Harvesting Spinach

Now that spring growing season is well under way in Michigan, I have crops that need to be harvested. Today I will be harvesting the spinach crop and freezing the excess to use in recipes and smoothies. Spinach is a green leafy vegetable rich in iron and vitamin C that can be enjoyed fresh or…

Mr. McGregor’s Scarecrow

A tutorial on how to make Mr. McGregor’s scarecrow. All my life I have loved The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. It is a childhood classic that I have read to all my children and now to my grand children. It is out of love for this author and book series that I…

Low Cost Natural Garden Arbor

Last year my no till layered garden had a problem, and it wasn’t weeds. It was prolific abundance of vining melons and squash running willy-nilly. This year I decided to plant these vining fruits to grow up an Arbor to save space. After doing some research looking into manufactured arbors I decided that the cost of buying one…

To till or not to till, that is the question

I have been gardening all my life, starting early on my parents farm. It isn’t easy, and it is a lot of work no matter how you decide to do it. I have had gardens using conventional tilling, in raised beds with purchased soil, and the no-till layered way.  Last season I shared with you my start of a…

Weaving Vines-A Wattled Planter

Spring is here at last and we are finding ourselves very busy with all the spring cleanup and garden prep that is common this time of year in Michigan. On this fine spring morning my outdoor project will be taking a pile of grapevine clippings and transforming them into a useable planter.   Grapevines are strong, pliable and make…

The Art of Kokedama

My heart swells when I’m in my woodlot and I feel at ease. I could stay for hours just drinking in the sounds, smells and textures of all that is around me. There is something about moist moss that I am drawn to. The bright green patchwork gently compels my spirit to reach down and touch it as if it…

The Singing Tower Carillon of Central Florida

Come along with me on assignment to discover why Bok Tower Gardens is “a spot of beauty second to none in the country.” This 250 acres of gardens attract 126 species of birds and contain countless species of plants, flowers and trees and is home to the spectacular Gothic Revival and Art Deco tower that was designed by architect Milton B. Medary…

DIY Sliding Barn Door on a budget

A well designed whole house remodel on a budget is very tricky to pull off. The key to a successful remodel is understanding what design elements you want to include and then figuring out how they will fit together. The problem with this, at least for the 97% not living in the lap of luxury,…

Naturescaping-Making a living Hedgerow

My piece of land lies before me. It is intimidating to say the least, to think that I can alter it to my own design or un-design. This is a scary prospect, indeed, but not so scary as a blank piece of linen watercolor paper. So crisp and white. Would I ruin it with the…

Spring Rituals-Honor the Life Giver

  How to make a miniature Resurrection Garden I am in Love with spring. Standing between heaven and earth, on a patch of fading snow, I breath deep the smell of rain. The snow vaporizing all around me is causing a misty cloud drifting off through the fields. It is a brief moment in time each year that…

Extreme Fireplace Makeover

Once Upon a Time all homes had fireplaces. The fireplace was a necessity in early America. It was usually the center of the home. A burning hearth provided heat, housed fires for cooking and baking, and served as the center of family gatherings. The home that we are remodeling is no exception. Built in the late 1800s with three different additions through…

No-till Layered Kitchen Garden

Sometimes life throws things at us in unexpected ways and timing. This is how we found ourselves one early Fall day, with a project on a grand scale. Placed in our hands was a house on 2 acres that needed some tender loving care and a desperate make-over inside and out. It had been deserted and left for dead….

Michigan Sugar Bush-Small Scale Harvest

There are deep traditions in Michigan. One of them is harvesting sap to make fresh Maple syrup. Continuing the tradition and getting outside on a winters day, in anticipation for spring, is one of my favorite things to do. One of my finest memories of winters days gone by is when, as a child, my Mother would point…

Drinking Sunshine: Calendula Tea

Organic Calendula tea on a cold winter’s day does not come without preparation unless you are buying it. As I sip on the hot tea looking through the pile of seed catalogs that have been arriving since the new year I smile, recalling this past summers kitchen garden. Calendula a plant that will bring plenty of…

Eating Raw in Costa Rica

  I grew up on a fresh fruit and vegetable farm on the east side of Lake Michigan. The anticipation of picking and eating a self grown delectable meal is a way of life for me. Market day in Costa Rica is a joy for my heart and soul as my eyes feast on the…

The Whales Tail- Uvita, Costa Rica

Sleeping in the rain forest on the night of the wolf moon was a little eerie. I was awakened by something like the sound of bat wings scraping the ceiling as it circled my bed, or it may of been the wings of a moth gently brushing up against the window screen trying to escape…

Two-Tracking: Quepos, Costa Rica

An action packed day was in store for us when we decided to do a little quad running on the pacific side of Costa Rica near the port city of Quepos. We wanted an adventure off the beaten path and we got it. Our guide lead the way through palm oil farms and up a…

Exploring the Jungle

Going into nature is something that can restore my soul like nothing else. On this day we left the tourism far behind and ventured out on our own to the Rio Turrubares. We stopped where the local river bridge had washed out by the rains, not wanting to drive through the river with our vehicle….

Whale Watching

For the most part I am a “land lubber ” but the chance of seeing a mother humpback whale and her newly born calf was a once in a life time event. After all, when in my Michigan life would I ever get this chance again. After downing a Dramamine with my exquisite cup of…

Windows to the sea

One of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets is Playa Ventanas, windows to the sea. It is a beautiful secluded beach with a series of five sea caves, some accessible by sea, and some by foot. We discovered them on a border run to Panama to get our three-month visas renewed. We were looking for a place…