Autumn Scenes from an Urban Smallholding

I love the idea of a “smallholding.”  It’s a term still used in England, one I re-discovered while leafing through a favorite book the other day, The Freedom Manifesto by Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson (also love The Idler…).  A smallholding is a modest parcel of land, usually just one-family’s-worth, that …

Backyard Harvest: Cherry Oh, Cherry Oh, Baby!

We’re on the road for a week and away from connectivity. Before leaving, we picked a giant bin of tasty backyard cherries from our tree, and we’ve been happily spitting the pits out the car window as we ramble. Which prompts a re-posting of this great Tangled Nest entry written …

Drying Food in the Dehydrator You Already Own: Your Car

I’m on the road this week doing some author appearances so The Tangled Nest continues to be tended by guest bloggers. Today, a recent experiment by my husband Tom (aka Bikejuju): Thanks to our unseasonably hot dry summer, Seattle’s fruit trees are exploding with plums, pears, apples, figs, fruit of …

The Summer Solstice Garden

Remember the mounded earth raised beds that looked like a graveyard and made me cry?  After some sun, rain, and a fair bit of work, this garden is now one of my favorite places in all the world. February above, June below: Here’s today’s view through the chicken coop door: …

The Perfect Backyard Fruit Tree–Four Asian Pears in One

Fruiting trees offer such a wonderful way to reclaim and rebuild the fertility of  our urban yards–if all goes well, one planting will provide sweet food for years to come. This weekend we planted our newest fruit tree, a little four-way Asian pear.  Four varieties are grafted onto one tree.  …