The rhythm is a calm and methodical hum on SongCroft as we orchestrate the flow of chores and energy. The garlic is up as are the beets, peas, oats, lettuce, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli cabbages and fava beans. We planted on a hugelkulture today and planted an edible hedge with aronia, rugosa, Chinese haw, quince, Cornus mas and service berry. Ranunculus was removed and lilacs were placed in their place. There are many more where they came from.

Tomorrow we will transplant lots of tomato, pepper, tomatillo and ground cherries in to large pots and move the leeks out in the the garden beds.  More seeds will be planted in all of the nooks and crannies.

The goats have been browsing and are fat on greens. We have new kids and have been busy helping everyone get settled in. The chickens are laying and we are getting lots of eggs. The ducks are on the creek in their aviary and enjoying the water.

Interns Tereza and Aaron have returned to join us for the summer. They fit right back in as if they were never away. We are enjoying them immensley and the kids are playing night glow-in-the-dark frisbee with them as I type.

Life is good and the beat goes on…



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Microcosm of Life Microcosm of Life Peace of mind knowing my kids can safely go barefoot Peace of mind knowing my kids can safely go barefoot



I am including a correspondence that I recently had with a friend who has a tenant who wants to get rid of the moss on their land. I thought it was a conversation to share as many people have the same question. It can also be used to reason with a spouse or neighbor who might not understand why products that you put on the lawn to kill moss as well as the ones that feed the lawn and kills the broad leaf weeds are truly working against the environment and us.

I often will ask folks, “What do you like to do in your spare time? Fish, golf,,,? Wouldn’t it be much better spending time and money on fishing gear or bucket of balls than on Moss-out and mowing your lawn?” I swear that there are times I see the “light click on” in their eyes.

Fyi, I use these same comments when I do community garden clinics. However, as a representative of a certain organization, I am not supposed to discourage the use of “approved” products. My answer is to take that with a grain of salt and take my response to the edge of what is acceptable to them. For me, it’s about doing what’s right for the environment and our health.

Question that was sent to me:

“Our neighbor/tenant wants to put “moss out, weed & feed mix” on the lawn to start shifting our “moss problem”. We definitely are mostly moss at this point.”

My Reply:

“Great question my friend,

I get this question all of the time, especially in the spring.

Here are my responses based on what the person is looking for. I start with my ideal first, starting with what I would like to see first (no chemicals) to responses dealing with those who want a weed-free golf course.

1). “Why do you want the moss gone? Are you aware that moss out is full of toxic chemicals that will run down in to the river below you? Weed and feed is expensive and forces you to mow more and more. Spreading compost over the lawn is a lot better and non-toxic. The grass will grow up through it. If you choose to use Weed and Feed be sure to read through the label completely and follow the instructions exactly. It is a actually a legal document for agreement of use because the ingredients are highly toxic to humans and much of the environment.”

“Moss is green, soft, you don’t have to water it, mow it or fertilize it. It is pleasant to walk on too. Have you ever thought about enjoying the moss?

Indicators of moss in the lawn are: high acid and moist area, usually not a ton of sun but not always. Knowing that, maybe you would want to work with nature and what is already happening there. It will save you time and energy.”

2) “Do you like Blueberries? If it is sunny there, blueberries love moist soil and acid. This might be a great alternative as you can have a perennial food that is great for you, gives beautiful red fall color and takes almost no maintenance. Just rake under them in the fall and mulch with compost for the first few years to keep weeds off of their shallow roots. Once they are established, they will shade out weeds.”

3) “Raised beds might be a good alternative. If it’s not real sunny there, you can grow lettuce, spinach, beets, radishes, carrots, turnips, broccoli etc. If it’s sunny, you can grow those and many others. It can make a great community resource and community-building opportunity.”

4) “Is it very wet in the area? Consider a rain garden. They are beautiful year round and take no maintenance once established properly. Contact your extension office for help and instructions.”

5) “Okay, none of those appeal to you? Call your local extension office and get information on Natural Lawns. They will give you resources and information.” Snohomish WSU Extension is 425-338-2400.

Okay, that’s how I respond to this really common question. Yes, it’s a lot but it’s a process of education and awareness in working with community. This is the main reason I take part in community clinics, infiltrate the system and shift the thinking on how we do things.

Be well and Happy Spring!

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Spring on SongCroft

  Spring has popped up on SongCroft and as such, spring cleaning has begun. The house was cleaned and the floors are waxed. We are sorting and passing on things that are useful but we are finished with. We have been clipping back cutting back dead growth on perennials and dividing where appropriate. Pruning roses […]

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Meet Your Farmer!

Do you all know about Meet Your Farmer? It’s a great community event that our permaculture group is organizing. Meet your farmer, be inspired by guest speakers, sign up for CSA’s… It’s free but donations would be gladly accepted to support Farmer Frog school to garden programs! Guest speakers include Jacqueline Cramer from the Beacon […]

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It’s That Time of Year– We Are Accepting Applications

      Future WWOOFer’s! The journey, how exciting!  I’m happy to hear that you are thinking about or planning to spend time at SongCroft over the spring, summer, or fall!  My name is Samuel Beecher and I’m from a small town in Kansas, but spent last summer working (living is a better way of […]

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Winter Dinners with My Buddy

One of the joys of winter is enjoying the things still growing in the garden, as well as the things we preserved in the fall. As a mom who mostly home schooled her kids and who has made a conscious choice to make sure that my kids learn “real-life” skills (book learn’in is only going […]

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Quick Tomato Soup

  Here is a quick recipe that I wanted to share with my friend Deanna. Deanna is an amazing woman who rescues food, most of which is perfectly fine as well as organic, from a local natural food cooperative and a few local food establishments. This food is distributed through the local food bank to […]

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Tips To Get Ready for the Freezing Weather November 30, 2013 at 1:00pm There is suppose to be a deep freeze in Western Washington this week. Snow is predicted on Monday. Whether or not you are in our area,this list might help you get ready.   1.   Buy emergency candles, they last for 12 hours. Place […]

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Blueberries are here! Eat local!

The kids and I just harvested 30 pounds of blueberries. They are super yummy and high in antioxidants. We love our blueberries and prepare them in a variety of ways. We dehydrate about 50 pounds per year, as they are our families “candy”. We make many jars of preserves. We can them to top lemon […]

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Summer On the Farm

It has been an awesome month! We have been checking things off of our “to do” list and have been providing learning opportunities for our interns. We have toured two farms and I have done a couple of classes designed to help them understand permaculture and seed starting.   Together, we have made wine, kombucha, […]

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