A Family Builds a Homestead in the Rain

Posts tagged Winter

Pruning Time

Pruning Time

The next time we haul a load up to the property and get any work time in, it will be spring, so this trip was my last opportunity to prune the trees and vines before they begin to bud out. The property has endured many years of neglect, and opportunistic ivy and blackberry brambles have consumed most […]

The Garden: Winter Surprises

The Garden: Winter Surprises

A rather magical part of our new home is that it was clearly once a well kept, well loved place with nurtured gardens. The overgrown brambles and fallen trees add some to the mystique as spring bulbs nod through. Grape hyacinth lines a path along the creek, and new clusters of its thin leaves promise more […]

Waning Winter

Waning Winter

The first of the buds opened in January. Like a kaleidoscope of butterflies clinging to the silvery bare branch of the almond and plum trees, the blossoms arrived as a harbinger of the imminent spring. It’s been warm here– unseasonably warm. Alarmingly warm. But at times, in the evenings while my husband throws the ball […]

Roasted Wild Mustard Buds

Roasted Wild Mustard Buds

As the hillsides flare yellow with mustard flowers, we enjoy the delicious wild bounty of the season in numerous dishes. We saute the leaves with onions and dock. We eat the blossoms fresh and enjoy salad after salad of nutrient-rich wild greens. Most delicious of all, though, we roast the flower heads with olive oil, salt, and pepper. […]

My Dad’s Dog

My Dad’s Dog

Rain Means Puddles (And Happy Toddlers and Waddlers)

Rain Means Puddles (And Happy Toddlers and Waddlers)

In nearly four years, we’ve had few enough real rainy days that I can count them on my ten fingers. The drought has been aggressive and draining. But when it does rain here, the episodes are torrential. The clouds grow dark as they turn and flex. Then they open up abruptly and dump cascades onto the […]

Gathering Nettles With Help

Gathering Nettles With Help

Our crop of stinging nettles has grown exponentially over the past few years, and we covet the bounty. We picked a pound or so today for a batch of nettle wine (recipe to come; same basic procedure as with mint wine) with some extra to dehydrate for tea. Any work in the barnyard brings a […]

Starting the Garden

Starting the Garden

Since we won’t be on the property full-time until spring, it’s critical that we time the garden prep right on our visits in order to have a productive summer. To that end, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we already have a triumphant patch of garlic and […]

Up Close

Up Close

Forest land brims with energetic life, beckoning us to be still and let the sounds and creatures and flora creep slowly into our awareness. One of the most magical aspects of our new home is its likeness to our most beloved place on Earth, the family cabin. To have woods and a chortling creek in […]

Chili Con Carne

Chili Con Carne

At the beginning of the week, we like to make a sizable pot of food that makes great leftovers for lunches and to share with my dad: split pea and ham soup, baked beans, beef stew. The weekend temperatures finally dipped down to near-freezing, so a spicy pot of chili con carne was perfect to warm the […]

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I'm Kelly. Writer, crafter, forager, country winemaker, cook. Mama of an awesome toddler and married to my best friend. We recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, where we're setting out to grow, make, and learn as much as we can as the future unfolds.

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