Our Journal

Growing Cool Season Flowers in Zone 10
October 27, 2020

Late October and it finally feels like fall here in SoCal.  We are preparing for the cool season ahead- stacking wood for our wood burning stove (can’t wait to watch those flames!) and pulling down boxes of warmer kids’ clothes- and being so surprised at how much everyone has grown.  I’ve been occupied with clearing the gardens, solarizing crop residues, digging out burmuda grass, and laying organic horse manure and compost so I can replant, with the goal of having a substantial harvest by February … keep reading

How to plant Ranunculus in Southern California, Zone 10b
November 5, 2021

No cut flower garden is complete without ranunculus.  I could marvel at the beauty of these flowers for hours with their nodding stems and layers upon layers of soft petals.  Each plant gives you several cuts over a period of weeks, and your ranunculus bounty will make you feel like the richest gardener in the world.  Ranunculus is a cool season flower, and it’s essential to get them started in Southern California in the fall.  The ideal time to soak and pre-sprout ranunculus is mid-October … keep reading

Our Philosophy of Soil
July 1, 2020

To care for a piece of land, to watch it evolve, endure growing pains, and improve over the years is a remarkable human experience. In 2013 when we purchased our home, our backyard was full of promise because it was large by San Diego standards, but it was made of hard packed decomposed granite- far from the idealized backyard garden. The previous owners ran a street sweeping business and parked their street sweepers in the backyard. Can you imagine all the soil compaction? We set … keep reading

How to Grow Great Lisianthus in Southern California
December 12, 2022

Eustoma grandiflorum! Lisianthus! If you’re a new grower here’s what you need to know: Lisianthus flowers are very slow growing and best grown from plugs, versus seed. When choosing a variety to grow, note the group. Each grouping (Group 1, 2, 3, and 4) has a corresponding season in which they flower, which is daylight and heat dependent. Basically, you want these plants to have enough time in the ground to grow long stems before their time to flower–so choose accordingly. Lisianthuses love to be … keep reading

How to Grow Flowering Sweet Peas
November 12, 2021

Sweet peas are a cool season flower, so plant them early in the growing season.  In Southern California, I start my sweet peas October through December. Choose a sunny spot to plant! Plant in fertile soil with ample compost or manure (horse, chicken, or rabbit) gently worked into the top few inches of the soil before.  Sweet peas are heavy feeders. Provide a trellis of some sort, preferably on the North side of your plants, for the plants to climb.  I put up my trellis … keep reading

A Growing List of Resources
November 23, 2020

It’s currently my off season, the days are tipping toward the winter solstice and I’m relishing the extra time to stay under my covers in the early morning hours when I would otherwise be harvesting.  I’ve also been catching up on reading and setting intentions for a new growing season.  Most recently I devoured JADAM Organic Farming by Yongsang Cho, the son of the founder of KNF (Korean Natural Farming).  I hope to close the loop on all of my farming inputs this year (namely … keep reading

How to Grow Garden Roses in Southern California
January 10, 2022

We all have a few surprises in life; I’m referring to the ones you could never predict or see coming until BAM, you’ve been blindsided. For me, one of those delights was a rose garden. If you would have asked me ten years ago if I’d like to grow roses, I would have responded with a passionate:  “Never.” “Absolutely not.” “No way.” “Zero-interest.” During my first year of flower farming, my florist friend Bethany would invite me up the steps to her second-floor apartment to … keep reading

How I flipped a school garden during Covid: from overgrown mess to planted in 3 days
November 30, 2020

Last year (in 2019), I excitedly looked on as the elementary school four houses down from us built raised beds and planted a garden. Their students have been virtual learning since March 2020, and with each passing week I watched their spring garden grow more and more neglected, wild, and overgrown. In the winter of 2020, I finally gathered enough courage to call the principal to see if I could lend a hand, and he generously agreed to let me plant the raised beds with … keep reading