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  • Destemming wine grapes

    Harvesting grapes at the ranch

    We have four acres of wine grapes growing at our ranch. Wine grapes are common in Southern California, but pretty rare in our area where there is a lot of homesteading, but few commercial level farms. I don’t know if we exactly qualify as a commercial farm, but we sure are trying hard to support […]

  • First Day of Fall

    Yesterday was the first day of fall and boy could you tell.  Today even more.  The wind is blowing and it’s chilly.  Last night I even wore a sweater.  In the desert the weather changes abruptly.  September 20th it was hot and sunny.  Fall hits and it’s cold…well and still sunny because the desert is […]

  • Time To Plant for Fall

    Most people don’t realize that gardens are a year round deal.  Typically we think that we plant in the spring and then that’s it.  If you miss the spring planting, you have missed the boat and have to wait until next spring for a garden. THAT’S NOT TRUE Gardens are year round.  There is a vegetable […]

  • Propagating sweet potatoes

    Growing new sweet potatoes is SOOOOOO easy.  All you do is first get some sweet potatoes.  You can get these from the store or, preferably, from the hundreds of varieties that exist and are available online.  Experiment to find which kind you like best and which do best in your area.  Don’t be limited to […]

  • What we're planting in April

    Here’s our list of April plantings April Bean, bush Bean, lima Bean, edible soy beet Cantaloupe Chard Corn, sweet Cucumber Eggplant leaf lettuce Muskmelon Pepper plants Potato, Irish Pumpkin Radish Summer squash Tomato plant Watermelon There is of course always a risk of frost until the last frost date of April 15 in this area. […]

  • What we’re planting in April

    Here’s our list of April plantings April Bean, bush Bean, lima Bean, edible soy beet Cantaloupe Chard Corn, sweet Cucumber Eggplant leaf lettuce Muskmelon Pepper plants Potato, Irish Pumpkin Radish Summer squash Tomato plant Watermelon There is of course always a risk of frost until the last frost date of April 15 in this area. […]

  • Trap Crops

    Trap Crops fit into the realm of companion planting.  Though the process may go against a traditional gardeners nature you must place your faith in The Bug Lady and understand the logic. The concept is to plant a species of plant susceptible to a specific pest to act as a lure for beneficial insects, such as […]

  • Attracting Toads to your garden

    Yes, I said toads!  A lot of people think toads are pests, but actually they are pest eaters!  This is of course if your toads are native as there are a few introduced species that have become invasive.  Also, toads do eat ladybugs and a few other beneficials, but considering that they eat a whopping […]

  • Permaculture Snail Management

    This is a great site with eleven ways to manage snails in a permaculture fashion.  My first choice is number one, if you have too many snails, you don’t have enough ducks.  Ducks will keep your garden clear of snails and slugs and also do very little damage to your garden. http://practicalpermaculture.com/2011/07/eleven-ways-to-get-rid-of-slugs-and-snails/  

  • All about Peas

    Peas are among the first veggies you plant in the spring. Most cool-season annuals can be sown or transplanted through early May, allowing them sufficient time to reach maturity and be harvested before the excessive heat hits. The last frost dates here are April 3 (50%) and May 2 (90%.) So one year in two […]

  • Using epsom salt in the garden

    PLANTING WITH EPSOM SALT For setting up your garden and the initial planting stage, Ultra Epsom Salt is especially useful for getting a nourishing start. Prep your garden soil by sprinkling up to 1 cup of Ultra Epsom Salt per 100 square feet, and then work it into the soil before seeding or planting. This helps the […]

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