Archive by Author | debora

Twine trellis (used to grow peas, beans, and tomatoes)

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Making a trellis out of twine is easy to do and looks great! It’s also very helpful for growing plants such as pease, beans, and tomatoes and any plants with vines. The vines grow onto the trellis, which helps the plants grow upward and supports them instead of growing on the ground. Here, we tied an end of the twin to the top of the wooden post and staked the twine down in a staggered, off center way so the plants have room and access to water.

Harvesting Beeswax and what to do with it…



This is the beeswax we harvested from the bees in our front yard. There was a lot of it although it melted down to about 2 cups worth of wax. With this wax, we made lavender lip balm. We combined coconut oil with the lavender and boiled it so that the essence of the herb could really seep into the oil. From here, we combined the mixture with the beeswax to make a lovely balm.

The New Fairytale Farm

We are loving our new Fairytale Farm! We sold both our properties last December and moved a mile away in Santa Cruz. Although it was hard to leave 30 fruit trees and 16 years of memories – and the home my children grew up in, the new property is so beautiful, and our wonderful neighbors are making us feel at home. Many of them have lived on this block for 30 to 50 years, and our house was built in 1883. We are slowly growing a garden back around us, and we feel like we live in a fairytale house.

The new garden is in the front yard, so we are slowly turning our lawn into garden beds. We grew the best tomatoes we’ve ever tasted this summer, as well as lettuces, marigolds, peppers, and beans. People walking by often stop me and compliment me on my garden. I tried to add a few flowers, but the marigolds and zinnias took over, so we have more flowers than vegetables this year.

This was our first vegetable bed; the kale patch. Here it is 6 months later:

Stay tuned for more to grow!

Final Party at Fairytale Farm! Walk the Labyrinth

When: Saturday, December 2  |  2:00 – 10:00 pm

Where: Fairytale Farm : 728 Riverside Ave

What: Come join us for our final party at Fairytale Farm! We have created a giant labyrinth to celebrate the ending of this beautiful farm, and new beginnings. We invite the public to come and walk the labyrinth, and also join us for a potluck from 5 to 8 pm, then stay for music, fun, and dancing! We will light up the labyrinth at night, and children are welcome.  We will have 2018 Planting calendars, Recipe books, and garden goods for sale. We’re giving away free seeds! Come join us for our last gathering in this location. Invite your friends!

Santa Cruz has approved the first public Fruit Orchard!




On Sunday, February 15th, 2015 the public was invited to come plant the first public fruit orchard in Santa Cruz!  Located at Riverside Gardens Park (between San Lorenzo Blvd and Riverside Ave), the orchard was proposed by the Fruit Tree Project and is being organized with David Shaw from UCSC’s Common Ground Center with input from William Rubel and support from the neighborhood.  The three year plan includes year one: pears and apples on either side of the compost bins, kept small and flat against the fence so the walkway is intact.  We also planted 4 grapes along the arbor.  In late 2016, we will be planting a much larger public orchard next to Mike Fox Skate Park.  Stay tuned for several public soil improving sessions, starting after the first rains.

We worked with the city to install a drip watering line for the new orchard, and the trees will be maintained and pruned by the Fruit Tree Project and neighbors (like me!).  The fruit itself will be free to the public.  The blueberries in Riverside Gardens Park are the biggest and tastiest I have ever seen…

We are accepting donations for the trees themselves, and planted a historic pear that once stood in orchards on this land back in the days of the famous Riverside Hotel.

It’s a historic moment in Santa Cruz.  Hopefully it will be just the beginning, and fruit orchards will soon be popping up all over the place, like the rail-to-trail line, or the river walk.  Help plant a public orchard in your neighborhood!




Spring has come to Fairytale Farm. The borage is  blooming.  The cherry tree is plump with  blossoms.  Flowers, everywhere.

Look how the strawberry spiral has changed from mid February to April :

The lupine is doing well. The giant red mustard and nasturtiums are doing better…


Last spring, we were blessed by a swarm of bees that moved into our empty hive. The sky was filled with bees, 1000’s of them covering the entire garden.  Over an hour, they slowly moved into the hive.  We all happened to be outside, the neighbors, the kids, in awe.

Meanwhile, the yellow and purple peas are ripe.  The purple ones are” Blauwschokker” soup peas, though I eat them when small and flat.

The yellow peas have a fruity, sweet flavor.  They are stunning when served together.   We eat the “flashy trout” lettuce everyday.

The blueberries are in blossom:

I cleared out a large part of the garden to install a pond in 2012.  Here it is before:

And after:



Sweet spring to all.  May your garden be filled with flowers too.