Independence Celebration Update:

Happy 4th – Independence through the urban food chain

What ways do we celebrate our independence?


Gather friends and family

FOOD…more on this later

Thank a soldier

Pray that we can keep our independence

Pay it forward…

My favorite way to show independence is by creating independence through making food and pollinator gardens the buzz around town. Let’s grow things to eat and become independent in the food chain, the urban and suburban food chain. We can share food and kindness across backyard fences and rotate crops to each other from harvested seeds. It’s timely and starting small is the key, as well as starting now. Simply grow a plant in your house or outside then move from there. Grow it, Harvest it, Share it, Eat it, Save seeds or take cuttings for next year. Sorry, now you’re hooked because it’s so fun savoring life and the delicious fresh food you just grew.

We have the freedom, let’s use it to our advantage and Grow, Grow, Grow!


Cottonwood Farm: Ready, Set… Summer Harvest!

The tomato harvest has begun!! Be still my heart.

We are entering the days when I make dinner plans based on what looks ready to pick. Granted, that means we will mainly be eating lots of tomato/basil inspired dishes, a variety of squashes, and the last of the cabbages, but this is not exactly a hardship around here. 😉

I’ve had several people ask me why I chose to plant so many cherry and pear tomatoes when large tomatoes are easier to preserve in sauces and salsas. Aside from their candy-like deliciousness when eaten out of hand, here is the short answer:

Read more summer harvest tips here.IMG_6266

Cottonwood Farm: Summer Solstice Salad

It’s starting to get hot, hot, hot.

Which means: tomatoes! (Well, other things, too, I’m sure… But mostly, TOMATOES.)

Yet while my tastebuds are languishing in a quivering state of salsa/ sauce/ caprese anticipation, there are a few stars in my spring garden that deserve some first-day-of-summer love.

I just didn’t realize how much love, until this salad happened. It’s light, fresh, crisp and utterly unexpected. And made from all that Antioch Urban garden goodness!IMG_5947 (1)

Get the recipe over at Cottonwood Farm

Guest Blogger: Potato, Po-tah-to

Sweet potatoes are not potatoes at all, so really, you can pronounce them any way you like. They are, however, delicious. And their vines can be incredibly lovely.

I stopped in to visit my friends at Antioch Urban Growers to pick up my sweet potato plants and clear up a few mysteries. Mark, as always, answered my endless questions with grace.

Read more and join the Grow Along here!


Guest Blogger: Ode to the Not-So-Ornamental

In my previous garden, I planted herbs and vegetables in neat rows in raised beds in the backyard, and I planted flowers in the front and along the sides of the house: day lilies, daffodils, hydrangeas, lilacs, and a rogue patch of mint. I don’t know why I did this, except that it seems like what I’d always done, what everyone does. You look at your front yard; it’s a post card. Curb-appeal.

But the backyard houses the real business of lettuce-growing and soccer playing and burger eating.

I no longer really have a front yard per se, so the line has grown fuzzy.

Flowers don’t look merely ornamental to me anymore. Unless by ornamental, you mean that bees are gold diggers, and flowers are the diamond earrings that lure them into spending quality time with the squash. Read More…


Guest Blogger: Spring Planting Surprises

When I say this farm is an adventure, what I mean is: despite the predictable circuit of the seasons, you never really can predict what’s going to happen next. For instance, our family was just adopted by a cat. Believe me when I say we did NOT see this one coming. He was one of a new litter of feral cats that have been sadly multiplying in our area, but instead of scrambling into the brush at our approach, as his brothers did, he nosed his way closer, curled up on the seat of Aaron’s tractor and staked his claim. Read More…

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