Mindful Living, NorCal, Northern California, Organic Gardening

Satisfaction 2


This weekend we’re having temperatures around +110 F (+43.4 C,) the only option to stay sane is to make sure to get some time outside EARLY. I had some fencing to do, and I can assure you that I was very happy that I started at sunup. Around 8am it started to get closer to 100. Have you ever pounded down t-posts by hand? With some encouraging support from my dog I worked until I ran out of t-posts around 10am. Am I complaining? NO! It was actually very satisfying. I felt extremely strong. Things went smooth. The line of t-posts was reasonably straight….AND I was making the fence for my place, and not for anyone else! …to be continued 🙂

I hope you’re having an awesome weekend!


Ms Zen

Mindful Living, Minimalism, NorCal, Northern California, Organic Gardening, Photography

Transitions, Change, And The Passing Of Time

For this week’s photo challenge, share a picture that symbolizes transitions, change, and the passing of time.

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This morning when I went out to water my garden, I discovered the very first flower, on one of our watermelon plants. It’s a little special this year. I’ve grown watermelons successfully many times, but never in a container. Previous years I’ve leased acreage for gardening, and we’ve had more watermelons than we could eat ourselves.  My daughter really wanted watermelons this year as well, but we didn’t have a place to plant them in the ground. Growing them in containers is somewhat an experiment. The rest of my garden (tomatoes, squash, basil, oregano, cilantro, peach, fig, pomegranate, and cherry) is thriving in containers. We’ll see if we get any actual melons, but the flowers sure are beautiful.

The photo could be seen as a transition, and change in several ways; The change from gardening on acreage, to container gardening in a small space. The change in the growing watermelon plant, as the first flower appears. Of course in my head I have a bigger change, and transition in mind. Saving money by not leasing acreage for gardening, is taking me closer to my goal of having a homestead of my own, where I can grow the majority of our food myself. A place where I can firmly plant my trees in the ground, and build something that will last.

Looking forward to see the other entries in this week’s challenge! Have an awesome weekend!!



Ms Zen


Mindful Living, NorCal, Organic Gardening

Weekly Photo Challenge: Order

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This time of the year a lot of my time is dedicated to creating order in my garden. To organize my container garden in to a system. My system is based on the different plants need of sunlight, shade, and water. They are planted in rows, and/or groups, depending on their needs. In the photo above you can see the barefoot peach trees that I planted a couple weeks ago. They are already getting leaves, and seem to thrive in their sunny spot, in the middle of my garden. The tan smart pots in the back is home to young bell pepper, and squash plants.


I planted 8 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes this spring. Unfortunately they are only semi organized …my daughter played with the labels. They are neatly transplanted to bigger containers, and organized in rows, with sturdy cages around every plant. However, because of the little label incident..I do not know where the cherry tomatoes are, or where my green zebras are, or any of the other varieties..We’re having surprise tomatoes this year! LOL. It’s interesting, some of the plants are really small, and some are 5ft high by now.

My garden is all organic. Some of the plants that are more prone to get damaged by different bugs and insects, have mint planted around them. You can see mint on the left side of the fig tree (below.) Mint is a great plant to sow here and there. It helps to keep bugs away, spread easily, and is delicious for cold drinks, in food etc.

The vegetables usually needs to be water 1-2 times every day, while the container fruit trees needs water every other day when it’s more than 90 degrees, and less often if it happens to be cooler (very rare during the summer.) My garden is constantly changing every year. I like learning about different vegetables and trying a few new ones every year. The number of fruit trees I have is also changing. I give some away to friends, sell a couple here and there, plant some new ones etc.

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The planting season starts in the beginning of April outdoors, (February-March if I have access to a greenhouse.) In the beginning of June I’m usually done with the planting. I just finished organizing the garden for this year. Now all I’m doing is watering, weeding, and fertilizing, and harvesting of course.

Bring it on! Let it grow! I’m ready!

The more though I put in when it comes to organizing my garden during the planting season, the easier it is to take care of the garden the rest of the year. My goal is to eventually have produce all year round.

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Cherries are in season right now. The cherries in the photo above are Rainer Cherries. They are sweet and very delicious. I’ve been stocking my freezer with Rainer Cherries, and Sweet Dark Cherries for a couple weeks now. It’s a tedious work to pit cherries. It’s well worth it! I usually put the pitted cherries on a tray, and put them in the freezer for about an hour, before freezing them in quarter sized containers. In that way the freeze quickly, preserving all the nutrients. It’s a great way to preserve them without adding any sugar. They are great for snacks, or in smoothies all year round. (I even freeze some of the pits. I’m saving some seeds from the fruit/vegetables that I enjoy the most, to be planted later on. I’m slowly building my own seed bank. My goal is to one day have a “real” homestead.)

I enjoy the order of the different seasons. Here in northern California the gardening season is long. At some point during the year, you can grow almost anything you’d like. You can have a spring crop, a summer crop, and a late fall/winter crop. That is one of the things I love the most about California.

My garden is my happy place. Right now it’s my favorite every day zen spot. It’s where I center myself, and find my balance. I hope this week have been wonderful for you!

Subscribe below, and feel free to copy the strategies that fits your zen. 


Ms Zen

Mindful Living, NorCal, Organic Gardening

Zen Pleasures Of Spring In Northern California

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This time of the year one of my greatest zen pleasures is to watch things come alive, both in my garden, and in the National Parks that can be reached within a few hours. The first three photos are from some of my favorite places in northern California, that I visited this past week. (My German Shepherd Gretchen says hi.) The last three photos are from my garden this morning.


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I like the routine that a garden encourage me to keep on an everyday basis. I love stepping outside in the morning, smelling the fresh air before the heat of the day. It’s a true pleasure to discover what happened in the garden over night.


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Motivation is what gets you started.

Habit is what keeps you going.

– Jim Rohn



Yesterday the very first flower on my pomegranate tree blessed us with her presence.



This morning my young tomato plants thanked me for their new bigger pots, and rich compost that they received a couple days ago.


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My garden space is a little limited, it encourages me to constantly explore viable options for a productive garden. I currently have both fruit trees, and vegetables in large containers. Some were given to me, and they are of different shapes and colors, but the majority of them are smart pots. I like smart pots. It makes the watering process easy. There’s never any water staying too long, causing damage to the roots.

Earlier this week I bought 20 bare root peach trees, that I planted in smart pots. I definitely don’t have room to plant 20 fruit trees anywhere. At least not now, but using containers allows me to have almost all the trees my heart desires. I see it as an investment for the future. I bought them of craigslist at a very good price. They will flourish under my care, and produce fruit for our family, and other families within a few years.

I really enjoy producing the majority of the fruit and vegetables that my family eats (which is a lot.) Its a work in progress. I like knowing that our food is all organic, without any toxic waste lingering. Having a garden helps us eat healthy in an affordable way. Food is expensive in California, very expensive. Or should I say, nutritious, healthy food is expensive. I believe that we are what we eat, mentally, and physically. Cutting down costs by lowering the quality is not an option. Luckily our climate is perfect for growing our own food! We had a colder spring than usual, and my garden is just getting started. It’s an exciting process. Ooo, I forgot to mention that having a garden is an important part of the program that allows me to only work three days/week.


Subscribe below, and feel free to copy the strategies that fits your zen. 



Ms Zen