Mustard against hill on ranch land in San Luis Obispo County
Mustard is blooming all over San Luis Obispo County. It’s one of the many cover crops that farmers and ranchers plant to smother weeds and replenish nutrients in the soil. Mustard grows between grape vines, under orchard trees, and on grazing lands. It’s […]
Trimming Up and Removing Dead Trees
Our little community sits on hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. What really makes this seaside cluster of homes unique, is that the houses in Cambria are built in the middle of a Monterey Pine forest which I find to be both beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
The calm after a storm.
I know, I know. Chickens and gardening are my thing. But I need to take a break once in a while! We’ve had a series of storms blast though our little hamlet on the central coast of California. Fifty-seven homes were damaged by falling Monterey Pines. We were lucky. […]
We’re getting ready for a series of storms that are supposedly heading our way. I say supposedly because the forecaster often predicts rain, and many times, only a few drops will appear. Remember, this is California, the land of sunshine. We need rain badly but I dread storms. Our property is surrounded by old pines. […]
We got a half inch of rain yesterday and during the night, and I’m thrilled. I hear the chuckles rising across the U.S. as some of you sit in five feet of snow, while I get giddy over a half an inch of rain. I’m sorry that you suffer. I really am. I’ve always lived […]
I planted five pounds of rye grass seeds around the apple trees just before the first rains came. Not one seedling sprouted! Mind you, we do have hundreds of birds visiting our garden each day and 15 or 20 quail who call our backyard home. But this is ridiculous! The place looks like the Sahara […]
Snail photo on Flickr by Randy Son of Robert
If you have not found evidence of slugs and snails in your garden by now, believe me, they will be here soon. In our California coastal climate they live (and eat) throughout the year. They slide though the night on their slimy mucus-producing “foot”, leaving a […]
The moist soil after some much needed rain in California, has brought out the moles and gophers in droves. There is sometimes confusion as to whether your garden has been invaded by gophers (a rodent that eats plants and roots) or by moles that tunnel along the surface, upsetting topsoil and toppling seedlings. It is […]
There has been an abundance of wildlife in our gardens this year. Seven years ago, a single quail couple hatched chicks in the open space behind our property and used the fenced portion of our garden as their playpen. The family of fifteen ended up being a family of four, but those are considered good […]
Moon Through Coastal Overcast
When I was a kid, I found the song “Shine on Harvest Moon” haunting. What does “I ain’t had no lovin’ since…mean to an 8-year-old? Pretty scary stuff! I got that the weather was changing and there wasn’t much time for this lovin’ stuff, so better get to it while […]