Jnana's Red Barn

Back on June 14, I posted a photo of our newly erected tepee for the pole beans. Now that they’ve sprouted and taken off, here’s how it looks.

The vines have climbed to nearly seven feet tall. I'll need a stepladder for picking. The vines have climbed to nearly seven feet tall. I’ll need a stepladder for picking.

If the plants produce as well as our first round of sugar snap peas did, I’ll be feeling like a pharaoh of beans. (I hear the groans in our household already. So, she might ask, did that make me a sugar-snap daddy?)

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Worm Your Honor

Pirates Progress

Worms rage hard, bro. Worms rage hard, bro.

My worm bed is doing very well! This is my third time trying one and I think I finally have a process. Those little buggers are hungry, too! By my best estimation, their population has doubled already and I only built the bin last month.

The worms’ castings are the prize. Black gold. An organic fertilizer that is naturally pH balanced and full of all the delicious little nutrients plants crave. The stuff costs serious money in stores and the idea of having a source of food for my plants right in my own kitchen excites the hippie in me.

The process is sophisticated in it’s simplicity. Really, all that needs to happen is some worms need to feel comfortable enough to chow down all day long, in turn digesting their entire body weight in organic kitchen and garden garbage. Simple enough: take bin, add bedding, add worms. But then…

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Making My Bed


So great, the plants are growing, now I needed to put them somewhere.  I already knew the dimensions I wanted it to be, 4’x5′.  I then needed to pick the spot in the yard that got the most sunlight (keeping winter sunlight in mind as well).  My roommate had some raised beds near the front of the backyard, so I planned to put my bed just behind his.

“They” say to use pressure treated wood so that it lasts longer, but considering how we’re just renting, I felt like it didn’t really make a difference.  There were some wood planks beside the garage that looked good enough for me!  I cut my wood to length and layed out my bed on the grass.


As you can see my pieces of wood aren’t very wide, I read that you want to make them at least six inches deep, but…

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Herbs for Hens

Village Life New Zealand

I had read Linda Woodrow’s book, The Permaculture Home Garden before returning back to the village block and distinctly remembered her advise to include a range of herbs in the chook bucket so they could self medicate.

Over the years since I have included a wide range of herbs in my chooks diet and have never had any problems with their health. Predominantly the herbs I have used are thyme, rosemary, oregano, fennel, tarragon, parsley, basil, coriander … the list goes on.

From references I have learnt that herbs often accumulate micro-nutrients. Linda lists these in relation to use in the compost as mulch, and specifically mentions yarrow and thyme being beneficial for chickens to “dose themselves against intestinal worms”. There is also a cautionary note about using some herbs like comfrey which contains an alkaloid called pyrrolizidine and could be unhealthy in large doses to chickens.

I also use…

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Harvest Monday

Gardening Without...

June 30, 2014

I only get about an hour every day that I can work in the garden; basically from sunup until the kids wake up. By the time I feed the baby, feed the kids breakfast, and get the baby down for a nap, it’s too hot already! I go out a couple more times for various small tasks but that is the only time I can get a large chunk of picking done.

I picked blueberries for one hour every day this week. In one hour, I was able to pick 3 bushes and got 8 Quarts of blueberries. It took me 5 days in a row to get through our 15 blueberry bushes (we have about 30 in various stages of maturity but 15 that are large enough to fruit). I’m calling it: It is officially blueberry season!

I got through all of the blueberry bushes in…

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Old to New: Re-Purposing to help you in your garden designs and practical needs


Plants have the amazing ability to utilize what is around them and make the very best of it that they can to grow and thrive. So when it comes to designing and creating pieces to augment your garden, sometimes all you have to do is look no further then what is immediately around you.

Take our front gardens and walkway for example. These beds were created just two years ago and now are thriving, producing edible flowers, greens and herbs it also a beautiful addition for passers-by to look at. The edging was created using old bricks that used to line a path in the back garden. The path used valuable sunny growing space and did not provide the easiest access to the garden. We reused the bricks and helped to shape the design of two beds at once.


Another common need in gardens is trellises. Using scrap wood…

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