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Fall Compost

Using Compost in the Fall

Happy September, gardeners! It’s hard to think about fall gardening right now with all this heat rolling into town. That’s always the challenge of September. It seems there are so many varied tasks for the garden, some that cling more to summer work and others that are pulling you towards fall. For me, this means […]

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 […]


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 […]


Why You Should Build a Berm

Why You Should Build a Raised Berm For Woody Shrubs Most farmers start their operations on short-term land leases. I’m no exception, and for the first few years of B-Side Farm I grew mostly annual flowers because I wasn’t sure how long I could farm at each location. Annual flower (and vegetable) seeds tend to be […]


Compost Awareness Week 2017

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I celebrated compost week this year by having ten yards of rich, dense compost delivered to my farm. I apply it throughout the season with a particularly big push in the spring. What about the rest of you, how and when do you use compost throughout […]

wet garden

What To Do In The Garden In A Wet Spring

Farmers and gardeners alike are throwing their wet hands up in the air this spring as it keeps raining and raining. We’ve all got so many transplants just waiting to get into the ground, so many projects put on hold, and so much store-bought produce and flowers at home when we really want to be […]