(VIDEO) Going Tropical in the Greenhouse

by Rebecca Simpson on April 20, 2014

Let’s face it… a greenhouse in Southern California isn’t *really* necessary.

True, it’s great for starting seeds in the spring. But in summer it gets as hot as the surface of the sun, and in winter it stays only a few degrees above freezing. Because I don’t do a lot of container gardening, the greenhouse has been standing idle most of the year because the temperature extremes make it unlivable.

Today, I fixed that. Hating that valuable space was being wasted, I made some adjustments and rededicated the greenhouse to going tropical. I added shade cloth to cut down on the blasting heat, and brought electricity into the greenhouse so I could run an aquarium and a fan. The aquarium is for heat and humidity (I repurposed my son’s unused 12 gallon tank), and the fan is to keep the air circulating. By the end of the day, things were running smoothly and I must say it was quite nice in there.

My tropicals that have been overwintering inside will like it a lot, I feel. And now I have a new microclimate to explore, which opens up a whole new world of plants to play with. As the greenhouse evolves, I’ll keep you posted, but so far, it’s a winner!  

Urban Beekeeping When You Can’t Keep Honey Bees

by Rebecca Simpson on March 25, 2014

Urban Beekeeping For The Rest of Us

Urban beekeeping honey beehiveUrban beekeeping is a rising trend among many who are interested in producing their own source of honey and interacting with honey bees.  Unfortunately, there may be several reasons why a would-be backyard beekeeper is unable to start and maintain a honey beehive of their own.   Challenges such city ordinances, pets and small children, liability issues, and unenthusiastic neighbors can all pull the plug on dreams of being a honey beekeeper.

Beekeeping By Supporting Bees

Honey bees need more than a hive to be successful.  The good news is Continue reading “Urban Beekeeping When You Can’t Keep Honey Bees” »

Go Solar! Our Experience Putting Solar Panels On Our Home, Part 2

November 2, 2013 Fall

In our previous article, we discussed why we chose to go solar, what the advantages and disadvantages were, and how the process was progressing so far.  This article picks up where we left off.  Today we’ll discuss the final steps in the installation process, and what it has been like to have the panels installed […]

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Cover Crops For The Home Garden

October 18, 2013 Agricultural Age

What Are Cover Crops? Cover crops are plants that are grown not for the food they produce, but for other beneficial work they do.  Also know as  ”living mulches” or “green manure”, a cover crop is an essential part of sustainable agriculture.  Cover crops help bridge the gap between removing matter from the field in […]

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California Tarantulas Are Looking For Love This Fall

October 3, 2013 Fall

The hubby saw this (big) little guy and jumped out of his chair saying “WHAT THE …?!?”

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Monarch Butterfly: How To Help

September 20, 2013 Agricultural Age

The Iconic Monarch Butterfly The monarch butterfly is one of the most beloved and widely recognized butterflies in the world.  Its vivid orange and black wings make it easy to recognize.  The monarch butterfly and its beauty have come to represent butterflies and conservation issues everywhere.

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(VIDEO) How To Compost at Suburban Stone Age

September 8, 2013 Agricultural Age

How To Compost Learning how to compost is an essential skill for an organic, sustainable garden.  In this video post, I discuss how to compost by using materials from our garden at Suburban Stone Age.  I’ll take you step by step through the process, beginning with preparation of the materials, to mixing a batch, and on […]

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Edible Landscaping Under Trees: A Cautionary Tale

September 2, 2013 Agricultural Age

I’m learning a painful lesson right now about edible landscaping. This picture is of a patch of dead leaves that has been steadily growing on my Chinese pistache. Underneath this tree are several tomato vines, pumpkins, basil, lettuce, and melons. In my eagerness to try out some edibles in the former lawn under the tree, […]

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