Firsts this year

Written by karen on November 28th, 2016

For recordkeeping purposes, this year:

  • First frost: November 16, 2016 (?)
  • First snow in the mountains: November 28, 2016
  • First snow at our house: (to come)

End of the season

Written by karen on October 13th, 2016

This week is the last farmers market of the season here. We are celebrating with a community potluck.

I am ready for a break from this. We’ve been going for 7 months (sadly, with me as the “anchor” vendor) and haven’t missed a week. Over the course of that time, we’ve produced approximately:

  • 175 loaves of bread
  • 120 bags of lettuce, arugula or other greens
  • numerous quiches; bags of sprouts and microgreens; cucumbers; radishes; green beans; containers of pesto, salsa, onion confit, and garlic paste, etc.

This has been a great experience, and the community has been enormously supportive.

PS I’m looking forward to eating all the greens and other things we produce this year!



Big Bend

Written by karen on October 11th, 2016

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks here, but I wanted to get a quick post up about our camping trip to Big Bend National Park. It’s the 30th national park I’ve visited. We loved it. Though we weren’t able to stay long this time, we will definitely go back. (I’m especially looking forward to a rafting trip.)

For those interested in a visit, it’s an easy 7.5 hour drive from here.

Big Bend National Park


Photos for Wikipedia

Written by karen on September 29th, 2016

Every once in a while, I go on a binge of taking photos for some Wikipedia project. (You may remember the lake work.) This month, they had a contest to gather photos of places on the National Register of Historic Places. It was a good chance for me to explore some things I hadn’t seen (or hadn’t looked at closely) around Douglas and Bisbee.

Here are the results. (The last three photos were taken in earlier years.)

Douglas Airport

Douglas-Williams Home Museum, Douglas, AZ

Hotel Gadsden (now for sale — they say if they don’t sell soon, they’ll close.)

Grand Theater, Douglas, AZ

Douglas Post Office

El Paso and Southwestern Railroad Passenger Depot, Douglas, AZ

El Paso and Southwestern Railroad YMCA, Douglas, AZ

(This building was recently purchased and is being restored. That’s a lot of work!)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Bisbee, AZ

Douglas Walter House, Bisbee, AZ

Evergreen Cemetery, Bisbee, AZ

John Treu House, Bisbee, AZ (also for sale)

Muheim House, Bisbee, AZ

Phelps Dodge General Office Building, Bisbee, AZ

Bisbee Womans Club Clubhouse, Bisbee, AZ

Silver Peak Lookout Complex, Portal, AZ

Fort Bowie, National Historic Site, Bowie, AZ

Chiricahua National Monument Historic Designed Landscape, Portal, AZ



Written by karen on September 8th, 2016

It’s pretty quiet here, and so when a car we don’t recognize pulls up to the front gate, it’s always interesting. On Monday, a truck pulled up and parked. Getting out the binoculars, I saw two women, a man, and a child who I didn’t recognize. As the couple walked up the drive, we waved, and they waved back.

It turns out they are the people who own the piece of land to the west of us. In 8 years here, we’d never seen them. It turns out that they’ve been married 16 years, and the woman had never been there. Her husband hadn’t been there for 30 or so years. (His father bought the parcel and left part of it to him when he died.) They live in Tucson.

In fact, they weren’t even sure exactly where the piece of land was, which was why they’d stopped at our place.

They were very nice. We invited them in, talked for a while, and exchanged phone numbers.

It’s amazing to me that someone could own a piece of land that they’d never even seen, but it seems to happen a lot here. People buy cheap with some expectation that the price will go up. For most people, it’s not a place they can ever really imagine themselves living.

That suits us fine.



Written by karen on September 7th, 2016

It is one of the most lovely times of year to go camping here, and we took advantage of the long weekend to see a new place, Aguiree Springs in the Organ Mountains just east of Las Cruces.



These mountains are quite dramatic, and the hikes we did around them were beautiful. And because of the late monsoons, everything was in bloom! (And yes, the mosquitoes were in full force.)


It’s that time of year

Written by karen on September 6th, 2016

This is lemon ginger pear preserves.

We are so grateful to our friends with fruit trees who share with us.


New farm table

Written by karen on August 28th, 2016

A few of you might remember back in May when I said we were starting a new project. Today it is complete! A new farm table.

It is almost 10 feet long and capable of seating 12. It was a challenging project because it is so large. (Have you ever seen that scene in the movie where the woman sets a Thanksgiving turkey down on the table and the whole table collapses taking the entire dinner with it? That was on my mind.) Because it is so large (and very heavy), we mostly built it in place.

We built this out of large Ponderosa pine planks that we got for this purpose when we built our doors. (Yes, we’ve been holding them for a long time!) There were some significant challenges in the construction and lots of planing, sawing, drilling, clamping, and sanding.

I always wanted a table like this, and in fact, designed the dining space in our house for it. (The chandelier we got looked a little ridiculous over the small table we had before, but now it’s just right!) I’m very happy with how this turned out. Can’t wait to see it surrounded by people and filled with good food!



Another great use for the slow cooker

Written by karen on August 4th, 2016

Onions (grown here). A little olive oil, red wine, salt, and fresh thyme. Eighteen hours on low.

Caramelized onion confit. Melty sweetness.



This week at the farmers market

Written by karen on July 28th, 2016

This week’s gourmet treat:

IMG_1672 IMG_1673

And in a couple weeks, it’s National Farmers Market Week. Go visit yours, and thank a farmer. Trust me that no one is making much profit doing this.