Monday, December 28, 2015

Wet and blustery

Wet and blustery describes our recent, local weather perfectly. 

Our local ABC television station reports the following:

Monday December 28, 2015

December So Far: 14.97" (+10.12")
Since October 1st: 25.15" (+9.67") 
Since January 1st: 40.13" (+4.74")
The area has experienced high winds, land slides, power outages, snow, a hurricane (Not the normal thing here) flooding,and  trees uprooted. 
We have been snug and quiet in our little concrete block house - aka The Bunker - and have been very lucky to suffer no damage.
The greenhouse experiment is going well. The lowest night time temperature thus far has been 26 degrees F. The unheated greenhouse is sheltering an orange tree, pots of tender herbs, flats of herb cuttings and flats of salad greens, all of which are doing well. We watch the weather forecasts very closely and are ready to take additional coverings for the tender plants if lower temperatures are predicted.
We got through our annual Winter Music Party (Eric and I both teach private music classes through Vancouver Parks and Rec) with 28 performers and around 70 audience members. Solo singers, pianists, ukulele players and silly mixed ensembles including all the above plus jingle bells and kazoos followed by the usual riot of musical chairs. A good time was had by all.
Last year the party did not happen. 15 minutes before start time I slipped and fell, breaking my knee cap and shoulder and damaging my right hand. It has been a long, slow recovery with more still to go. I am very thankful for my husband, Eric and his support, care and moral boosting. Thanks also to my coworkers and faithful, supportive students.

Christmas was peaceful and good. We celebrated with family and had a great time at the historic Kiggins Theatre where we saw White Christmas on the big screen for the first time. What a treat!! Scenes we had not seen on television-ever.
2015 was a year of change and growth some of it painful but all much needed.
Oh! I got a set of kids hand bells!!!! Next winters party should be lots of fun!

The seed catalogs are rolling in and thoughts of spring are in the air. I am looking forward to not squishing through the garden. The soil is super saturated right now so we are keeping out of planting areas so as to not compact the soil. My fingers are itching to plant seeds and take cuttings but it would be foolishly early though there are a few packs of herb seeds...

We wish you and your friends and family a very Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dark Days and Plenty of Rain

After a very dry summer our region has had an unusually high amount of rain. Typically, by mid December we have a bit over 6 inches of rain for the month. Thus far, half way (nearly) through December 2015 we have received over 8 inches of rain resulting in landslides, a tornado (I know! We do not usually have those!), 30 foot evergreen trees crashing to the ground causing destruction and lose of life and lots of flooding.

On the other hand, seed catalogs are arriving in the post and gardeners begin to dream of summer while gazing out at the pouring rain/snow. This is a little offering of things to come and warmer times in the garden.

When you learn your heirloom tomato name please add it to the comments. Mine is 'Grandma Tworivers Double Traveler' tomato. Have fun!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lavender soap making

Making soap today while listening to Glenn Miller and Brian Setzer. (keeps things moving) 

Creamy oatmeal Lavender soap enriched with honey and glycerin, hemp oil and lavender. Oatmeal (Avena sativa) has long history in skin care to help sooth eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions while Lavender has a calming and anti bacterial affect. Honey is a natural antibacterial. We grow the Lavender, the oats are from Bob's Red Mill and the honey is from Brush Prairie Honey farm. The all natural Hemp oil is moisturizing and helps relieve itching and irritation. We will have our lavender products at a new, retail store this week. Stay in touch for details.

Some of our lavender.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mother Earth News

As you may know I also write a blog for Mother Earth News. If you are interested in reading these posts as well please click 

North Bank Farm at Mother Earth News

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The story of a bean

We slowly grew into our current urban farm/food preserving life. My mother and grandmother did a marathon canning every year when I was a child.( My mother hated to cook) The dark, enclosed room behind the furnace was a store of row upon row of jars filled with seasonal goodness. (My father grew the garden but never ate a vegetable other than once year when he ate canned, stewed tomatoes with canned milk) When my children were young I gardened and preserved everything I could find and we ate and enjoyed it.

Years passed and I met the love of my life and began to garden and preserve again. My husband began to show more than a passing interest in what was coming in from the garden and took the Master Food Preserver course through WSU. Today we are North Bank Urban Farm and Tworivers Food. It has been quite a journey.

I told you that to tell you this. My husband is very fond of chili con carne. At some point I got out the crockpots and began to make vast amounts which we ate and he canned. Over time it evolved to a chili made with black and Anasazi beans with bison. After a couple of years we noticed it was getting difficult to find the Anasazi beans. I did some research and learned that there had been a crop failure. Red flags went off in my mind and I decided that we should try to grow Anasazi beans.

Anasazi Beans

What are Anasazi beans? Named after the cliff-dwelling Native Americans who lived in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona in the first millennium, these are a small to medium size bean, colored a purplish red and white with a mild flavor that cook more quickly than other beans. The Anasazi beans appear to have been part of the Latin American and Southwestern cuisine for thousands' of years.

According to legend “the beans were uncovered by an anthropologist, who discovered a 1,500 year old tightly sealed jar of them at a dig in New Mexico. Some of the beans germinated, and the new variety of bean entered cultivation again. Since most botanists agree that most beans are unable to germinate after approximately 50 years, it is more probable that the beans remained in constant cultivation in the Southwest, probably in Native American gardens...”

Last year we were somewhat successful at growing the beans in a “3 Sister” bed with Glass Gem Corn and Spotted Hound squash. We have round the Glass Gem Corn into flour and made “Indian Cakes” and it was amazingly delicious (recipe in an upcoming post) and shared Anasazi beans at local seed swaps and through our seed library in hopes that others will grow and share the seeds. (we still have some if you are interested).

Further research led to a new discovery. In November of 2002, The Washington Agricultural Research Center at Washington State University announced the release of 'Orca' black and white Anasazi - type dry beans.

This bean is not the product of genetic engineering but of classical plant breeding. It is the first Anasazi type bean to reach harvest maturity within 110 days in North America. It's upright growth and resistance to Bean Common Mosaic Virus make it agreeable to our local climate. We are ready to grow Orca beans in 2016.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Did you find a good sale on meat? Need a quick and tasty way to preserve all that protein? Meatballs are an option.

Meatballs in the freezer. Meatballs, canned on the pantry shelf. What's the difference?

Our Pesto Meatballs in the freezer have lots and I do mean lots of Parmesan cheese. You really can not can cheese or other dairy items.

Canned meatballs? What a quick and delicious way to have a quick, hot dinner. Open the jar and add to sauce or soup. Mmm...

Pesto Meatballs and Sauce

Pesto Meatballs
½ cup bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup pesto
1 lb ground turkey
1 large egg
Mix thoroughly and at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes until slightly brown.
Put in crock pot with your favorite pasta sauce and heat gently for 6 or more hours. Serve with pasta.
For freezer: cool thoroughly and package in meal size portions. Place in freezer. Use in 6 months or less.

Meatballs for canning
Prepare your favorite (dairy free) meatballs. Cook until golden brown.
Pack tightly into hot,clean pint jars, add boiling water, hot meat juice or tomato sauce – leaving one inch head space. Clean the lip of the jar, apply caps and rings (finger tight and just a bit more). Process in your pressure canner at 10 pound of pressure for 90 minutes (your altitude may require adjustment).

I prefer to have the meatballs pressure canned and ready on the pantry shelf where they can remain for a year or more if kept in cool, dark conditions.

The Pesto Meatballs have to go in the freezer as they contain lots of Parmesan cheese. There is always the possibility that we could loose power and then the freezer will not do us much good but these meat balls could be heated over the fire and we would have a neighborhood feast.

Yes, you can can meat. It is a great way to have homemade “fast food” for a busy life.

Want our Pesto recipe? Follow by email and we will be happy to send it to you.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Email and technical challenges

After over a month of epic email and technical challenges we finally have a new blog at
"Bloom where you are planted" is an old saying that applies to everyday life.
Enjoy and please comment. Thank you!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

July: Languishing in the dog days.

The "dog days of summer" are here. At one time people believed that when the dog star Sirius is lined up with our sun  their energy was combined to make the hottest time of the year. This usually takes place in July and August. Here, in SW Washington we  in the midst of record heat and a drought. It seems a good time to sit down with a cool glass of lemonade or iced tea and not do one thing.

Here,  at North Bank Urban Farm  we are busy. Not much resting in the shade, at least not for now.  15' x 7' is a huge addition for us.

The new greenhouse is up!!! Much too warm to have plants in there at the moment but I am excited for fall and winter gardening and plant propagating.

Greenhouse assembly
Greenhouse in place

Our first lavender harvest is nearly complete and we have had a first adventure in distillation, creating a rich, floral hydrosol. 

Lavender Harvest

The veggie and fruit garden are growing as we water very carefully and mulch deeply, trying to keep productive during a record dry spell - no rain for a month!

I hope your summer is going well. Please add your comments below and tell us about summer where you live.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Urban Lavender Farm

When we moved into our home on Halloween 2013 we brought 10 lavender plants with us in their pots. Spring of 2014 they were planted and 2 new,tiny plants were added to the collection. They bloomed profusely and were harvested, dried and stored away.

2015 rolled around and I decided it was time to step up so I bought 26 additional  English Lavender plants got busy putting them into the ground. At last, on May 26 2015 they are all in the ground.

As often happens, I tend to get things a bit backwards. As I was working on planting an idea hatched in my ferbile brain. Why not find some lovely, high quality fabric and use our blossoms to make "Comfort Pillows", sachets and eventually to distill the oil for our products and hydrosol to sell? Let's make this tiny farm a paying endeavor. Where else can you get home grown Lavender?

The search was on and the result of the first step is below.  
1920 Singer sewing machine and first Lavender Comfort Bag.
Less than a week later plans have come to fruition. As they say on the A Team, " I love it when a plan come together." and it certainly has. We have presold a couple of pillows and are taking orders. This Saturday May 30th we will have the sachets and pillows at our booth at the Battle Ground Outdoor Market. The other items are in the timeline and guess what? We are Washington State's only urban lavender farm!

See you on Saturday!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Six Reasons for using cast iron pans

  1. Longevity These pans will last for multiple generation
  2. Even heat Don't get in a hurry. Slow heating will give consistent results
  3. Flexibility: This pan will work with any heat source.
  4. Easy to clean: Do not wash with soap and water. Wipe with paper towel or scrub with coarse salt and recondition. Please refer to our blog post of October 15, 2013 “Cast Iron Love Affair” 
  5. When properly conditioned the pans become non stick..
  6. Cost effective: You can find cast iron pans at thrift stores as well as new. If properly cared for you will be able to hand down to your descendants 

These pans are part of our cast iron collection. Yes, that is our "new to us stove". It a Westinghouse built in 1949, Some of the pans are heirlooms, others we have found at thrift stores and on Craigslist. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The 5 year, oh I mean 2 year plan.

Good morning friends.
Some of you have been following our urban homestead journey for a while now. For a bit more indepth information please take a little side trip to Mother Earths news

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thank you!

Thank you to all our readers! It is so much fun to know that folks around the world are taking a peek and reading our story.

Please take a moment and comment as to where you live, what you like to do and what you would like to read about.

We (husband Eric and myself) are in SW Washington state, north of the Columbia River in Vancouver, USA. We are both music teachers with a passion for good food, gardening and simple living.

Thank you again.

Potted 50 little tomato plants today. We are getting a bigger greenhouse sometime next week and I will be glad. These plants are taking over our little (to modern standards) house!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Apple trees for your urban farm

I just put up an article about selecting apple trees for your same farm or garden. Please take a look at
Let me know what you think please.

Monday, March 30, 2015

What is your favorite sauce tomato?

What is your favorite tomato for making sauces?  I have liked Roma and Amish Paste and used them for years. Last year our Roma's seemed to be "challenged" so this year we are starting from seed and planting Costoluto Genovese as they are highly recommended for sauce.

Roma Tomato

Amish Paste Tomato

The Costoluto Genovese meets our requirement for "heirloom" tomatoes because it has been know since before the 19th century.  It has a balanced flavor,weighs in at around 8 oz and is indeterminate. 

Costoluto Genovese
I am looking forward to soup, ketchup or as my husband says "quatsup" (see recipe below), barbecue and pasta sauce.

What is your favorite sauce tomato? Please let us know! There are hundreds of kinds of tomatoes to enjoy.
We found this recipe years ago and have modified it as we went along. Enjoy!!

Roasted Tomato Catsup (quatsup)

Makes 4 pints

5 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onion, finely diced
4 clove garlic, finely diced
8 tablespoons cider vinegar
8 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
12 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2.  In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to a food processor and process until smooth. Strain, pressing against the solids with a wooden spoon to extract as much pulp and juice as possible. 
  3.  Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until almost smoking, and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the tomato puree, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and honey, and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 20 minutes - the ketchup should be thick enough to round up on a spoon. May be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days.
  4. Ladle hot ketchup into prepared  8 oz. jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Use a butter knife or similar to run along the sides of the jar, removing air bubbles.Wipe rim, center lid on jar, and add screw band to fingertip tight.
  5. Process 8-ounce jars in a canner bath for 15 minutes at sea level, more depending on altitude or larger size of jar.
  6. Remove canner lid and let jars rest for 5 minutes before removing from the water.
  7. Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them. Cool overnight. Once the jars have cooled, ensure they are sealed. Press down gently in the center of the lid. If it pops up and down, it is not sealed. Put the jar in the refrigerator and enjoy it for the next 3 – 4 weeks. If the lid remains taut, you've got a good seal.  Remove the rings from the jars before storing.
Enjoy the rich, spicy flavor all year long!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Testing for seed viability

Come take a peek at my blog for Mother Earth News, available at

Today we are testing for seed viability.

Thanks so much and please remember thought and comments are welcome.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Urban Homestead Herbalist

What is the difference between an apothecary and a pharmacist? The apothecary is the forerunner of the pharmacist. They gathered raw materials and prepared medications. The modern pharmacist dispenses drugs prepared by pharmaceutical companies. 

Herbal medicine came before either of the above. For thousands of years human have used plants to treat injury and illness.

To be a homesteader means to learn to do for yourself with what you have, where you are.

Everyone has bumps, scrapes and bruises so it is wonderful to walk to the garden and find a plant that can help you heal. Arnica Montana has had a secure place in the home apothecary for a very long time.

Arnica Montana

Native to Central Europe, Mountain Arnica spread to Scotland, England and North America through escape and for medicinal use.

It's primary use has been to sooth and heal sprains and bruises.

According to the British Homeopathic Association, Arnica is rich in selenium and arnica ash is high in manganese. These powerful antioxidants may be the reason for Arnica's healing properties.

Following is an easy recipe for herbal infused oil

To make an herbal infusion:
  1. pick herbs early in the day, before the sun has hit them
  2. Carefully clean the herbs ( no bugs please) and sort the parts of the plant needed
  3. Tightly pack the herbs into a clean mason jar, pour the oil of you choice (I prefer olive oil) in to cover the herbs, put on the lid and put in a cool dark place for about four weeks
  4. Carefully drain the oil and put it in a dark colored jar and store in a cool dark place.
If you are in a hurry, here is an easy, stove top method.

Stove top method for herb infused oils.
Place the herb filled jar in a sauce pan that has been filled about ¼ full of water, simmer for 4-8 hours. Remove jar from saucepan and allow to cool. Decant, bottle, label, and store in a cool dark place.

I keep our oils in the refrigerator. With care they will last about a year.
The infused oil is easily made into salves and lotions.

Have you grown or used Arnica? Please share your experiences and ideas.  We love to hear from you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Change is in the wind

I got good news yesterday that will allow a few changes.
I now am an official blogger for Mother Earth News.
This blog will still be here for you with new, additional and complimentary  information appearing at

Yes, some of you have read this article before. It was actually my "audition piece". All our new posts will be at this page.

I am happy to be a member of the Mother Earth News Team. (doing a happy dance!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Huckleberries – Native plants and permaculture in our back yard.

On a clear day, we can usually see the tip of the mountain from Vancouver, WA over the eastern hills. Upon first approach it becomes an overwhelming presence that the dominates the landscape. The summit, at 12,276 feet makes this the third highest peak in the Cascade range.

Native Americans have harvested huckleberries on the flanks of Mt Adams in the Gifford Pinchot Wilderness for thousands of years.

Our 10th acre in suburban Vancouver, WA is blessed with a large, pine tree in the northwest corner. Upon investigation it seems to be the perfect spot for relocation of a rhododendron bush and a home for huckleberries.

Both plants are perfect as an evergreen, understory layer in this corner. They will provide habitat and food to birds,butterflies and other small wildlife – which I hope they will share.

The rhododendron is at present in our front yard and will take a bit of digging to get out. Thankfully we have a wheelbarrow and sharp shovels. It's melon colored flowers and glossy leaves will add contrast to the back corner.

As to the huckleberries, we were able to buy them from our conservation district which holds a yearly native plant sale.

Count this as our “before” picture. As you can see there is quite a lot of work to do to get the area ready. Removal of blackberry vines, mis-planted arborvitae and some English Ivy which has wandered in from somewhere else. Plenty of raking too. The Rhododendron bush will have room to spread in the semi-shade and so will the huckleberries, which can get up to 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. This will help block our view of our neighbors backyard.

The evergreen huckleberry, Vaccinium ovatum, has attractive bronze foliage in the spring with white, urn shaped flowers that bear dark purple, tasty, edible fruit in the fall. The berries are high in vitamins A, C, Iron and Calcium and very low in carbohydrates.
Huckleberries are used as jam and in many dessert recipes such as apple and huckleberry crisp.

What native plants would you like to have in your garden?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Seed Swap Surprise

We went to the annual Venersborg Schoolhouse,, seed swap Sunday. It was great to get out and share seeds and stories with a growing community but had no idea that I was going to be interviewed for our local newspaper. 

Seed swap, giveaway promotes food diversity

Annual event introduces lesser-known nutrition sources to gardens of the adventurous


By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

BATTLE GROUND — With still months to go until peak gardening season, a group of about 60 people packed into the historic Venersborg Schoolhouse on Sunday afternoon to get their hands on some lesser-known seeds for their gardens.
The annual seed swap and giveaway, started several years ago by Kristine White of Battle Ground, included tubers that would grow into 6-foot-tall lilies, indigo seeds and "more types of basil than I knew existed," White said.
For many, the seed swap provides a chance to grow food that's not typically sold in grocery stores, and to foster crop diversity, said Deanna Tworivers of Vancouver.
Seated in one corner of the schoolhouse, Tworivers chatted with guests about the seed library she keeps with several hundred varieties of heirloom seeds. A friend of hers started the seed library years ago, but handed it over to her for safekeeping once he got too busy to keep it going.
"It's my job to share it and add to it," she said. All of her seeds are free, and include seeds for veggies, herbs, flowers and root vegetables.
On Sunday afternoon, Tworivers was sharing a couple of new additions to the library: Glass Gem seeds, a variety of Indian corn that can be popped or ground into cornmeal, and Anasazi beans, which hail from the Southwestern U.S. and date back at least 1,000 years, she said.
She and her husband, Eric Tworivers, bought the new seeds last year and grew them for the first time at their west Vancouver home. They got a decent crop from the corn and the beans, with enough seeds left over to share.
The couple live not far from Clark College on a quarter-acre lot that includes their home. They've packed their yard full of fruit trees, berries, grapes and several types of vegetables. Eric Tworivers teaches classes on food preservation and puts his skills to work at home by canning, pickling, drying and freezing the produce they grow.
In the winter, Deanna Tworivers said, she can crack open a jar of tomato soup made from their homegrown heirloom tomatoes, and "it tastes like summertime."
She said that the produce sold to grocery stores by mainstream farmers has a longer shelf life, and "that makes sense." But, she added, people who shop at the grocery store might be missing out on good, nutritious food with a shorter shelf life that could be grown in a garden at home.
"What we want to do is continue to have diversity in our food," she said.
Brush Prairie couple Jahnavi Hastings and Noah Seely were on the hunt for dill Sunday afternoon so they could make their own pickles.
"We did pickles for the first time last year," Hastings said, but not with their own dill. "I'm looking forward to trying it out."
And the couple brought plenty of seeds to share.
"We brought some peas and tomato and tobacco seeds, and painted-mountain corn and horse radish crowns," Hastings said. They left with several small envelopes with herb and flower seeds, many of them perennials.
"We did find some stuff we don't have," she said.
They live on a 1-acre property and said they were motivated to grow their own food because it costs less, and it's more environmentally and socially conscious.
And, "the food you grow yourself tastes about 10 times better than what you buy at the store," Seely said.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


All my life, until this winter, I have used commercially prepared tooth cleaning products. From tooth powder in the '50s the  and 60s to the "brightening and whitening" national brands.  I have tried them all. Some are as advertised but at what cost - read the ingredients. Some "natural" brands have been better but are very expensive.

This fall I came across a very simple recipe and decided to try making our own toothpaste. One of the main ingredients is coconut oil. I have not jumped on the coconut oil band wagon because it is not local to where I live. Coconuts trees do not grow naturally in the Pacific NW, but I decided to give it a try for the sake of our dental health.

The recipe is:

6 tbls organic coconut oil
6 tbls baking soda
Stevia to taste (the baking soda tastes very salty)
Peppermint essential oil for taste and antibacterial properties

First blend the dry ingredients and then add the coconut oil, stirring briskly. Then add the Peppermint essential oil (you can use other essential oils) to taste and stir until evenly combined. We like quite a bit of peppermint.

We store this on the bathroom counter in a 1/4 pint canning jar. For the two of us this jar will last a little over a month.

Homemade toothpaste

Since using our homemade toothpaste I have no more bleeding of gums and less plaque build up (some plaque has come off during flossing to my surprise). This is a very soothing and gentle cleaning paste with good over all results.

Yesterday was time to mix a new batch but by evening I was too tired to make it. I am recovering from a broken shoulder and kneecap with just returning to work so evenings are very slow.

 In desperation we used commercial toothpaste and it was horrible. "I was hit immediately with a metallic smell and taste. It made we wonder if we were experiencing an electrical fire in our bathroom. It was an industrial smell", my husband said. I seem to have experienced an allergic reaction. I had trouble swallowing and breathing for a couple of hours after use. 

We will not do that again. From now on homemade will be the only toothpaste we use.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Getting Ready For Spring

Deep in midwinter this gardener is toasting her toes by the fireside, browsing through seed catalogs, contemplating spreadsheets, planting plans and taking a class on “Designing Elegant, Edible Gardens” while my broken shoulder and kneecap continue to heal.

If years past I have sketched our potential garden spots, made little maps of where I hope to put plants and plant seeds but it has never been particularly serious or official. This year I hope to get “organized”, make and follow a plan of seed starting, permaculture, and rotation of food crops.

I have come across some good tools and will share them with you here.

A very useful, easy to read, printable chart to help you get things going.

First and last frost dates are very important. To go to your country of choice, try inserting the name in the above address ie:

Excellent record keeping and great, informative writing.

A good video series on seed starting.

Make your garden plan.

The amount of information available can be overwhelming, but I think these will help you plan and grow a successful food garden matter where you live. Keep cozy and enjoy making your practical plan.

Saturday, January 3, 2015


I realize I have not written anything for months.

Summer and fall were filled with work and many challenges.

 We, Husband Master Food Preserver Eric Tworivers and myself, taught 20 on location food preservation classes from jelly and jam to jerky. 
Pinot Noir Jelly at Woven Wineworks

Green beans at the Homestead Supply Store

Our first year garden grew well and we managed to save seeds from heirloom tomatoes, Glass Gem corn and Anasazi Beans. 
Corn patch

Anasazi Beans

Glass Gem Corn

Heirloom tomato

I did battle with a tribe of raccoons – the same family that made a gaping hole in our roof in 2013 – saved our dog from injury and acquired a colorful set of bruises.

As to the roof, it is replaced. An estimated 3 day job became 8 days. The yard looked like a war zone but we entered a very windy fall and winter with a snug roof and repaired chimney. 


Our day jobs, we are both musicians and music teachers, have kept us busy as well. Combined we teach over 50 private students every week, host 2 open mics weekly and play out as often as we can. You can find some of our music at    

In December I fell at work – at the day job – and broke my right knee cap and shoulder. Seems to be healing well but am reduced to left hand only typing for several more weeks.

The seed catalogs are beginning to arrive and seed swap time is approaching. Time for inventory and planning.

The Battle Ground Village Outdoor Market is beginning to stir (husband is the Market Manager) and we are associated with a new farm store. Spring holds many promises and new adventures.

Happy 2015.