It used to be that winter, to me, was just something to suffer through - something that had to be endured while the equinox and solstice came and went and the season started ramping up early in the next year.

Now, though, I have a found a new gardening-related love: composting!

I've posted pictures and information about my very healthy compost pile on this site, but I'm now also composting-in-place in my raised bed gardens and using ground cover to prevent weeds and enhance the soil, as well.

The gardens are dormant now, but as for me, I'm NEVER dormant!

While shopping at Albertsons, I found bananas on sale for .59 cents a pound. I bought four huge bunches of them. Once home, I prepared them for the dehydrator and it do its magic overnight..

Now I have four Ziploc bags full of banana chips! I am planning on using that dehydrator a lot between now and Christmas as I aim to provide healthier snacks for myself and my family.

Happy Holidays!

This is my first year to ever grow Brussels sprouts and I'm going to have a huge harvest! These were started back in April and put out into raised beds in May. Conventional wisdom is that that is a bit early, but this year it just worked out. Here, the sun came out right after a rain and I grabbed my camera to get a picture. Now I'm just going to have to stare at the picture until I can get out to start the harvest!!!

Here in the Pacific Northwest, winters aren't nearly as cold as they are in other parts of the country, but rain is constant throughout the season, making condensation a real problem inside beehives. Condensation can form beneath the top or inner cover and drip down on the winter cluster, killing bees that otherwise may have well survived the winter.

Here are three different photos of the tomatoes I have brought in on three different days recently. Many (if not most) of the tomatoes never ripened on the vine, so I brought them into the house, put them in shallow boxes, put a ripe banana in each box and covered the boxes with newspaper. It took a while, but they are turning all at once, and that's keeping me busy!

In one of the photos, you can see the (mostly) Serrano peppers that I harvested today, as well. Lots and lots of canning going on here!

My tomatoes have been very slow to turn red this season, for some reason. Not sure. There are zillions of green tomatoes out there still. But finally, I harvested enough Roma's to can. :)

This late in September, while there is a nectar dearth shaping up in the Pacific Northwest, I have put out an open feeder for my bees. It's working out really well, so I thought I would share this with you.

It's important to put your open feeder at least 50 yards from your hives. 100 yards is even better. Mine is about 90 yards away.

This year, I decided to try a different cover crop in the Crop Circle garden. In past years, I have used Territorial Seed's Polar Triticale (which I am absolutely in love with) and also their Oats cover crop (which I wasn't particularly fond of).

This year, I'm going with Territorial Seed's Berseem Clover cover crop. Stay tuned to this website between now and Spring and I'll keep you updated!

Topsy-Turvy tomato planters were the fad some years back, and you can still find them on the shelves of Rite-Aid and other retailers.

I have used them on and off over the years and will take a moment to give you a few pointers if you choose to use them.

Pros:
They are very convenient. Just start a tomato in a planter. When the tomato plant is several inches tall, transplant it to the Topsy-Turvy planter. Add potting soil, hang and water. Easy peasy.

They produce very well and grow just as fast and robust as similar tomatoes in large pots.

Easy Social