Category: Garden Tips & Musings

Honey Bees

One of the things people know Camp Joy for is the honey. I’ve been keeping honey bees for many years and this one so far is extraordinary – largely because of the extraordinary weather we just had this winter/spring/summer. The bees made it to the fall of 1997 in decent strength, but fall rains came… Read more »

Dogs (and Cats)

As a boy I had a springer spaniel- cocker spaniel mutt from the pound. I called him Freckles. We hiked everywhere together near Mill Valley where I lived. We rarely took the road to town. We would either follow the creek where the blackberries and wild plums grew, crossing over several times, or the trail… Read more »

The Year in Reverie

The Wreath Sale and Harvest Open House is a week away. A cycle on our small farm is nearly over – in many ways it is a completion and a closure for us. It’s helpful to consider the experiences and insights of a year’s turning – look back and forward from this present moment, a… Read more »

Apprenticeship Training Program

Alan Chadwick came to University of CA at Santa Cruz to grow his garden in 1967, the same year Martin Luther King gave his Beyond Vietnam speech at Riverside Church in NYC. The great value of working with Alan was learning a craft: the actual experience, day by day, of working with plants; propagating them, tending… Read more »

Yellow Star Thistle

Is there something good about yellow star thistle? Ask a beekeeper and the answer will be yes! I’ve driven around “star thistle country”, looking and sniffing the air for lush concentrations of the plant, my excitement growing proportionately with the height of the plant – 3 or 4’ high and I’ll stop and talk to… Read more »

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy…

Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Fruit is ripening, and the feeling is high. We’re so rich with abundance and good fortune, give thanks little baby, my oh my. That expresses how I’m feeling these days. We’re having a really good season so far, the produce has been bountiful with incredible sugar snap peas, more… Read more »

In From the Garden & Thoughts on Yoga

This season at Camp Joy several of us have been taking Yoga classes. It’s good to stretch and concentrate on balanced body postures, mindfulness and breath. Helps create balance and calmness in our farming lives. One of our teachers is an African man – Kofi Busia – who was educated in England and India. He… Read more »

Flower Gardening Tips

There is still time to plant sweet peas and hardy spring blooming annuals like poppies, cornflowers, larkspur, agrostemma, godetia and California wildflower varieties that like to make growth before the weather gets too hot. Planting them in the fall means they’ll be up already with good sturdy roots, and just starting to show new fresh… Read more »

Early Spring Gardening Tips

Nights are really cold, rainy and wintery weather is definitely still with us, but you can tell the days are getting longer. Plum and flowering quince are blooming or budding up, and the earliest spring weeds are starting to grow. Around Valentine’s Day, you might start sneaking in a few hardy spring vegetables. If you… Read more »

Apples in the Grass, Alas

September… Help! Stop! The season is passing too fast to notice everything. It’s only mid-August as I write this, but summer is aging especially quickly this year since spring rains ended so early. So many months without moisture have caused the maple and other river bottom tree leaves to start yellowing early. Their bright silhouettes… Read more »