growing garden with snow covered ground

It is a joy to putter in the garden, looking out its windows at snow covered ground.

Thanks to significant time, effort and expenditure, year-round gardening is now possible in my corner of Montana.

While our picnic table looks a bit shy of inviting, my spinach crop is stellar. In honor of the March 2nd full moon, and thanking those seeds that germinated in the last two plantings this year, I planted some carrots and cabbage seeds today.

I also added a couple more lights to extend and brighten the days for my babies.

You can, by the […]

greenhouse design

I enjoy old-school mechanical drawing, drafting and design … with paper, pencil, T-square, triangles and such. Having a simple drawing board, perhaps even a genuine drafting desk has been on my short list every time I end up with a home that has space for it.

My new studio may well be the place this happens, but not until we are fully moved in and settled.

Meanwhile, I have a lot of projects that really require some planning and drawing to insure they fit together well, have the right materials, and in some cases, communicate to the builder […]

wild painkiller

In slang terms, this really is WILD!

A weed right under our noses that is so useful it ought to be outlawed.

I hate to say that for a couple of reasons, but I do suggest that you get some seed to work with before your protectors take it away.

I post it here to help insure its availability, but all the links are from the source article at Before It’s

You might want to go there to see the article in its natural habitat and original form. Click the link above to do that.


freeze drying economics

Freeze drying is superior food preservation technology that recently became available for home use. Units about the size of a woodstove enable home food preservers to put by meat, vegetables, fruit and completed meals for extremely long storage shelf lives without losing significant nutrient value.

Friends of ours bought a freeze dryer and, with numerous batches under their belts, showed off the machine and their results.

I am quite impressed with the claims of quality and potential longevity of the food supply. I am also a bit surprised at what has to be learned and the amount of […]

Solar Food Dehydrator

Best-Ever Solar Food Dehydrator Plans

Nearly two decades of expert testing and experimentation have gone into producing these solar food dehydrator plans. The resulting food dryer isn’t just efficient and off-grid — it’s also highly cost-effective for anyone wanting to preserve large amounts of food at home.

From Mother Earth News

(editor note: Go to the link above to see the original article. It includes a latitude adjustment table and, at the bottom, important related links. – Ted)

By Dennis Scanlin

For nearly 20 years, I’ve led research teams as founder and coordinator of the Appropriate Technology Program […]

Garden Planting Schedule

from homespun seasonal living .com

When a planning a garden, one of the most important parts is getting the timing right. Not everything gets planted at the same time, some seeds get direct seeded right into the garden, some get started inside, some go before the last frost, some after and so on. It’s a lot to keep in a head or at least in my head, I don’t even try. I’ve found it much easier to keep track of all those important dates by creating a schedule of what gets planted […]

manual mowing again

My 20-year-old little Honda mulching mower is still gimpy. The quality time we spent together in the shop did not make it young and spry – like I am.

I recognize a fuel-flow problem, but am unable to find a fuel filter anywhere. If there is one, it most assuredly is clogged with 20 years of impurities because I have never seen it; never changed it. But it is not to be found, and definitely not anything like the picture I found online.

If there isn’t one, this will be the first time in recent memory a manufacture of […]

growing without pests Day 1

We had a wonderful class. I didn’t know how it would work, if I had enough new information for those attending, and so on. It was the first time I’d used presentation software with a cable to a big screen monitor. I was nervous.

It went great. There is a warm dozen-plus gardeners, knowledgeable and open to new information. They are embracing what I call The Bob Cannard method of growing – but what is in reality my evolution of it.

Some of the 15 who signed up for the class have conflicts with one or more of the […]

Growing A Healthy Environment

I wrote the following article for the August issue of the Sonoma County Environmental Impact Reporter a couple of decades ago. With a few tiny changes, I re-publish it here as it is still perfectly relevant and accurate.

As you read, keep in mind the target market this was aimed at. Your priorities may vary, but the results are both personal and global anyway. – Ted

Did Johnnie Appleseed leave a path of wormy apples behind in the frontier?

Did the ancient Roman Empire make their wine from rotten grapes?

Did roses flourish before we came […]

organic growing

Among the Darby Adult Ed classes open for signups until Wednesday are four I’m offering to teach. As with all of their classes, 7 or more students have to sign up in order for them to happen. The complete listing of classes is here: Course Information Spring 2014

Signups are open until Wednesday the 22nd

Growing Without Pests AND Without Pesticides

Chemical free gardening for organic food and ornamentals is no harder or more expensive than conventional growing.

Remineralization by adding rock powder and oyster shell flour are important components, bringing the soil back up to […]

lettuce lessons

With the recent cold snap, my Bitterroot winter garden experiment quickly entered Phase III.

On October 14th, we filled planter boxes that were here before us with soil and seed. Then added water and wait.

The plant seeds came from Territorial Seed, who has significant expertise in year-round gardening. They recommended some pak choi and three varieties of winter-hearty lettuce. I was not overly optimistic, as almost nobody around here tries outdoor winter gardening. However, I am not one for giving up before I start, so off we go.

Well, old man winter approacheth and these tough guys […]

salad warmers

My Montana winter salad experiment

continues its evolution…

As I explained November 10th in my article winter salad, I put some bok choi and three types of lettuce seeds into four planter boxes to see what might come of it. Being able to have fresh greens through the winter would be nice.

Missy has begun her winter sprouts operation. That’s a much more reliable way of reaching the primary objective.

When the temperatures hit the low teens they cried out for help. “That thin plastic bedsheet is not enough”, they wailed.

I ran a […]