We’ll wrap up a busy week with another pictorial dispatch from the homefront.

There are lots of orders to attend to this morning (picking and packing the produce).  We have surplus squash, basil, mizuna, grape leaves and more that we are selling this week.   Folks are coming by this afternoon to pick up their orders from our front porch farm stand.   If you are interested in our surplus, then sign up on our produce mailing list at info@dervaesgardens.com

Word on the street is that the Gringos have surplus food!  Four cute as a button Latino kids from next door (new neighbors too) came up to the porch to see if we had any fruit. The parents had given each ice cream money that they clutched in their little hands.  I told them we had oranges and some sweet grapefruit.   They never heard of grapefruit so I asked if they’d like a taste.  Their faces lit up and  I gave them each a segment and they loved it and bought a pound each.  So cute.

Then another of the neighborhood kids, a sweet little African American girl (who is about 12), came knocking for fruit and she too bought a pound with her ice cream money!    I then saw her a few minutes later slurping on the ½ piece of grapefruit that covered up most of her face.  She’s been back four times this week.

Now that’s what growing food is all about– connecting kids with good food.

Word on the honey front is that we should be harvesting some soon – perhaps Sunday!   Everyone can’t wait to try out Justin’s new “toy.”  It’s a new stainless steel hand-cranked honey exacter – it’s a beaut.   Perhaps we’ll even have some homestead honey to sell.  We’ll keep you posted!

Also have to finish up a few canning projects before the weekend – more dilly beans, jams and syrups.  So back to work!

Time to turn the worm bin

Look at all that good garden/kitchen scraps

Turn, turn, turn

Munch, munch, munch

Made in the shade. Justin whips up his monthly batch of homebrewed biodiesel

Making up some frames and watching a bit of World Cup Soccer - go USA!

Building up some more boxes

Getting ready to check in on the bees

Checking in

Busy Bees

Pickled beets - so pretty!

Dilly carrots

I love LUCIE!

Sleepy time

Ya'll have a good weekend, ya hear!

:: Resources ::

Biodiesel Homebrew Guide

Canning Books & Supplies

Garden Goods & Home Composters


  1. Sandra says:

    That does my heart good to hear children coming to buy fruit with their ice cream money. So sweet.

    • Anais says:

      @Sandra: I know. Makes me smile and have a warm feeling inside. Have to get pics of their cute lil faces with armful of fruit. 😉

  2. Donna Duquette says:

    What a great site, What a great way of life. You all are such inspiration to get out and do a little more to be self reliant. Follow you on Face Book.

    • Anais says:

      @Donna Duquette: Thank you and a warm welcome to you. We love to hear from new readers and hope to continue to inspire and inform!

  3. Tim says:

    Hey, I noticed your beets look a little faded. A tip my wife’s grandmother gave me for helping them keep their bright red color is to boil the beets with about an inch or an inch-and-a-half of stem still on. If not the color bleeds out too much. Worked for me. My pickled beets are bright as can be!

    • Anais says:

      @Tim: Thanks for the tip. I forgot to mention they were the white and pink stripped beets. 😉

  4. Tim says:

    @Anais – That explains it! 🙂

  5. Alicia-Marie says:

    I want to thank you for letting people glimpse a bit of your life through this blog. Your life is very inspirational. I also follow you on FB.

    I am a toddler teacher, so I particularly loved hearing about the children using their ice cream money to buy fruit.

    • Anais says:

      @Alicia-Marie: We are glad you like it just as much as I enjoy sharing. 😉 Today the four kids come by – THREE TIMES! They were playing “house” and brought over dollar and quarters to buy stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner. SO CUTE

  6. Ginger says:

    Your bees look great. And thanks for sharing the stories about the children and all your other pics. We are looking at buying our own extractor this year. What type did you get? Let us know how it works.

    • Anais says:

      @Ginger: Yeah, we are happy to have bees once again. We had 10 hives here in the city 25 years ago when we moved here (sold honey to folk in our church) but when the plant nursery next door sold out we weren’t sure who would purchase the property so just to be safe we gave our hives away. We captured this batch from a swarm about 4 years ago. We’ll keep you posted on the honey harvest!

  7. Stephanie in AR says:

    Where do you keep your bees so that everyday activity & neighbors do not bother them? We are trying to decide where to set up a hive and while we have a lot more space than your place we do still have neighbors.

    • Anais says:

      @Stephanie in AR: We have placed them in a nice little hidden part of the yard. Actually we’ve had people over, walk past the hives and not even know they are there. With bees one has to be very considerate of neighbors, especially when it comes to the flight line of bees flying in and out of the hive.

  8. Frank says:

    I love the picture of you chicken LUCI… we have two Roxie and Tuffy and they add so much to our life and everyone they meet….

    Got to Love those Critters!!

    • Anais says:

      @Frank: Yep, she’s a character all right. She’s a Belgian bantie so is about the size of a small pigeon but she makes it up in BIG personality! She’s and her partner Estella are like two peas in a pod and are a complete riot. Gotta love those chooks

  9. Patti says:

    I love having several worm bins! Junk mail, toilet paper rolls, newspaper, veggie scraps, coffee grounds–no waste here! Hubby makes a “soup” for the worms by blending the scraps and coffee grounds in the blender. Easier for them to eat! I taught a class on vermiculture at the YMCA day camp this year. The kids loved it! They decided the worms needed names and chose to call them all “Bob” because they can’t tell them apart!

    • Anais says:

      @Patti: LOL. It’s always fascinating to open the worm bin and hear the worm munching away. They are certainly one of the best composters on the planet.

  10. samantha says:

    Love the website but I have a question…and I bet it is not the first time you have heard this…where to start??? Thanks in advance

    • Anais says:

      @samantha: Thanks for positive comments. Good question. Well, it depends on your situation. Just take stock of what positive changes you’d like to make and start making baby steps towards your goal. Whether that be using cloth bags, reducing your water, buying or growing local produce. 25 years ago we didn’t know where to start either, we just tackled our projects a little at a time. We first planted a small garden, hung clothes on a clothes line, lived simply, composted, etc. Do any of our readers have any tips on how they started? Care to share.

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