Well whaddya know, I’m an expert at something! (Granted, I don’t always feel like an expert after slugs have decimated my seedlings or fresh manure has burned my plants. But I do know my way around a hori hori knife and never let a good beer go to waste.)
I’m so thrilled to be featured in HGTV magazine’s September 2012 issue, which is on newsstands now! I’m one of three garden experts revealing my favorite fall essentials, including said hori hori knife, plus my go-to garden gear, fertilizer, seeds and plants.
I was a tomboy growing up. I was always one of those kids that was fascinated with spiders, fried ants with magnifying glasses, and picked up lizards by their tails only to be left with the tails, and not the lizards.
So when I heard about the Worm Factory 360, a worm composting system that can be used indoors or out, it seemed right up my critter-loving alley.
Last week, Goddess Garden and I teamed up to give away a set of sunscreens to get you through the rest of summer.
Reading through the comments, it sounded like you were all spending this beautiful summer outside, from tending your gardens and splashing in pools to swinging on rope swings and tubing down rivers! With Goddess Garden’s line of organic mineral sunscreens, you’re sure to stay safe and have fun this summer.
One lucky winner was drawn by my randomizer to receive Goddess Garden’s SPF 30 Facial Sunscreen and SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray. And that winner is…
Around this time of year, I always get an overabundance of one particular crop. Last summer, it was zucchini. This summer, it’s beans.
Spring rainstorms flooded a few of my bush bean seedlings back in April, and who knew that every single seed I stuck in the ground to replace them would each grow into a ridiculously productive plant? I never got around to thinning out the seedlings, and now, all 15 of my plants are nearly falling over with bundles of beans on their branches.
The upside is that it’s summer, and summer means salads. My three bean summer salad (made with another seasonal staple, sweet corn) can feed a whole crowd of hungry friends, travels well to picnics, and makes a light and refreshing side to all those heavy and smoky meats you find on a summer grill.
Last week, I came home to an overflowing garden after spending five days in the mountains. I’m convinced that as soon as I leave town and stop “supervising” my veggies, they decide to have a growth spurt overnight.
That ginormous squash? I swear that it wasn’t there the week that I left. But when I trimmed off a few leaves affected by powdery mildew, I found the 15-pound cucurbit (aptly named Jumbo Pink Banana squash) dangling off a vine in the corner.
As someone who loves to be outside a lot — like, a lot lot — I’m always looking for safe sunscreens that don’t contain a smorgasbord of chemicals. Many mineral sunscreens leave you pasty white or smelling funny or feeling like bacon (both in the fried and the greasy sense). Some sunscreens are like the processed foods in the middle aisles of the store — they look good on the shelf, but once you give the ingredient list a glance-over, you feel like you’re in science class.
At some point you start to wonder: Is it safer to forego sun protection altogether, or to coat your skin with a cocktail of chemicals?
One of my go-to sites is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Sunscreen Guide, an annually updated database of virtually every sunscreen on the market (257 brands and over 1,800 products and counting). You can look up your favorite sunscreen and see how it ranks on EWG’s scale of toxicity. Green icons (showing ranks of 0 to 2) indicate low hazard; red icons (showing ranks of 7 to 10) indicate high hazard. Not surprisingly, you want to be as green as possible.
Goddess Garden‘s natural sunscreens are as green as they come (check out their EWG scorecard; they were rated one of the best beach and sport sunscreens for 2012). And how could I resist the name? But I needed a sunscreen that went beyond the garden, and into the betty — it had to be light enough for everyday wear, but also tough enough for surfing, swimming, climbing, and even whitewater kayaking.
After a month of spending my summer outside, I’m happy to report: No sunburns, no peeling, and a giveaway of my favorite Goddess Garden products to one lucky winner!
With a place as picturesque as Yosemite, it’s hard to not find a view anywhere you go. I’ve seen Yosemite Valley from above (high above — 7,200 feet — atop Glacier Point) as well as below (from the valley floor on the main road that loops through the park).
But one of the most spectacular ways to see the valley is not on granite at all — but on the crystal clear waters of the Merced River.