Our Mission:

Our Mission: To enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.

Saturday, July 3, 2021


Happy Independence Day weekend!

The evening fireworks will be colorful and exciting, but if you look around, you'll catch some other colorful (but quieter) displays outside.

Our peonies are one of my favorites, often blooming around Memorial Day.  It has about the largest flower in our home garden.  The sweet nectar supports pollinators, including Typhia and Scolia wasps and can be one part of your overall plan to control Japanese beetles.

A redbud tree in bloom is spectacular!

I'm so thankful for the Redbud tree in our backyard.  It shades the deck for cooler seating in summer.  They are arguably nitrogen producing trees, although missing the tell-tale root nodules typical of nitrogen fixing plants. The spring blooms feed and draw pollinators to orchard areas, and are an edible treat that taste similar to snap peas.  

Young apple tree in bloom at the
Sprout Learning Garden (Drake University)

We had a very warm early spring, then a cold snap unfortunately with several late frosts.  This had me worried about our peach and cherries.  Freezing weather damages flower buds severely impacting fruit production. I've considered redesigning some soil shading shrubs to help delay flowering, but have yet to make any changes at our house.

I'm thankful for our late blooming peach seedling!  Patient peaches are productive peaches!

Native Columbines are an
early woodland favorite

More flower pics to enjoy!

Butterfly Milkweed, looks nice, is well behaved
in pollinator gardens. Aphids can be a problem,
so yarrow nearby encourages predatory insects

An adult monarch feeding on common milkweed nectar.
Common milkweed flowers smell wonderful, and
the leaves are perfect food for monarch caterpillars.

Bumblebee also foraging on common milkweed

Echinacea is a great native flower!

Penstemon or Smooth Beardtongue

I love the crown-like flowers on our native
Cranberry Viburnum

The dry stretch finally seems to be giving way to a little spotty rain.  More please!

We have been getting lots of projects done, but the plants we've put in will appreciate the rain instead of life support from irrigation!

A butterfly stopped by to say he appreciates what we do
during a recent rain garden install!   Ha!