Ultra-light Limoncello


We’ve got a few more weeks of prime citrus season. We’ve already made lemon curd, salted lemons and citrus cleaning spray. It’s party time. Let’s make limoncello! A traditional southern Italian digestif, limoncello is usually served ice cold from tiny little glasses. Traditional limoncello often manages to be both too bitter and too sweet for [Continue Reading…]

Turn A Mason Jar Into A Twine Holder With This Easy Kitchen Hack


I’ve been tying a lot of stuff up lately. Must be that  cultural zeitgeist thing working on me. If you want to make all your kitchen bondage tasks (everything from trussing a beef tenderloin to draining your homemade ricotta) far easier, make yourself a DIY twine holder from a mason jar. This is the simplest kitchen hack ever, and I highly [Continue Reading…]

Get Your Garden Organized This Year: 2015 Garden Planner Available Now

Garden Planner 2015

Maximizing my harvest of homegrown veg is this awesome ever-changing puzzle. For over a decade, I’ve been assembling and reassembling the pieces, trying to find the key to being the best gardener I can while getting the most from every square foot of my garden. There are two things I’m sure of. The first is [Continue Reading…]

22 Signs You Are Desperate To Quit Your Office Job To Become A Homesteader

22 signs quit your job

The job is reliable. You work in a clean office, and mostly you get paid to sit at a computer and type things. There are even a few nice benefits like accrued vacation and dental. You’re living the dream, right? Wrong. The signs are there, there’s no use denying them any more. Here are 22 signs [Continue Reading…]

A Look Inside My Fridge


I cleaned my fridge this weekend, stepped back to admire my domestic handiwork and realized I’d become a total Portlandia cliche. My fridge is half fermented vegetables and half backyard eggs. Every container is a mason jar. Oh, except for the basket. Right. There’s a twee basket in my fridge. You see where this urban homesteading thing [Continue Reading…]

The Bloody Valentine


Fifteen years ago, my now-husband and I went out for our first Valentine’s Day date. We went to a nearly-empty pub, sat down for a beer, and within 10 minutes some drunk guy we’d never met had twisted his barstool around started describing the sordid details of his ongoing, bitter divorce. We were young, and West-coast raised [Continue Reading…]

Save Money With DIY Seed Starting Mix

DIY Seed Starting Mix

So, you start a lot of seeds and you’re running out of money for seed starting mix. Right-o. Story of my life. That’s what prompted me to investigate DIY bulk seed starting options, and I’m so glad I did. This is a huge money saver if you are a big seed-starter! The cost of seed [Continue Reading…]

{Giveaway!} Mastering Homebrew: The Last Homebrew Book You’ll Ever Need

Mastering Homebrew Cover

There are people who just want to be told what to do, and people who want to understand the why behind things. Since you are a reader of this blog, I will assume you are in the second group. That’s where Mastering Homebrew comes in. It is, unabashedly, a book for the brewer who doesn’t just want follow instructions, [Continue Reading…]

DIY Lacto-Fermentation Weight for Mason Jars

Fermentation Weight 2

There are three things to manage if you want the most successful lacto-fermented vegetables: Salt levels Fermentation temperature Oxygen exposure When it comes to that third thing – oxygen exposure – the goal is none. The Lactic Acid Bacteria that ferment veggies into tangy deliciousness are anaerobic. They do their best work far away from [Continue Reading…]

Aggressive Duck Sex (Or, Why I Drink Whiskey.)


Starting about a month ago our drake (that’s the boy duck), regrew his penis in expectation of spectacular spring-time twitterpation. Oh, you didn’t know ducks lose their penis every year and regrow them? Yeah, duck-keeping is an education like that. Go ahead and watch this. I’ll wait. Okay, are you back? Holy crap, am I [Continue Reading…]

DIY Herbal Teas (The Giant Tutorial)


I’m a Seattle-girl to the core, so I’m not giving up my coffee any time soon. But I also have a big, soft place in my heart for a steaming mug of herbal tea, especially when I can grow and dry the herbs myself. The Basics Herbal tea isn’t technically tea, since it doesn’t contain [Continue Reading…]

Unexpected Parenting Benefits of Seed Starting Mix


Recently I had occasion to make a new batch of the seed starting mix I’ve been experimenting with. I’ll do a whole post on this very soon. But to be super brief, you basically just dump stuff together and mix, and I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to just lay a tarp out in [Continue Reading…]