Garden Fresh Quinoa Salad

Summer is the season of potlucks and picnics, and this quinoa salad is my ace in the hole. This recipe makes enough for a party, but my little family of two can polish off the whole batch in about a week. It can be a meal in itself, but it also makes an excellent side dish. It’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates, gluten free, vegan, nut-free, whole-food, and grain free*. This fresh lemony dish sparkles with the light of summer. Some of the ingredients might be growing in your garden right now!

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Environment & Conservation

Stages of Succession

The first year I took my land out of industrial corn/soy production, Butterweed, Daisy Fleabane, and Giant Ragweed took over. I tried to grow cover crops that year, and the Giant Ragweed was particularly difficult to work around. I was still trying to figure out what to do about these “problems” when they just…vanished. Now I have a lot of grasses and goldenrod, dandelion and violet, and lesser amounts of vine and tree volunteers. Even these plants are temporary, and eventually they’ll make way for the next stage of growth. It’s just another stage of succession in the land’s march back to its highest self.

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The Oak Garden

If there is one lesson above all others that this farm is teaching me, it is that true success is mutual. The land, the plants, the animals, the insects, the microbiota, the water, and the farmer… we all work together in building this farm, and whatever we create must nurture us all. And thus, an oak garden is born. What is an oak garden, and why? Read the full article to find out!

How to Identify A Plant, Correctly and Confidently

How many times have you found yourself noticing a new plant that you don’t recognize? Do you wonder if it’s safe to touch, good to eat, or medicinal? Could the plant be native, or might it be invasive? Establishing an accurate ID is important when making any management decision, such as weeding, mowing, planting, and thinning. It’s even more important when harvesting! Plant identification apps are useful to some extent, but they are often incorrect. In this article, I share my multi-step process for identifying new plants with confidence.

Long Live The Queen : Lessons in Beekeeping

Although honeybees are not native to this continent, they are a connecting link between humans and the insect world. For the sake of honeybees, people will plant wildflower gardens, forego lawn chemicals, and advocate for organic agriculture. Fewer people would be willing to take similar actions for the sake of native pollinators such as the paper wasp, but the same actions benefit all pollinators. The honeybee has a certain charisma that helps to affect positive change in the world. I believe that because of the honeybee, and our human relationship with them, the world is a better place. In this article, I talk about the evolution of my beekeeping journey and lessons learned through my first few years as a new beekeeper.

Finding Beauty

Beauty exists in unexpected places. In the entangled geometry of fallen branches, in the wild weedy exuberance of spring, in the cleansing downpours and the spaces of rest between tasks. Those small moments of inspiration are the fuel that sustains me when life gets hard, when my best laid plans are thwarted, when I reach my limits. This spring has taken some unplanned turns due to physical limitations, but there is still great beauty to be found.

Slow and Steady

The tortoise and the hare is one of the first stories we all learn as children. In the story, a slow moving tortoise races a super fast hare. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, the tortoise wins the race by steadily placing one foot in front of the other, while the overconfident hare wastes time on a nice long nap. It’s a good lesson about the power of persistent, steady effort and the downfall of overconfidence. Lately, I’ve been wondering what would have happened if the hare had really put in his maximum effort. What if he ran at maximum speed for the whole entire race. Would he have won, or would he have developed an overuse injury?

Creamy Dandelion Pesto Spread

If you’re a gardener, you are likely to find yourself pulling dandelions this time of year. I certainly am. Since I practice no-till gardening, I do not simply chop up weeds with a big machine. I smother them with mulch, I pull them, or I simply leave them be. I take a hybrid approach to the dandelions, letting them grow until I am ready to harvest them for food and medicine. If you have some dandelions sprouting in your garden that you’ve been meaning to dig up, then you’ll definitely want to try this recipe for my favorite creamy dandelion pesto. It’s wild, it’s vegan, and it’s delicious!

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