DIY Plant Stand: How to build a convertible plant stand, potting bench, or boot bench

When I moved into a newly rented house, I had six subtropical trees to fit in my kitchen.  I wanted a storage solution that fit into the space I had, elevated my plants to window height, and had a top bar from which to mount grow lights.  I came up with a sketch for a 2′ x 2′ x 4′ bench with one tall side.  It was easy to build, cost less than a bookcase from Ikea, and looks beautiful in my kitchen.  In the future if I no longer need a potting bench, I can easily convert this to a boot bench with a coat rack by simply installing a few hooks on the top bar and adding some decorative boards to the base.
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The Long Journey

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 9.31.49 AM

Last week, my husband and I embarked on our second cross-country move. Despite freezing weather, three snow storms, and one curious police officer, we safely crossed eight of our united states from San Francisco to Indianapolis.  We arrived at our new home with our three cats, six trees, and live sourdough culture.  As we unwrap each of our belongings, we try once again to adapt to a new home, a new climate, and a new neighborhood.

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Welcome Home, Owari Satsuma and Santa Teresa Feminello Lemon Trees!

One year old Owari Satsuma Tree (Left) next to One Year Old Santa Teresa Feminello Lemon Tree (Right)At the end of this month, I’ll be moving back to my hometown of Indianapolis, IN.  As I prepare to say my goodbyes and restart my life one more time, I have been thinking about how to carry with me some of my favorite California experiences.  I have thought about joining or starting a new drum circle there, driving to neighboring states in search of dark skies to photograph, and of course growing some of the fruits that make farmers markets around here so special.  To that end, I adopted two new fruit trees into my patio garden family today.  I had never seen a Satsuma mandarin orange until I moved to California.  Last year I drove to a farm in Brentwood and bought a whole case of fresh Satsumas  to share with family and friends over the holidays.  This year I bought a tree, so hopefully I can continue to enjoy them for many Decembers to come.
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Bearss Seedless Lime Tree

Meyer Lemon Tree and Bearss Seedless Lime Tree
1 Year Old Meyer Lemon Tree (left) and 1 Year Old Bearss Seedless Lime Tree (right)

There are several types of limes, all of which I want to grow.  There are tiny Mexican Key limes, wrinkly Kieffer limes, sweet limes, and edible peel limequats.  Since I only have room for one lime tree, I chose the one I use most often:  Bearss Seedless Lime.  Bearss Seedless is a Persian type lime, the one commonly found in grocery stores.  It is large, juicy, and fabulous in all kinds of drinks and desserts.  A home-grown lime has the same look and flavor as a commercial lime, but I find that my limes are much juicier.

This lime tree has, so far, been the easiest plant I have ever grown.  I water it about once per week in mild temperatures, and I fertilized it twice with a handful of GrowMore Vegetarian 5-2-2 organic fertilizer.  The tree is thriving, and has already produced several ripe limes!
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Improved Meyer Lemon Tree

Meyer Lemon TreeAs an avid gardener and cook, I like to learn as much as I can about fruit and vegetable varietals.  When I encounter an interesting fruit, I want to learn its name so I can find it again and grow it myself.  But even if you’re not someone who looks through huge beautiful piles of heirloom tomatoes hoping to find one very special Black Krim, you will notice a flavor difference between a Meyer lemon and a standard lemon.  Meyer lemons are smaller, less sour, less acidic, and darker in color than the more classically available Eureka lemon.  The peel is thin and edible, with a very aromatic zest.  Unfortunately their delicate nature makes them difficult to ship, so unless you live in a warm citrus-growing place, they may be a rare find in your local market2.  However, Meyer lemon trees grow well in containers, so you can grow one even if you live in a colder agricultural zone.
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Parfianka Pomegranate Tree

Parfianka Pomegranate Tree Parfianka Pomegranate TreeEach week when I do my grocery shopping, I allow myself a single impulse item.  I usually choose something small and immediately edible, like a chocolate square.  But one sunny April afternoon, our local grocery store put out a cart full of very young fruit trees.  I saw this little pomegranate tree (a leafy stick covered in aphids), and I was in love.  Despite the looks of this tiny tree, I believed in its potential.  Ten dollars is more than I would usually pay for an impulse item, but I justified the cost with dreamy imagery of my future self picking home-grown pomegranates by the bushel.  Of course, there were a few potential complications.  Minor things, like the fact that I live in an apartment, I don’t have a yard, and one day I may have to move cross-country to an agricultural zone too cold for fresh pomegranates.  Details, details!  Screw it, I put the tree in my shopping cart anyway.
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Welcome

This page is a placeholder for what will, one day, become a very informative site for an organic farm.

I am an artist (mostly photography) who is most at home in nature. I used to grow all the fresh produce my family of two could eat, share, and preserve on a large community garden plot.  I am currently gardenless, but every day I tend to a few fruit trees and herbs in containers on my balcony. At this moment, Strawberry Moon Farm is nothing more than scribbles in a notebook, but I’m holding this domain until the day I can make Strawberry Moon a reality.

My goals for the farm are to:
* Grow healthy, organic food using organic self-sustaining practices
* Make fresh, exciting, gourmet specialty crops locally available including native plants and exotics
* Grow a wide variety of culinary and medicinal herbs
* Raise healthy, happy chickens who will provide eggs as long as they are able, and later enjoy sunshine-filled retirement for the rest of their natural lives
* Minimize the use of fuel-powered machinery, relying on physical or renewable energy whenever possible
* Protect natural pollinators and maintain hives of honeybees
* Apply artistic principles to landscape design and create a beautiful natural space to enjoy with friends and family

Until then, stay wild

Founded: 7/23/2013