us we shouldn’t put the wood chips right up against the tree trunk. They all gave us their different credentials. It seems to be happy the way it is.


Flower Pots and Watering Cans

I thought I got everything put away. A couple of inches of snow and suddenly it is too late for “should have”.


Wild Woman Gardening

So, good books? Now is the time to nest in your quilt, find a pretty mug and brew up some tea. As I am about to post on Tuesday night, Ray leaned over and said, there is another storm warning. More snow and freezing rain tomorrow. And THAT my gardening friends, is what we mean by, “Under the Snow Moon.


February 7, 2017 in Everett, WA

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Filed under Back to Eden Garden, Urban Farm


Generally I find a way to live with God’s creatures. Slugs eat stressed plants but my chickens happen to love both slugs and slug eggs. Ants, spiders, squirrels and mice, even snakes find places in my garden. I do not enjoy any of those creatures the way I enjoy birds but we manage to coexist. Rats are a different kind of pest. They are as smart as they are hungry. And those tails! creepy!


Bomber the Jack Russel on Patrol

It did not take long to realize that there were all kinds of wildlife, including rats, living on the unkept bluff behind our property in Everett. We stopped feeding wild birds to keep the rats away. After we got chickens, we would occasionally see rats, but usually it was because Bomber, our Jack Russel terrier had killed one and left it laying. Sadly, Bomber is getting older, and while he still loves to hunt, he is not as fast as he once was. Rudy, our Rat Terrier-Chihuahua mix, does not have the jaw strength of a Jack Russel. Bomber bites them once on the neck and they go down. Rudy bites them multiple times and  nothing happens. The rat just gets irritated. I’m pretty sure that Rudy believes that if all he can do is irritate them then he should do a really good job irritating them. He yaps loud and proud… which brings Bomber running to put them down.

Two very mild winters and an older Jack Russel has given us a plague of rats. I hear it is a problem all over western Washington. Ray cleans up the chicken yard every evening. The chicken food is removed from the pen, replaced by an identical feeder with pellets that look a lot like chicken food but are actually rat killing pellets (Ray assures me they are not poison, but something that stops up the digestive system) Rats are VERY smart. Ours will not eat peanut butter because they have seen other rats die in peanut butter baited traps. They will not eat the bait that goes in the big black traps anymore (but they will nest in those same traps), they disappear when they hear the back door open, knowing there is a good chance Ray will be out with pellet guns to shoot them. I’ve dropped the rocks left from sifting the chicken yard soil into the holes they dig. The next morning I see those same rocks thrown all over the place and the hole looking like it was never touched.

tomato-in-greenhouse I still believe in live and let live, despite the battle of the rats I have been describing. But I do not grow fruits and vegetables as a hobby. I am a subsistence farmer… an urban farmer, but still a subsistence farmer. In the summer of 2014 and again in 2015 out “farm” kept us off of food stamps. We grow what we eat and put up the excess to get through winter.

This summer, while checking our apple tree, I noticed some of my Yellow Transparents had big chunks missing. I wasn’t too upset. I tithe to nature. I plucked that apple off the tree and tossed to over the fence for the wildlife. I could not pick enough apples for a pie, every one had a bite out of it. Gurrrr! By seasons end, not a single ripe apple could be picked, they were all eaten by rats.


Ray set up his game camera in the greenhouse

In my greenhouse, my sanctuary, I’ve been watching a beautiful Brandywine start to ripen up after all the other garden tomatoes had been tossed into the compost for winter. I went in one morning and found that the ripe section of the tomato had been eaten while the green upper half lay on the ground, discarded by some creature. There were also remnants of ripe red peppers laying on the ground. A feast… but not our feast. OH! ITS ON! Traps were set, even the game camera was put up. I couldn’t believe it was a rat who ate whole tomatoes and peppers. The pictures confirmed that it is a rat. I’m sure I even caught one. The soil around the trap was disturbed (and when I say disturbed I mean there was evidence of such a struggle that I felt sorry for the rat) but the trap was empty. I did notice that what was left of the peppers had been gathered and returned to the pots they were picked from. How strange was that! They no longer eat peanut butter, not even the expensive coconut oil peanut butter I gave them (it was Jif that they quit eating before) I thought they had moved out, but the camera caught them again a few nights later. Last time I checked, the tomatoes in this post were still hanging on the vine to ripen. Today there is a truce, but I doubt the war is over.


Jenney e il Piccolo

Debs at the Toy Box subUrban Farm in Everett, Washington, waking up to a pink sky and wet feet this November 6, 2016. Did you remember to set your clock back? Me either. (thank you Mr. Gates)

Morning devotions on Rainsong. The meaning of words and how one Greek word changes the flavor of Mark 2:18. I think you will like it.

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Filed under Bible Study, Everyday Adventure, In the greenhouse, Urban Farm

Pruning my fruit trees

Ray bravely takes a snip of an Orcas pear tree on a rare sunny February day in Everett.

Clippers do not frighten me. I am not afraid to snip back berries, even the apparently scary blue berries. Roses and lilacs…. cut, cut, cut. Knowing where to snip rhododendrons and still get bloom next season, no problem. But how to trim a pear tree and have fruit in fall? I have no idea.  My trees are young, but how many years can I use that excuse? But, at the right time, Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville, Washington, had a fruit tree pruning class. The teacher was good. I am pretty sure that I still do not know what I am doing. As I watched the video, I realized that Ray and I have opposite ideas of what a tree should do after it is pruned. Ray is the tree guy so I happily bow to him.

It is probably too late now, but have you got any helpful tips for me?

The berry class mentioned at the end of the video, Bountiful Berries, will be at Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville, Washington. It is a free class but you need to register. Ten in the morning at the nursery on Saturday, February 11, 2012.

Deception Pass, February 2005

After a solid week of blue sky and banana belt temperatures the rain has returned to Everett. Weather Underground has an optimistic “mostly” cloudy and makes the rain a toss-up at 50%. The cloud cover will keep it fairly warm tonight, 42 degrees F. Hey! We are almost up to the magic 10 hours of daylight, 9 hours and 52 minutes from sunrise at 7:27 AM to sunset at 5:19 PM (we should be at ten hours on Friday!!)

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Filed under Everyday Adventure, Urban Farm, Video