In My Garden

Before we left on vacation, my garden looked like this. Now my garden looks like this!


DSC08600 DSC08601 DSC08603 DSC08604 DSC08605DSC08607 DSC08608 DSC08609 DSC08610 DSC08617 DSC08622 DSC08624 DSC08626All in all, things are going really well in this spring garden. I harvested 6 pounds of shelled peas, 3 quart bags of strawberries, 3 pounds of carrots, a dozen or so heads of lettuce, countless chard leaves, a dozen beets and a fortune’s worth of eggs.

The herb bed is doing really well. Basil is coming in nicely all over the garden. I haven’t really kept track of how much I am saving by growing my own veggies, all I know is it has greatly turned my eating habits towards a mainly plant-based diet. I eat veggies from the garden at almost every meal.

Coming up is chili, green beans, tomatoes, eggplants. I recently planted zucchini and okra. We’ve had very mild weather recently, and so I’m not sure how long it will take that okra to sprout. I think this year I will forgo popping corn in favor of sweet corn and pumpkins for butternuts. The popping corn is so tiny and takes so much water and the pumpkins, well, I’d need to expand the garden another 30 feet just to make room for those!

Also, today is Beltane or May Day! We’ve made to the halfway mark between spring and summer. We’ll spend today outside, first at the farmer’s market then in the garden to play and plant things and finally we’ll have a bonfire and small feast. We’ve even made flower crowns for the occasion!

Happy Beltane everyone.

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DSC08336DSC08329DSC08335DSC08332DSC08334DSC08333Il Pozzo di San Patrizio is one of the neatest places to visit. It’s a very deep well, started in the 1500s, that is 62 meters deep. It has a double helix staircase that you use to climb down to the bottom and back up again. 248 stairs down and 248 back out again.

DSC08457Tomorrow we are traveling home. It has been a lovely three weeks, but we are already to get home. My garden is waiting, so is my bed. I miss my own bed. (Don’t tell my mother in-law but the guest bed is horrible and it gave me a sore back and bruises on my hips.)

DSC08358We saw so many little towns and had picnics whenever we could. Yes, there was whining and complaining and a few tantrums here and there by parents and kids alike, but we are coming home with lots of good memories and so many books! We’ll miss our family for sure but it was a great trip and we look forward to our next adventure!


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When in Rome…

DSC08109 DSC08120 DSC08129 DSC08135 DSC08145 DSC08153 DSC08155 DSC08159 DSC08167 DSC08182 DSC08187 DSC08189You could live your whole life in Rome and never see everything. We took the train to Rome and met up with friends. We saw lots of famous things from afar as it was (coincidentally) a special day where all the monuments and museums that you normally paid to get into were free. All of those monuments were mobbed with Romani and tourists alike. So we just zoomed by them, sticking instead to tiny side streets and having lunch in the old Jewish Ghetto. Carciofi alla Giudea, think artichoke “potato chips”, one of my favorite roman foods.

Of course there was gelato eating to do and art appreciation. These girls don’t even realize they saw three Caravaggio paintings and a Michelangelo sculpture in person!

We’ll be back to Rome on calmer day. We’ve got more monuments to see… and gelato to eat.

Ciao a tutti!

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Postcards from Italy

pictures from Italy by Kathryn Pagano DSC07977 DSC07980 DSC08003Ciao! We are in Italy for three weeks! We are here to visit family and travel a tiny bit. I have very erratic internet access so join me over on Instagram. Yes, V is holding a chunk of parmigiano larger than her head. :)

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Welcome Spring!

DSC07849 DSC07851 DSC07861 DSC07864This past Sunday we celebrated the Spring Equinox. The spring egg hunt was much anticipated this year. All of February and much of March I felted eggs in secret at night. Not a burden by any means. Needle felting is the best kind of therapy! Before the big hunt we wet felted eggs as well.

On the morning of the Equinox they hunted for eggs the felted eggs with such glee. They also found a few organic chocolate eggs as well.

Then we had yummy lunch of fresh veggies harvest from the garden.

Happy Spring to you all. Sorry about the radio silence lately. I’ve got a huge surprise coming up next week. Check back here on Wednesday of next week or on Instagram if you just can’t wait. (no it’s not a baby!)

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In My Garden

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Gardening season is in full swing here. I’ve taken lots of pictures but I thought it would be fun to take you all on a little walking tour of the garden as well. Click on the video above to walk through my garden or scroll down through the pictures.

DSC07816 DSC07817 DSC07818 DSC07822 Chili peppers and basil sprouts in the greenhouse.

DSC07825 Tiny Dorset apples just beginning to grow.

DSC07827 The north garden. I still need to run drip lines here before summer. Oh and finish painting the fence! So close. DSC07829 Lettuce and brassicas. DSC07831 Blossoming thyme.

DSC07832 The acacia tree in full bloom. There are hundreds of bees in this tree right now. You can hear the hum of their busy wings. Makes it seem like the tree is hum a tune to spring.

DSC07838 DSC07841 Everytime I peep in here and see a chicken I feel like I’ve opened the bathroom door on someone by accident.


Everyday we eat something grown in the garden. It’s a euphoric feeling to go out into your own space where you’ve put so much time and effort to tend  a plant to maturity and then harvest it and use it to nourish your family. There is no room for boredom in a life that includes a family food garden.  Whether it’s looking for earthworms or watching the bees and butterflies gather nectar from the flowers there is always something going on in the garden.

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In My Garden

DSC07759 DSC07768 DSC07770 DSC07778 DSC07779 DSC07781 DSC07783 DSC07785 DSC07786 DSC07788 DSC07790 DSC07792 DSC07793 DSC07794 DSC07795 DSC07796 DSC07797The garden is alive and buzzing. Literally, there are bees all over the place. The days here are warm. Way too warm for February but hey, how can I complain around warm days, sunshine, and cool breezes! I could be under 4 feet of snow.

All the trees in the mini orchard a blossoming. I’ve so enjoyed watching the blooms emerge and the little leaves pop out so vibrantly green.

We are eating from the garden again in little bits. Some chard for our breakfast omelettes, some carrots and beets for lunch salad and parsley for our dinner falafel.

Soon it will be peas, lettuce and kale and broccoli and peppers and tomatoes. Oh tomatoes how I miss you fresh. We are still eating tomatoes on a weekly basis and I am not rationing them!

In the next few weeks I’ll plant out all the summer stuff. Remember friends nothing grows from June to August due to extreme heat so we plant early for May harvest and then plant again with monsoon rains for september/october harvests.

I’m pretty excited about this new season. I feel like after 7 years I finally am up to the challenge of what this season will bring. Especially with the help of my little gardener who is particularly fond of the earthworms.

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Postcards from New Mexico

DSC07693 DSC07704 DSC07719 DSC07724 DSC07726 DSC07728 DSC07732 DSC07742 DSC07745 DSC07751In the history of this blog you’ve seen me go to New Mexico quite a few times. Funny thing is, we do pretty much the same thing every time we go and it never gets old. We have copious amounts of artisan hot chocolate and brownies in Santa Fe. Walk around the Plaza and have lunch somewhere (best veggie burger I’ve ever eaten). I visit the art supply store. Then another day we walk along the Rio Grande looking at birds and playing on the banks of the river. On some trips we have the time to go out and see historical sites, and on other trips we just relax.

This was one of those relaxing trips. I read my book, did some drawing, cooked some yummy meals. The girls played and played and read their books and hung out with my mom. Sometimes it’s good to take it easy.

Best of all, I did an hours worth of yoga every night. I started up my yoga practise again at the beginning of the year and have practised every single night since. It’s hard to think of going to sleep without  a few minutes on my mat.

Yoga, chocolate, and zero dish washing. My idea of an ideal vacation.

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On Day Road Trip

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Last weekend we took a one-day impromptu road trip. There is a little town Southeast of Tucson called Bisbee. The town was founded in 1880 and retains most, if not all, its old charm. In its heyday it was a huge town with a railroad and even a street car. We ventured into the old hotel with its creaky wooden floors and lavish replica velvet high-back couches.

We had lunch at a wonderful little restaurant and took a walk through the small streets lined with charming wooden and brick homes. Bisbee is such a strange place it feels old world as it lacks strip malls and tract homes and is filled with a artistic/hippie community. The opposite of what many major western cities are now.

They have fabulous antique shops too, all of it mid century modern if you like that era.

Taking this mini road trip was kind of like the opening of travel season for us. Next week we are going to New Mexico, and then at the end of March to Italy. I love that we can travel whenever we like and that the girls love to travel as well. Plus now it is so easy, no one is napping, no one is breastfeeding, no one is in diapers. As long as we have snacks, water, books, and more snacks, we are good to go!

Are you dreaming of travel yet?

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In My Garden

DSC07623 DSC07625 DSC07626 DSC07627 DSC07628 DSC07630We’ll 2016 is here, I’ve just turned 32, and now I’m back to gardening. My garden is not bare by any means. This winter has alternated between cold and warm. This past Saturday it was 73 degrees, but next Monday we see a high of 50 with rain. It’s kind of wacky.

In any case, I’ve seeded just about everything but the summer and winter squash. In the greenhouse (and a few in my guest bedroom under grow lights) now are:

  • onions (red and white)
  • 3 kinds of chili
  • 2 kinds of sweet peppers
  • various flowers
  • 4 varieties of tomatoes
  • 4 varieties of basil
  • many herbs
  • broccoli
  • brussel sprouts
  • eggplant
  • 2 kinds of lettuce

In the garden proper I have calendula on the verge of blooming. I just saw the first lavender bloom too. There is chard, kale, lettuce, baby carrots, radishes are sprouting, onions (somehow), garlic is sprouting up above the mulch and there are still living pepper plants! Let’s not forget the peas! I planted two packets of peas and those are beginning to climb their little fences.

Last week I had quite the scare when I walked into the chicken coop to find two of our birds were missing neck feathers. I watched the flock the whole afternoon hoping to find out who was pecking and why? Eventually I had my good friend S come over (she has goats and chickens) and she looked at them and said, “I do believe they are having an early molt.” Indeed it was true. Being a new chicken owner I didn’t think it would happen so soon. I was much relieved when I went to bed that night knowing I would wake up and those two birds would not be dead! (note: the chicken being held by S is not really being squeezed, just being rambunctious!)

I know most of you are buried under snow right now. What gardens are you dreaming of this year? Or maybe something is sprouting indoors or your greenhouses?

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