IMG_1922Yesterday Dom brought home a gift for me. I think we were probably the last people (by choice) on earth without a real cell phone. When we would travel long distances, we always made sure to have one of those emergency pay-as-you-go cell phones, but we were pretty much against paying for a cell phone on a plan. He and I just don’t communicate by phone all the time. I much prefer email over talking. I used to have a phobia about talking on the phone, and now, I just enjoy keeping all the email communications. After all, it is the digital form of the old fashioned letter writing, even if others aren’t that into it. Everyone these days are texting, which, I’m not interested in. GRRR!


We fought the desire, explained away our reasons for not having one, and in the end we caved in for a few reasons. Over the last few years especially, we found it interesting to watch people’s facial expressions when we would say we didn’t have a cell phone. It was a deer in the headlights kind of look, that always perplexed us. Following the stunned brain fart reaction, was the question, “What?”

While I’m not a “hey, yeah lets chat for a while today” kinda girl, we realized that as farmers we can give an up close and personal view of what we do, as well as communicate with our shareholders and customers. It was time for us to enter the social networking world beyond Facebook, and bring our love of soil, plants and all living things to the forefront. I want you to see what I see, and why I do what I do. There is so much beauty in the natural world, and I often lust after expensive cameras because I want so much to capture those rare up close moments and share them. We can’t afford a digital SLR camera, and for the last several years I’ve used the Canon Powershot to take photos around our homestead. Someday I’ll own a digital SLR, but in the meantime Dom wanted to get me what might be the next best thing, the iPhone 5.

We also wanted to be able to engage our customers while at farmers markets, as well as offer a payment gateway for accepting major credit cards to those purchasing directly from us.

I don’t know anything about iPhones, and below are photos I took for the first time using it this morning. I haven’t applied filters and all those fun little apps that are available. I think filters and apps are awesome (I was playing with a photo app last night and got all geeked out), but I’m after capturing the tiny hairs on a new seedling, or eyes of bugs up close. To see the veins on a baby leaf, or how the sun hits a plant in such a way to make it a bit translucent.

I will be playing around quite a bit with the different filters for artistic license and social fun that’s for sure!

This morning at Luna Hill:



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Swiss chard





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Sheep sorrel






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Jerusalem artichokes

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White beans and garbanzo beans

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Up close with ladybugs eating aphids on a plum tree

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This little guy photobombed the ladybugs



Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!


The wind blew some of the straw from the potato patch to reveal spud sprouts. Aren’t they so cute?!


Dom installed hoops on four garden beds in the Northwest Quadrant Garden until he ran out of pvc. We’ll get more this week to finish the quadrant.

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Cabbage is ready to plant in the garden next week


Tomatoes continue to grow beautifully


All Jalapeño and Poinsettia hot peppers were transplanted


We had to bring another shelf unit into the greenhouse for the transplants, and new seeds were started. A flat (72 cells) of chili and a flat of sweet peppers were planted.

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We had a very productive weekend. We have big plans a-brewing for the next few weeks. We’re so excited to watch everything come into focus.


Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!

silverwelshharlequinI change my mind so often I drive myself nuts, regularly. The good thing however, is that once I feel satisfied in my choice, I know it’s the right one. How do I know when it’s the “right one?” When I no longer second guess myself and I have a huge sigh of relief come over me. My shoulders relax, I no longer worry incessantly throughout the night, and all feels right in the world around me.

Sometimes I lose sight (briefly) of how important heritage breeds are to us, and in the frenzy of trying to choose what will be the most productive for our farm, heritage breeds that could be a good fit for us, get overlooked.

I truly drove myself crazy while trying to choose the best egg laying duck. Everyone knows the Khaki Campbell is well known for her prolific egg dropping abilities, but is that all we want here at Luna Hill? There’s nothing wrong with the Khaki Campbell, and while egg production is important, preserving critical heritage breeds is just as important.

Knowing that this is one of our top priorities, I had to go back again to the Livestock Conservancy site and find another heritage breed of duck on the list that could be maintained while still performing well on our farm.

Originally we owned gorgeous Magpie ducks, which are on the critical list as well, but the drakes constant state of sexual arousal and menacing all the ducks day and night, stressed them out, yet they were still prolific egg layers. They were also extremely high strung, and trying to get close to them took a lot of work using two to three people. Temperament is an important feature, especially if we have visitors with children, schools day trips, and other functions that would bring people into direct contact with them.

For anyone interested in raising Magpie ducks, I would highly recommend it. Just make sure that you keep the duck to drake population at 5:1 or even 7:1. If you’re looking for an affectionate duck, the Magpie won’t be the best choice either. They aren’t aggressive, nor has any drake ever come after us, but as soon as you get too close, they go into panic mode and run for their lives. They’ve been like that since they hatched.

Muscovies on the other hand have very calm temperaments, and you can pretty much walk straight up to the ducks and drakes to pet them, or even pick one up. We are choosing not to get Muscovies because of the “creepy factor” among the drakes. Creepy isn’t too extreme a word either! The drakes were creepy as they would slowly approach us, hissing and bobbing all the way. They weren’t aggressive in any way, they just reminded me of zombies. Weird right? The female Muscovies were gentle, easy going, but didn’t have the “creepy factor” and if I need or want to hatch out ducks, keeping a few Muscovy ducks will work fine for us.

My final choice *sighing* is the Silver Welsh Harlequin. I’ll be ordering them from Holderread next month.mheiglswelshharlequin

I feel that the heritage duck breed we choose needs to at least have the capability of being a good mother (most ducks aren’t), is a good layer, is very calm and/or docile, and of course beautiful to look at.

Here’s what the Conservancy says about the Silver Welsh Harlequin:

The Welsh Harlequin originated in 1949 from two mutant light colored ducklings hatched from pure Khaki Campbells by Leslie Bonnet, a duck breeder living near Criccieth, Wales. In 1968, John Fugate imported hatching Harlequin eggs to Tennessee, but by 1980, descendants of the original imports were confined to two small flocks. To broaden the gene pool, breeders imported additional Harlequins in 1982, and in 1984 they began to offer birds for sale in the United States. The silver variety of the Welsh Harlequin was accepted by the American Poultry Association in 2001.

The Welsh Harlequin is a lightweight breed at 5-5.5 pounds. Harlequins are streamlined, with relatively long bodies, medium-width backs, rounded chests, moderately full abdomens, and wide-spaced legs. Their necks are topped with trim, oval heads that sport medium-long, slightly concave bills. The color and patterning of the Harlequin is complex. The drake’s head is greenish black, shoulders reddish chestnut frosted with white, and breast creamy with reddish-chestnut. The upper back has a tortoiseshell of cream, white, brown, and chestnut while forewings are cream-white and reddish brown, with a shiny green and bronze cross-band. The tail is blackish/bronze edged in white, the legs and feet are orange, and toenails are brownish-black. The duck has a creamy white head with brown stippling. Often there is a delicate light rust or burnt orange blush to her head, neck, and breast. The crown of the head typically has more brown stippling than the rest of the head. Her body is creamy white with buff and brown-green or bronze bands on her wings. Her tail is a mixture of creamy white and brown. Her legs are orange when young, and brown when older. Toenails are brownish-black. Welsh Harlequin duck and drake ducklings may exhibit a subtle sex-linked difference in bill color at birth (Holderread 1985)

Harlequins are primarily raised for their wonderful practical attributes. “They are highly adaptable, outstanding layers producing 240-330 white shelled eggs yearly, active foragers, excellent producers of lean meat, beautifully colored and pluck almost as cleanly as white birds when dressed for meat.” (Holderread, 2001)

When choosing a Welsh Harlequin breeding bird, select “robust, strong-legged birds that are free of physical deformities, heavy layers, and of correct body type and color. To help perpetuate the authentic Harlequin, avoid the following characteristics: more than a half pound above or below typical weights; short, blocky bodies; large coarse heads; distinct Mallard-like facial stripes; light colored bills in ducks; and poor producers.” (Holderread 2001)

Holderread, Dave. Breed Bulletin #8503: Welsh Harlequin Ducks. Corvallis, OR: The Duck Preservation Center, 1985.

Holderread, Dave. Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks. Pownal, VT: Storey Publishing, 2001.

So there you have it! The Silver Welsh Harlequin has tugged at my heart and will soon become a part of our farm. The Silver Welsh Harlequins will share space with the Black Australorps and Silver Laced Wing Wyandottes.

Here’s a video of some silver Welsh Harlequins:


Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!

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Our sweet little Waffles was trying so desperately to fit into his little rubber water trough. The trough was originally used as the feeding bowl for the ducks and chickens, but now he’s inherited it. Up until now, he would only drink from the big bowl, but today he decided that he needed, absolutely NEEDED to go swimming.

He is just too cute for words, and watching the pure pleasure he received from trying to fit into the bowl will be forever etched into my mind.


Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!


I have successfully recovered from the allergic reaction I was having to exposure to mold, and I didn’t need to be hospitalized. Sometimes a secondary reaction can occur which is potentially life threatening for me and there isn’t a tip off or warning signs, it just happens…I stop breathing. I’m happy to report that I didn’t need medical treatment nor did I need steroids and breathing treatments. It was a great week!

My posts on the Chronicles have been far and few between due to my down time trying to recover, and then playing catch up with everything needing to be done around the property.

This week and weekend was a particular success and both Dom and I feel very accomplished. There was a lot of clean upIMG_1779 to do around the property, stuff to plant, raised beds to prep, mineral amendments to add to all our fruit trees, and a giant compost heap to make. Luckily we were able to finish the majority of our weekend tasks before the windstorm kicked up.

Most of Saturday morning was spent planning things out. Plans change quickly around here. I try to stay flexible when new opportunities arise, or when necessity dictates. One major plan shift was deciding not to raise American Guinea Hogs on our property. We have plans to raise them on our neighbor’s 20 acres instead. In the meantime the area we were planning on raising hogs will now be occupied by chicken and duck layers. Originally we planned to only raise one type of dual purpose chicken, and one type of dual purpose duck, but I’ve changed my mind. We’ll have two chicken pastures. One for only egg laying ducks and chickens, and the other large pasture area for dual purpose heritage breeds of chickens and ducks.

The hatchery emailed to inform us that the chicks will be hatching on or around April 30, and they will be shipped the day they hatch. That gave us a little more time to get their permanent area situated and ready for them. So most of Saturday and all of Sunday was spent gathering up weeds, seeds, leaves, and moving them to the new small chicken area. One large compost heap was created, and then topped with fresh horse manure. Over the next few weeks as the pile is watered and turned, it will start to break down and new bugs, mycelium and other organisms will grow and develop in the pile. When the chicks are old enough to be outside and out of the brooder, they’ll be moved to their new permanent home and be in their glory as they discover all the lovely little creatures awaiting them in the compost pile. It will be like a gourmet feast for them. I know it doesn’t sound appetizing to us, but one thing we realized with chickens is that it’s difficult to keep them out of compost. It’s in their nature to turn and scratch stuff up looking for tasty treats. Why deny them such an epicurean wonder?

I haven’t named their area yet. “The Egg Yard” or “Little Pasture?” Maybe “Compact Pasture” would more effectively represent the area. ;)

I’m planting their little pasture with lots of support species. Siberian peashrub, golden currants, gooseberry, quaking aspen, a sycamore tree, a few evergreens, comfrey, wormwood, clovers, alfalfa, and mulberry…for a start. Everything will be planted as a mini food forest, even though for the first few years they won’t have access to the growing plants. Their area will reduced and fenced off. Once the shrubs and trees are old enough to handle their presence, the fence will be removed, and a grid will be added around the base of the trees and shrubs to prevent scratching up the roots, as well as preventing the ducks from dabbling at the roots.

We’re on the lookout also for a free old bathtub insert. I need one of these for the ducks. We’ve decided to go with Khaki Campbell ducks as our main layers, and they’ll share their lives with the Silver Lace Winged Wyandottes and Black Australorps.

We won’t be starting a breeding program until next year, and once we do, breeders will be kept in a different area. This will allow us to keep the stress levels down among our egg layers. Drakes have quite a voracious sex drive and can really be a menace to the ducks.

I’m also considering adding a few Guinea Fowl to our farmstead. I’m still researching them however, and I won’t know if I guineafowlwant to add them until after I’ve formed a final opinion. I’m leaning towards having a few as our bug and weed grounds keepers. We’ll be adding a few geese to aid in our keeping weeds at bay, and Guinea fowl might be a great addition as well since they love to eat plenty of bugs and weed seeds. We are not in short supply of those items, that’s for sure!

We don’t use herbicides or pesticides here at Luna Hill, so having healthy, vibrant alternatives can provide entertainment, bug and weed control, and add to the general health of our farmstead.

I researched guinea fowl a few years ago, but as a possibility for meat and eggs. Back then I came to the conclusion that they really weren’t worth the trouble of trying to catch them (they run super fast), but as a utility bird for keeping bugs and weeds under control? I may have cause to reconsider. Bug patrol wasn’t a part of my original reasoning, but it is now! Four years ago when we were laying down all the plans for animals, our property was a blank slate. Literally! There were some ants, beetles, doves, a few toads, roadrunners, scorpions, spiders, bees and wasps, but now? Wow, we have so many different bugs and creepy crawly things that I wouldn’t know where to start in naming them all. Our property continues to come into balance, and as new bugs move in, it can become imbalanced for a while. Having guinea fowl around could help us create balance without one bug species getting out of hand.

I know that they’re tasty and a gourmet food in french cuisine, but my interests are purely selfish at this point. Get them to eat fire ants, beetles, flies, hornworms, moths, cabbage maggots, grasshoppers, snakes, and anything else that makes them happy, and in the end, we benefit from keeping them. Again, my decision won’t be made until I’ve done all my homework and know what breed I want.

This week I’ll be *brewing* up a few batches of fish emulsion/fertilizer for the garden. It takes about a month to brew. I use the word brew, but really it’s more like ROT. We make our own emulsions because commercially prepared fish emulsions don’t have the beneficial bacterias I feel are important for garden plants. Will commercially made fish emulsion work? Absolutely, but I want the whole shebang! I don’t want to pay a premium for something I can make myself at a fraction of the cost, AND it’s doesn’t have all the life cooked out of it. That’s because the brewing we do here is just a fancy word for letting it rot in a bucket for a month.

I could start using the brew after a few weeks, but its best to wait at least a month. Our last frost is typically mid May, so I like to make sure my emulsion is ready to use by the time we’re ready to transplant.

Here’s a look around Luna Hill this past week:


Ladybugs have been busy eating aphids


 Granny Smith blossoms

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Dom created a wooden sprinkler stand for the Quadrant Garden.

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The sprinkler has a two fold purpose. First to water topside in the Quadrant, and second to attract birds to the garden in the early morning hours. The birds are interested in the water and get to find a bug breakfast while they visit.

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The front of the property where we have our apple and cherry trees was cleaned out. You may be able to see all the hills and valleys in the ground, and those are basin garden beds, or sunken beds. My plan for 2014 was to rework this area and create a formal garden, but after clearing the space, I realized that my original plan will be just fine, and all the work had already been completed two years ago. All the sunken beds will be filled with perennial vegetables, flowers, berry bushes, and Siberian peashrubs. Gracing the four corners of this area will be four sycamore trees. The fifth will be located in the little chicken pasture.

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Simmi got busy flying her kite while it was breezy

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The area above was prepped and planted. This is the future location of the asparagus growing in the greenhouse. I won’t be planting the asparagus until next year, so in the meantime it was planted with mammoth sunflowers (for the chickens), pole beans, and ornamental bird house gourds.


The photo above and blow are of the quadrant garden. These beds were created two years ago and allowed to rot. Yesterday I was able to get some of the top layer removed from half of the beds. That top layer contained lots of weeds and seeds from tumbleweeds and other desert weeds blowing by and getting snagged in the beds.

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Dom shoveling horse manure. Our neighbor provides us with horse manure each week.


Another shot of the front sunken garden beds. In this area are five apple trees, three cherry trees and two crab apple trees. There’s also a blackberry bush, a paulownia tree, lots of desert volunteer flowers and shrubs, and a cottonwood tree.

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The first few layers of the compost pile in the small chicken area.


Asparagus and Turkish orange eggplant



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Things are growing beautifully and adjusting well to greenhouse life.


Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!


Over the weekend we welcomed a new egg and turkey shareholder to Luna Hill. She expressed an interest in volunteering some time and helping out with the chickens, asking if she could bring her children along. Our choice for the farmstead’s main heritage poultry breed consists of a dual purpose heritage chicken called the Blue Langshan. While Langshan’s have been known for their calm disposition, I wanted to make sure that when shareholders visit our farm, they can get close enough to their chickens and enjoy spending time with them.

We’ve had Amerucaunas  which are flighty and somewhat suspicious of new people, and a black sex link which was more calm and friendly, but I had a decision to make! Which heritage chicken breed would have a gentle and docile temperament and would be good around adults and children? Chickens can be skittish and standoffish, others can be affectionate and endearing, and so I obsessed and searched, second guessed myself, and in general drove myself nuts. In the end I finally decided on two heritage breeds. The Silver Laced Wing Wyandotte and the Black Australorp.

I also chose to only get chickens and no roosters…yet. If after a year of tending to them, I feel they are a beneficial part of the farmstead, we’ll purchase roosters from a different breeder to bring freshen up the genetics.

The chickens will arrive next week. We don’t know what day yet since they haven’t hatched. We’ll get an email letting us know when they ship.

For anyone interested in becoming egg shareholders, click the link drop and by our site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to join us.

Last week at Luna Hill:

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Market garden beds are still being prepared. Dom’s still busy digging foot paths, sifting dirt and adding amendments. This week the sunn hemp (a legume cover crop) should be delivered. The sunn hemp will be grown on the market garden beds before we start planting it out in June.

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Fuji apple blossom


Potato patch was laced with twine this past weekend to prevent the straw from blowing away. The large green stakes sticking out will be used to lace more straw as the potato plants push up through the straw. After they peek through, more straw is added and laced with twine. This process will continue at least three or more times.


Tulips starting to pop.


Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!


I’ve been meticulous in my tomato plantings. Started from seed, a lot of care went into not only the growing medium, but also how many were planted, tagged and labeled for easy identification. Well, if any of my readers are following us on our Facebook fan page Luna Hill Heritage Farm, you’ll know that I had a little help yesterday from our free-range child Simmi. I was teaching her how to transplant tomatoes and I never bothered to tell her why we mark the tomatoes according to variety. She doesn’t read yet, so why would I ask her to identify markers, right?

Well, she saw me moving markers to new transplanted tomato containers, and she decided to do it too. Yes, she mixed everything up, and now I have no idea what kind of tomatoes are growing. I do have other flats of Roma, Brandywine, and yellow pear tomatoes unscathed, but the Brandywine and Black Krim were going to be sold as starts at the farmers market, and I was growing a few special tomato plants for this year’s State Fair.

I decided to grow our tomatoes in red beer cups this year because of the cup size and depth. I usually transplant tomatoes a few times before they get planted outside, and tall beer cups make really great containers for burying the stems of tomatoes. It’s also cheaper than purchasing brand new pots every year. I just use a scissor to pinch holes in the bottom for drainage.

When I started moving my starts out to the greenhouse, it was rough for them. The sun is hot and intense in the greenhouse, and despite my best efforts of placing newly moved flats on lower shelves away from the sun, the edges of some of the different starts still got a little fried and the little tomato starts turned dark purple to try and counter the intense sun. A little organic fertilizer and some epsom salts can do wonders for little starts holding on to too much chlorophyll.

Now that the tomato plants have transitioned, it was time to transplant as deeply into the cup as possible.

I won’t be planting everything in red beer cups (that just sounds funny), just the tomatoes and cardoon. Cardoons have these amazingly long tap roots, and right now they are outgrowing their flats. Today the cardoons will be transplanted.

Even though I’m still not feeling well, I’ve taken Motrin and I’m ready to get back to work in the garden.

Wednesday at Luna Hill:


Turns out magic marker works beautifully for marking the cups when you know what kind of tomato you’re dealing with. No marker to lose or get switched. This weekend the slats will be added to the greenhouse shelves. We have temporarily used chicken wire and plastic netting, until we can install the slats.


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Next week these 72 yellow pear tomatoes will be transplanted. They’re still getting used to the greenhouse.


Pear tree blossoms

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Jerusalem artichokes are peeking through


Everything is leafing out and turning green

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Granny smith apple blossoms


Comfrey is growing beautifully


Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!


I enjoyed a day off today. I don’t give myself many days to enjoy not doing anything, but I was sort of forced to being that I’m feeling a little under the weather. We had a crisis of sorts the other day when I started feeling run down, and Dom thought I was reacting to the straw I laid in the potato patch. I do suffer from horrible allergies to straw, but the culprit was something else…mold. The mold in straw, coupled with the mold we found in the sun porch is the reason for my down time.

It’s amazing how quickly my body shuts down when mold is present. Not too long ago we had a debacle in the kitchen and the mussels I was going to make went bad. We decided to feed the mussels to the black soldier fly larvae, and dumped the shells in the bin. The house smelled horrible as the mussels rotted, and even though my little babies in the bin were loving it, the mold spores accumulated in the humid warm sun porch and I started to deteriorate. I’m still not recovered, but the bin is now out in the back by the compost pile. My growing medium was compromised, as well as a few new flats. I was pretty upset since I just made that batch of growing medium. But it was filled with soft mold spores growing on the surface, so Dom threw it to the compost pile and I started a new batch.

So what did I do on my forced day off? I caught up on other homesteading bloggers, was entertained on Facebook, watered greenhouse starts, and really nothing at all. I hope to be feeling up for work tomorrow. I still have a lot of work to do in the garden, and it’s not going to take care of itself.

See the beautiful photo above of our peach blossoms? Well, last year they bloomed early too, but this year, they bloomed a LOT earlier. Here’s what everything looked like last year on March 27, 2013:

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Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!


Yesterday the next section of garden was marked, pegged and strung. This will be our personal kitchen garden, filled with:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers (sweet and hot)
  • Cucumbers
  • Beans
  • Spinach
  • Cardoon
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Zinnias
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Onions
  • Chervil
  • Tarragon (we need to order the plants still)
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Yarrow
  • Black eye Susan
  • Lovage

And anything else I can tuck into little areas of each of the beds. In the background of the photo above covered in straw is our potato patch. It’s getting exciting knowing that soon we’ll be able to plant out in the different gardens! Our personal kitchen garden is literally at our front porch just steps away from our kitchen. Dom will be digging the tomato bed, and everything else will be sheet mulched. He’ll be installing the eye hooks to the eves of the house where rope will be strung, laced through, and attached to stakes in the ground. This will provide the space for cucumbers to grow, shading the front of our house from the late day sun, and helping to keep our long porch cool. The late day sun heats up the bricks on the porch making it almost unbearable to sit out there until the sun goes down. But with cucumbers growing up the porch to shade the area, it will provide a beautiful late day area to sit and enjoy the garden.

Things are growing well in the greenhouse, and Dom has been making progress in the market garden. It takes his brute strength to get the foot paths dug and various trenches dug. Thankfully these things only need to be done once. He used to enjoy digging holes, but as he’s gotten older, he’s decided that it’s just not as enjoyable as it used to be. We could have started the market garden with raised sheet mulched beds, but I was after something a little more substantial.

We still need to order a few more supplies before growing the cover crop over the whole market garden, and unfortunately these things just take time to be delivered. We’re still in good shape though with another six weeks to start getting things into the ground. The Quadrant Garden is ready to be planted and soon all the old weedy straw will be removed, everything will be planted, and new straw added. The pumpkin and melon patches will also be sheet mulched this week, giving a full six weeks for the beds to settle down before we plant them with the what’s in the greenhouse.

This morning while I was watering different areas, I noticed that we’ll have a very nice crop Jerusalem artichokes this year. They started peeking up out of the ground this morning, and there seems to be a LOT of them. In the early spring of 2013 I harvested a massive amount Jerusalem artichokes, leaving only about 20 pounds of them in the soil. Well, if you don’t remove almost ALL of your Jerusalem artichokes, they will grow back just as strong as ever. It might take a year or more for them to repopulate, but that’s okay, especially if you’re growing them for the  farmers market. We don’t harvest ours until after a hard frost in late November. Here’s what our Jerusalem artichokes look like when in bloom:



This week at Luna Hill:


Potato patch was finished and planted


Western sand cherries are in bloom


They smell amazing

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Pear trees are blossoming

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Our little rose hip bush started leafing out

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Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!


In past posts I’ve written about how Dom and I were on a primal diet. We’ve been primal for a little more than a year, and we kicked it up a notch by becoming keto-adapted in 2014. Making a switch from primal to a ketogenic diet is very easy, since it just involves maintaining a very low carb meal plan. We were already grain free, and for the most part, starch free, but January 1st began our ketogenic lifestyle.

In the series of photos above, the top right is my before photo. Dom snapped that photo of me last fall before we started on our keto journey. We are still eating a primal diet, but eat very little fruit (if any), moderate protein (about 35 grams per day), high fat, lots of veggies and salads, and great dressings. We have never looked back and I feel even better than I did when we were just primal. Granted, I had a LOT of healing to do over the last year, and I believe that the healing had to happen before I could begin to lose weight.

I no longer weigh myself like I used to. Instead I go by how my body feels and how many dress sizes I’ve dropped. When I first started in January, I was in a size 2x and now I’m currently in a size 16. I don’t expect to stay there very long though. My 16′s are getting loose and I’m already thinking of going back to the thrift shop for more clothes. I went to the thrift shop a few weeks ago and spent about $50 and brought home a great number of treasured items. Topping that list was a 50% alpaca and 50% merino wool Bill Blass coat that I got on sale for $3.00, linen clothing by Banana Republic, 100% wool sweaters, and so many other gorgeous high end clothing…in my new size. I walked out that day with about 10 bags of clothes. It was a great day!

The other thing that has changed about me is my hair. I have wild woman hair, and I’m learning to embrace it. On most days I keep my hair tightly pulled back with a rubber band and/or headband, but recently I let my wild hair down and Dom loved it, wanting me to go out to the movies with him that way. I was mortified. Seriously, my nutty hair has a mind of its own, but I worked through my own discomfort and he enjoyed having a wild woman at his side.

Opening up and sharing photos of myself is another thing that I decided to do as well. I’m usually the person behind the camera, but being that we will open for business in the next few months officially, it would be good for others to at least know what I look like, right?

It all started on Facebook when I posted a photo of my crazy hair recently. I thought everyone would laugh as hard as I did, but everyonePhoto on 3-10-14 at 11.50 AM seemed to love my nutty hair. I had purchased a few products for curly hair since my hair was just a frizzled mess.

I put the product in my hair at night, pinned it back out of my face, and in the morning…POOF! I was really mortified and hysterical laughing all at the same time. I took the photo and sent it to Dom at work.


Well, that started the conversation about letting my hair stay wild.

So here I am, Farmer Jane, growing wild and free…

If you need me, I’ll be in the garden or greenhouse.

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Stop by our farm site Luna Hill Heritage Farm to sign up for our CSA!