Category Archives: gardening

The Sequel to All for Pie

Time has passed and we are harvesting the concord grapes. My little rat proofs have worked. If you try it, I have a couple of observations. One, simply having these strange objects in the vines will decrease rat activity. It won’t stop the little brats, but there will be less damage. Two, a trick I learned … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, food, gardening, pests


  I am done with these rats. Traps do not suffice, poison feels unethical and gives a horrible death, the tricks of radios and deterrents are fantasies. Plus, I refuse to have an outdoors cat because of traffic, coyotes, parasites, and the mass slaughter of birds and my delightful lizards. But these rats are eating … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, food, gardening, pests


Here’s a photo from a walk I took yesterday. No editing, this is the raw image. How did I spend the past two weekends? Grubbing out old brambles, digging up posts, spreading between forty and fifty wheelbarrows-worth of manure from the horse stables across the way, then cheering as my husband wrestled the roto-tiller across … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, gardening

Speak to the Apples

The names of apples make me happy. Here in Southern California I grow Pettingills and Gordons, Golden Dorsets and Winter Banana, Fuji, Granny Smith and a would-be Red Delicious which is neither. I instantly want to excuse myself– I, myself, would never have chosen to plant a Red Delicious, having picked up a mildly critical … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, gardening, history

   If even one of you, my readers, has read any of Gladys Taber’s Stillmeadow books, I’d like to know. I read them as wandering but organized conversations with a well-read woman of sensibility and reflection, deceptively simple, unfailingly kind. Yes, what old-fashioned language I use here, because Gladys Taber is of another time. I sometimes feel … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, food, gardening, social and anti

We’re not going there

We are the people who can’t take vacations. We hear the whispers– nay shouts, of our ancestors—’Sybarites! Hedonists! You’re the reason Rome fell!’ So how do you expect us to take a break? Take a lie in the sun on a beach? Who in hell are you kidding? We are the people who make the … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, gardening

Ghosts in the Yard

If your headlights rake across my yard tonight you’re going to see ghosts, some in plaid, some blue and others in floral jammies. It’s not what it seems. It’s due to the weather we’re having. Global temperature shifts have derailed the normal Jet Stream pattern and So Cal is freezing. Twenty seven degrees Farenheit last … Continue reading →

Posted in: Blog, gardening