Our Farmhouse

During one of our Wild Ones garden tours in June, we demonstrated our solar oven, the Sun Oven. But since the tour was only about an hour or so long, folks didn't get to see the finished product, a cooked pot of rice. So I thought I'd show the results here. Read more →


If it's been as hot in your neck of the woods this week as it has been in ours, the last thing you want to think about right now is wool. But from a budget standpoint, that's exactly what you should be thinking about, as summer is a great time to take advantage of deep discounts on cozy items made with this fabric, from base layers ("underwear" if you're in the Midwest) to socks to neck gaiters ("mufflers") like the one shown above.  Read more →


I'm so full of enthusiasm for the two beautiful herbs above that I hardly know how to start talking about them. They tick just about every box on the list! What are they?  American mountain mint, or Pycnanthemum pilosum (above left) Anise hyssop, or Agastache foeniculum (above right) Regular readers of this blog know I've talked previously about "stacked functions," which is a permaculture term for a plant with multiple (or stacked) uses, ranging from replenishing your garden soil to serving as your next meal. Both mint and hyssop excel in this area. But even if you're not into that permie stuff, you should know that these plants are the gifts that keep on giving... and giving. Let me break it down for you. Read more →


Last fall we were treated to a long 'Indian summer,' with temps in the 70s to low 80s (that's balmy and beautiful for those of you on celsius) throughout September and October. Weather like that is perfect for painting projects because the paint goes on smoothly and dries quickly, and you're not miserable working in the heat or cold. Besides that cool blue dining room redo, we also tackled the front and back entrance door exteriors, in addition to a row of gingerbread ball finials lining the top of our front porch.  Read more →


Last spring I shared with you one sexy idea that yielded something even sexier: measurable cost savings on our utility bill during last year's snowpocalypse. Simply wrapping your pipes with something like mini pool noodles could help you fight climate change without breaking your bank or requiring major dietary changes. Now I'm back with another hot plan to save the world, and this time I mean jeans. Read more →


In October the weather finally cooled off enough to open up the windows and tackle a huge painting project that had been on our to-do list for a while: the dining room.  Read more →


An odd thing happened to me this year: I got the Christmas spirit. No, I wasn't visited by ghosts in the middle of the night. I'm actually not sure why it happened. Lisa thinks it's because our son is staying with us this holiday season before he ships off to Navy bootcamp. That might be it. It might also be that I've just reached the age where any reason to feel warm and snuggly is a good enough reason. Read more →


This year marked the first time we've reached for three full harvests throughout the growing season: early spring, peak summer, and late fall. Read more →


This is a rhubarb custard pie, baking inside our Sun Oven. So yes. The answer is yes, you can bake a pie in a solar oven! Here's how. Read more →


Last time we mentioned solar cooking, we introduced you to the sun-sational (that pun can't help itself) Sun Oven and showed you how we used it to cook a pot of rice. This time I'm all about the meat, which turns out to be a great thing to cook the solar way. Read more →