My suburban farmlette in the South Bay
Garden of Eatin', House & Home

My Suburban Farmlette in the South Bay

Over the years, I’ve had many readers ask for a good overview shot of the garden to get a sense of how everything is laid out.

I’ve attempted this a few times, but never felt that the pictures painted an accurate view, as the entire property sits on a steep hill and the yard is terraced the whole way down.

So, what better way to show the property than from a bird’s eye view?

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Asia-bound!
Random Thoughts

Asia-Bound!

Above: My last trip to Vietnam in 2008.

By the time you read this, I’ll have flown across the Pacific and be sitting in a Vietnamese sidewalk cafe, drinking an ice-cold glass of cafe sua da while people-watching and nursing my jetlag.

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My favorite fences to keep out critters, caterpillars, and birds (no DIY needed)
Garden of Eatin', Pests & Diseases

My Favorite Fences to Keep Out Critters, Caterpillars, and Birds (No DIY Needed)

Confession: I never knew how many animals roamed the night until I moved into a house with a yard that was a veritable buffet for said animals.

Raccoons, opossums, skunks, even coyotes and foxes — all of them are common sightings in my neighborhood and a real problem for residents with edible gardens, nicely mulched landscapes, or small cats and dogs.

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First strawberries of the season
Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

The five little things that made my week…

1. The first strawberries of the season. I wish I could tell you how scrumptious they were, but by the time I went back to harvest a few, they were gone. All of them, poof! like magic. And someone with chubby dimpled hands and a suspicious strawberry juice mustache was giggling nearby.

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Defending the dandelion: it's not just another weed
Flowers & Herbs, Garden of Eatin', You Can Eat That?!

Defending the Dandelion: It’s Not Just Another Weed

The ever-pervasive dandelion. It’s one of the first plants to sprout in spring, when the ground is barely free of frost, and remains steadfast through the season with vibrant pops of yellow and downy balls of seeds so nostalgic of childhood wonderment.

Somehow, somewhere along the way, this humble plant that has fed and healed humanity for thousands of years became a blight on our landscape. Dismissed as a weed, eradicated at all costs, cursed and scorned for its stubbornly long taproots that often refuse to give from the earth, it’s earned a reputation for invasiveness and uselessness.

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The surprise that was The New Camp Cookbook cover
Makings of a Book, Work

The Surprise That Was The New Camp Cookbook Cover

After having the luxury of shooting my first book at home (or in various relatives’ homes) with easy access to a dishwasher, hot running water, and electricity, my second book was a true test of faith and patience.

Forget the beautiful filtered light through the windows and being able to walk barefoot on soft carpet. Think glaring midday sun and waiting for the light to move over the trees. Think dusty feet in flip-flops crunching across a pine needle-littered campsite.

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Gemma at one day old.
Parenthood

Here’s to the First Year

Above: Gemma at one day old.

Every morning, I take the first nap with the baby. I always wake up an hour before she starts stirring, but rather than getting up and going about my day, I like to lie in bed with her and simply watch her sleep. The sweet sighs. The rise and fall of her round belly. I love the way her lips pucker under the weight of her chubby cheeks, and I love to bury my nose in her soft tuft of hair, breathing in that milky baby smell.

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