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The Story of Our Swale As Told by Four Fig Trees

The weather here has been incredibly hot and dry all summer. We’ve had almost no rain for weeks, and the average highs are 95 degrees. In many areas of our property, plants and trees are looking stressed. Grass is dying and the ground is starting to crack.

In the midst of these brutal conditions, something […]

How I Saved Our Trash Can

One of my philosophies for saving money is to always try to repair things before throwing them away and buying new. Sometimes things are beyond repair, but I always try to repair them first. I’ve save a lot over the years with this approach.

We’ve been in our house for almost 10 years now. When […]

Photos and Videos of a White Hawk with a Freshly Captured Prey

We have a white hawk living in our woods. I turned into the driveway and it was at the end of one of our swales eating something it had just captured. I was able to get several pictures and videos of it.

When I first saw it, I thought one of my white leghorn […]

Property Update – May 23 2016

It has been 3 weeks since my last property update. It has been unusually dry for most of April and May. I filled the swale a couple of times from the pool, which has the level in the pool down. We finally got a couple of good rains over the past week, which helps the […]

Comfrey 1 – Hornets 0

Today I received a stinging reminder that nature can be cruel at times. I was working in the swales, spreading some wood chips around the fruit trees. All of a sudden I felt a sharp pain on both of my legs. I swatted away whatever it was and went running.

I could tell from […]

Easy Inexpensive Plant Marker Stakes

As I added more and more diverse plants to our swales and food forest project, I started losing track of what was planted where. Part of my strategy to reduce damage from rabbits and deer is to plant a wide variety of things. Scattered throughout the swales are also many cover crops like oats, peas, […]

Property Update – May 2 2016

It’s been about 3 weeks since the last update. The weather has started to get pretty hot. I have to plan my days better to avoid the hottest part of the day. It’s also important to remember to drink a lot of water because it’s easy to get dehydrated. On the really hot days, I […]

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way of Your Plans

There’s a saying that goes, “Life is what happens when you are busy making plans.”

I was diligently staying active on this blog, trying to post at least 3 times a week, then life happened – in waves. A couple weeks ago I came down with something. We think it was a sinus infection. Whatever […]

My Case for Solar Energy

Today is Earth Day, so it seems like a good time to talk about alternative energy.

I’ve been fascinated with solar energy for a long time. Maybe it’s simple curiosity. Maybe it’s the engineer in me.

Or maybe it’s because the answer to one of our major problems is right there in front […]

An Inspiring Food Forest

Back in December, my son Jonathan and I visited our friend Dan in Mississippi. While we were there, we took a day trip down to the Gulf Coast neat Biloxi to visit one of Dan’s family members, Ken. What started out as a simple visit with little expectations turned out to be something amazing.

From […]