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fall garden

Cleaning Up the Fall Garden

The rains came, and now the fall garden has transformed into a muddy mess. It’s a tricky time of year in the garden. Some plants are long dead, having seen their end at the first sight of the first frost. Others are hanging on for dear life, like my roses who are managing to push […]

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Turning Over a Garden For Winter

There’s so much to do on a farm in the fall. There’s the harvesting of remaining summer crops, coaxing of younger fall crops, ripping out spent crops, composting and preparing new ground, and, if you’re lucky, taking the time to sow and transplant new things for spring. Over at my little flower farm, I’m usually […]

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Rebuilding Soil After a Fire

What a tough week it’s been in the North Bay. Following the devastating fires that have swept through large swaths of California, we’re all coming out of initial shock and moving through stages of grief and onto thoughts of rebuilding. As a gardener, in the moments I’m not mourning all the tangible things people have […]

biennial flowers

The Beauty Of Biennials

There’s something truly beautiful to me about biennials. When I really think about annual flowers, they seem too simple, too easy. I mean, think about it. You start them from seed, they grow quickly and easily into big plants, flower abundantly, and then just like that they set seed and senesce for the year. The […]

summer rose care

A Guide To Summer Rose Care

I planted about 100 roses this past winter. It took months and months, through storms and heat, and hungry deer (and the tedious erecting of a deer fence), but this summer they finally took off and have just finished their second burst of blooms. As we all know, roses are needy beasts. Everyone under the […]

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It’s Time To Plant A Hedgerow

When extolling the virtues of organic farming and gardening, I always feel that it’s important to focus on the positive impacts we’re able to have on our soil and environment, rather than just reciting a list of the things we don’t do. Sure, we don’t use harsh pesticides and other chemicals, we tend not to […]

Zinias from B-Side Farms

The Best Flowers To Grow This Summer

Late June in California is a funny time for summer flowers. The early spring-blooming bulbs like ranunculus and anemones are long gone, the peonies have just passed, and many of the heat-loving summer annuals are still small plants in the ground, far from flowering. Without careful planning and manipulating their season a bit, it’s a […]

Growing Melons

All About Melons

I’ll forever remember the first time I tasted a melon from California. I was visiting a big organic farm in a hot valley somewhere near Santa Cruz, and I almost declined the offer to try a slice (melons had never been my favorite). But it was hot out, so I obliged, and with one bite […]