Tomato time!  On Friday we harvested our first handful of tomatoes which automatically went into making homemade spaghetti sauce.  After a fall and winter of homegrown/canned tomato sauce it was a treat to once again taste a fresh, homegrown tomato.  And on Sunday we enjoyed a ALT sandwich – local/barter avocados, homegrown lettuce and tomato sandwich – delicious!  I could have polished off two, but had to control myself!

Cleaning the 50 lbs of elephant garlic for drying and storing with a toothbrush.   After. we placed the cleaned garlic on a wire shelf in the garage (when drying air flow is important!).

I happily commented now that our garage is looking more and more like a barn that it “smells of garlic and goats.”  Not that our goats smell (heavens no!) – but it’s more their hay and feed.   Oh, and I forgot to add the smell of beeswax to the mix…. all urban homesteady smells!  mmmmmmm

Clay pot irrigated tomato bed.  The warmer temps have really kicked off the summer crops.  The tomatoes have reached the third “rung” of the trellises and growing!

Eggplants grow taller by the day- wonder if this year we’ll get some veggies giants.  One year some of our veggies grew into small “trees”

Front yard farming: artichokes, chives, burdock, roses and lima beans

Gorgeous peaches!  Nothing says “summertime” than eating (um slurping) a warm peach.

And lovely brilliant blue blueberries.  They just look so lovely sitting there – shame to eat em!

After three days of fermenting the swiss chard kimchi was ready to put up in jars and placed in cold storage. 

Freedom Farmer S says that he’s got a bunch of cabbage coming on ( 200 lbs he thinks) so this week I’ll make another batch of whey (using plain yogurt) to have ready.   I still have a huge bag of shredded daikons so there’s definitley more kimchi to be made.

Speaking of using up the daikon, the batch of sweet relish turned out to be really tasty.  Since we are vegetarian and don’t really eat soy “meat substitute” products (only on special occasion) I am thinking of cooking up some black beans today in the solar oven and making some black bean “veggie” patties and dabbing on a spoonful of sweet daikon relish.  Sounds delicious already.

After picking 20 lbs of red RIPE strawberries from our patch in the driveway they had to be “dealt with” – pronto.  So we froze some, ate some fresh and jammed up the rest.


  1. Nikki says:

    Would you share your recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce? I have always wanted to can some, but haven’t found a recipe yet. Thanks!

  2. Ruthie says:


    You can really make patties out of any cooked bean or grain, even with some mushy veggies too! Just mush up and add oatmeal and/or ground flax as a binder and let sit for about 5 minutes. Then it should be thick enough to form into patties and pan fry or bake (or solar bake). 🙂

    Yum yum, no bun required!

  3. Andrea says:

    Ditto what Nikki said….love to hear about your spaghetti sauce!!!!!!!!!

  4. Anne P. says:

    I love your “urban homesteady smells”! 🙂

  5. Mary in Oklahoma says:

    We are days away from harvesting garlic too. I planted in October and now it’s time to reap! I checked a few bulbs a couple of days ago and these are the biggest we’ve ever had.

    Do you braid any for storage or just trim the dried foliage and store them as bulbs? I am going to try to braid some this year.

    Thanks for sharing all the inspiring photos. Pictures help jumpstart my DIY creative juices.

  6. LittleAntFarm says:

    Impressive pics! Those blueberries look sooo good, I can almost taste them. 🙂

  7. Michelle says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I love it! I have to admit..I’m just learning…but I want all of MY stuff to look just like YOUR stuff! Never mind you’ve been doing this for EVER. I just realized that my squash and eggplant havea fungus and I have to start all over. For a minute I was ready to throw in the towel! But I got a grip. And pulled it together. Ahem.

    I have a question for you…what do you do about flies? My chickens are attracting flies like crazy…no matter how clean I keep the coop. How do you control flies around your place? And another question…do you use pectin in your jam? So inquisitive…you guys need a 1-800 Hotline!

  8. Michelle (GardeningMichelle) says:

    I’ll agree with the 1800-hotline number! LOL

    How are the tomato trellis’ constructed and how is the wire secured to the poles?

  9. Mary Hysong says:

    Hi! The E. garlic looks sooo good. Can’t wait for mine to be ready. Mine is putting out blossom stems. Do you cut your flower stems down or let them go?

  10. Jill says:

    How do you keep the shredded daikons? In the fridge (how long?) or the freezer?? Thanks!

  11. Lily says:

    I also live in So Cal and I am wondering how you “do” cold storage. My partner and I are in the process of purchasing a house which actually has a partial basement (built in 1936) so the possibility of a cool food storage area is tantalizing. But I am wondering how you guys do it. In our current home I use a spare room and closet, but even well closed off it is not ideal in 6 months out of the year, the room still gets much warmer than I would like for my canned and bulk dry goods.

  12. TeeJ says:

    I’m wondering how the swiss chard kimchi tastes compared the last batch you made with cabbage. One of my kids is allergic to cabbage, so this would be a great way to get her more cultured food!

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