Welcome! We are Scott and Kendra, a husband and wife team who are lucky enough to live in the lovely little town of Sonoma, California. Right in the heart of wine country. We started this blog with a modest little third of an acre, but have since expanded our gardening passion to a beautiful 2 acre parcel right outside of town. With farmers as ancestors, and a passion for edibles, we make the most out of what we have. We’ve always gardened organically but became even more dedicated to it when we started to offer our three children our homegrown fruits and vegetables as their first foods. We’ve read countless books, magazines, university research documents and newspaper articles on organic gardening, but really when it comes down to it we are experimenting around and finding what works along with the rest of you. We hope to share what we do know while sharing our failures and perplexities with you as well.

I’m mostly in charge of the flowers, he’s mostly in charge of the vegetables and together, we make a pretty good garden.

We’d love to hear from you. Both with your comments and via e-mail. You can reach us at kendra@kendraspencer.com if you’d like to say ‘hi’ or ask us a question.

50 responses to “About

  1. Just wondering if you can share your recipe for canning nectarines. I have never canned anything before so please be very specific. Thank you. Steve

  2. asonomagarden

    Hi Steve,
    If you haven’t canned before, I’d really recommend starting by reading some books. There’s a lot of precautions you need to prevent things like botulism and I don’t feel comfortable explaining for fear that I’d leave somthing important out. But here are a couple of our favorite books:
    Putting Food By
    Joy of Cooking: All About Canning & Preserving
    Both of those books should include canning nectarines and other cut fruit.

  3. Thank you for your postings! I found you via the Carnival of Home Preserving. I too have a nectarine question – I wondered if you peeled them before canning them? I am getting mixed responses and wondered what you found to be your experience?

  4. asonomagarden

    Hi Sarah,
    We leave the skins on. Partially because we are lazy and partially because they aren’t thick or fuzzy like peaches. We’ve had good success with leaving them on in the past.

  5. Hi Mel!
    Very interesting! I love when we are simply rediscovering thngs that had a purpose 100yrs ago and are still modern…like bioagriculture…or philosophy! I was thinking maybe you would be interested in posting your blogs on my website, http://www.altglobe.com. All you need to do is creating a profile and let me know you want to post, and then you can actually just *email* your blog whenever you have a new post. It’s that easy! The website will take care about linking it to your profile and respect most of your editing (website links, images, fonts…) – yes it will crop out some things like weird smileys or what not –
    We have a couple of bloggers who are doing that, it’s very convenient and help you with advertising yourself and us with traffic. if you’d like you can check them out! They are all on the home page!
    (Note you cannot have access to any profile until you are registered, but you can see all the articles).

    Please tell me how it sounds to you, hope to hear from you soon…


    PS: It’s free. PLUS, next week we enter our *first* blog contest, with prize kindly and generously offered by the members of our community! http://www.altglobe.com/altglobe-contest
    PS2: I realize this is a comment AND an offer so if you want to delete this comment that’s totally cool

  6. Hi –
    I saw your comment on the Crunchy Chicken book review In Defense of Food on the Raw milk/fat issue. Yes, I noted Michael Pollen’s comment on the processing of milk. I’m a huge fan of raw milk — but had to stop because of the saturated fat wearing me down (weight gain, felt “sluggish”) and when I stopped, the energy came back and the weight gain stopped. I recently gave up dairy (went back to the Ornish lifestyle I practiced for several years) and feel really good, but miss that glass of raw milk or chunk of raw cheese every now and then. Suggestion: since the cream so conveniently floats to the top of the milk, why not skim it off and drink “skim” milk? No, its not the same without the cream, but you would be eliminating the fat. Nice blog!
    a.k.a. Chili

  7. I would like to know more about your jarring practices – maybe even having you speak at an event if you or someone you know is interested.

    Please contact me in either case.

    Thank you!

  8. I was so tickled to find you in our “backyard”. You guys get more warm weather though. We are over on the Russian River in Monte Rio. I loved your article on green manure. If you two ever get over this way stop at the seed shop!

  9. My beets are booming. I’ve pickled more than I can eat and would like to store them in jars. Any advice?

  10. John Bast

    Great site I stumbled on. A little late this year but did get a garden in. Ripped up the back yard and put in a number of raised beds…live out here in Sonoma by Buena Vista. Any good resources for planting schedules and best crops? Looks like there is a ton of information here that I can use.

    Looking forward to reading about the Succession Planting….want to go beyond tomatoes and zucchini and go year round…anything that applies predominately to Sonoma will be great…thanks for the site.

    • asonomagarden

      Hi John! It looks like we live only blocks away, so please do check in. Anything we can grow, I’m sure you can too!

  11. Aunt B


    I have been following your blog for a few weeks. It is the best that I have found, maybe, it’s because your interested in all the things that I am.

    I am a firm beliver in mulching. I read a book by Ruth Stout over 30 years ago and I am still mulching.

    I am also a firm believer in the Ornish diet. I was surprised you were following his diet. Sure does help keep the weight off and a lot of diseases.

    I am looking forward to your updates. Found you when I was checking out Down to Earth blog, she had you listed as one of her favorites, now you are one of my favorites, too.

  12. DEN

    Just found your website. Really enjoying the information that you are sharing. Thanks.]

    Would you have any reipies for rosehips. the hedgerows here in England are full of them and i would like to put some to use. Thanks Den.

  13. like hey dude thanks for the lotion thing with out this info i could of probability failed mt science fair project

  14. Pingback: Caring for Your Skin: Homemade Hand Lotion « Time for Dinner

  15. Beautiful website! So glad I found you. Cant wait to sit down with some coffee and Baileys 🙂 and take it all in.

  16. I love your site! I am putting it in my “Blogs You Might Dig” tab.

  17. I enjoy your blog. As it turns out, my wife was raised in Sonoma. She graduated from high school in 1944. She still has relatives in area.

  18. Hi Kendra
    I absolutely love your website and have spoken about it to numerous friends over here in England. My husband and I live in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire and I’m really into making things at home and saving any money we can. I’ve made your hand lotion and laundry liquid and am going to make the hand salve next as I have had dermatitis on my fingers from all the decorating we’ve been doing at our cottage. Also I’m going to give the almond milk a go. I’ve organised a day with my friends to demonstrate some of the homemade recipes and will let you know how we get on (will try and send you some photos!) Keep up the good work, its brilliant.

    Lots of love to you and your family
    Barbara xx

  19. So glad to have found your blog!!

  20. Pingback: Balancing Act « Life With The Albas

  21. Patty

    Just was introduced to your blog…..love it. I have a question about your jar labels for the hand cream. May I use the labels on my handmade hand cream if I intend to sell them?

  22. pureorpurple

    sorry i said Carol, I mean Kendra ofcourse :s

  23. Hello Scott & Kendra!

    I recently found your blog while I was researching homemade personal care products. As a university student, I’m currently producing a short informational video on organic and natural cosmetics and personal care products for an English course.
    I was wondering if you would give me permission to use the recipe and photos for homemade hand lotion in my video.
    I would very much appreciate it, and I can send you the finished product when it is all done.
    The video will be featured on my class’ website: http://montrealites.ca

    Tanya A.

  24. Melissa

    Kendra & Scott, Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden! I love reading your blog. I am from Alexandria, Virginia and have lived in Sonoma since 2005 so all of this is new to me. You are so appreciated! Melissa

  25. Hi, we’re just over the hill in Petaluma and are producing a program all about healthy, organic, & natural food for children. Watch the Happy’s Greenhouse trailer at http://t.co/AOpCXlO

    On your rats, we’ve had success with heavy gauge wire mesh but it can get costly for large spaces.

  26. Ibrahim

    I’m from west Africa and Just moved in Oregon. My sister and some women in my country make 100% pure Shea butter and I will would like to start making my own lotion and oil at home for my own use and for friends, maybe if it is good enough try a small business. My problem is I do not know much about making lotion and oil. I’m looking for a training and I’m willing to travel for that. I have a very limited budget. Please all idea will be welcome

  27. Betti Immel

    Hey, I love your blog! How do you like Sonoma? I’ve been thinking about moving up there?

  28. Mary

    Just found your website today when I was Googling how to make homemade lotion. I saw your deodorant blog and that it can cause breast cancer, I never knew that. Im so glad I found out when I did (im 16) because I already have the possible cancer gene since my aunt had breast cancer I’ve been trying more and more lately to stay away from food and cleaning products with cancer causing chemicals in them. Im starting to really get into the whole organic scene, I want to be able to live a long Ans healthy life without having to take a medication to keep me here. Your blog will help me so much. I’ve already planned on having my own garden on my families property, can’t wait!!!

  29. what a wonderful blog – fascinated by the bee thing – and wonderful to see the garden coming into colour. spring brings the beginning of so many gifts. what an amazing place you’ve created to get lost in. inspiring.

  30. Pingback: What I Read: Blogger Appreciation Award « By the (cook)Book

  31. Hello,
    I wanted to let you know that I’m recommending your blog to my readers: http://icookbythebook.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/what-i-read-blogger-appreciation-award/
    I hope they pay you a visit 🙂

  32. I just came across your blog via Woman against plastic’s facebook page. I adore it and cannot wait to slowly read your articles and become inspired and educated. Do you have a Facebook Page for your blog? Thank you!
    Dania L.

  33. just found your blog today, I’m in Sonoma too. What a great site!

  34. doro

    Hello! yes this is indeed a great site, thank You for sharing all your knowledge!!

    I want to share something with you too and so I’m writing here as it would be on each site a bit out of content. Hope this is ok!
    As I was reading your no-poo experience it came to my mind that I used to wash my hair with chick pea flower (gram flower), in the end I think it will be like with baking soda: your hair becomes dry if you wash it too often! I use always a bit of coconut oil for my hair. This is also good to protect against lice, even better when added a little Neem oil. So you can use more oil before you’re going in the shower or leave it in over night and wash your hair with gram flower.

    On the net I found some good recipes for natural shower with Ayurvedic ingredients and one of them is Sapindus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapindus) used in Asia and by native Americans; it is used as natural soap and it is good to treat eczema as well and therefor I had to share this for your little princess!!


  35. Hello, im a Doula here in Grande Prairie. Alberta Canada. I stumbled across ur blog reading another moms page with receipes for all natural things. Love ur deodorant idea! Does it help with the wetness? Just curious! Sounds very easy to make. Do u have any concoctions for teen faces? Not too much acne but hes a bit self concious. And we just preach water water water. Oi did let him use an asteingent and it did nothing but dry his whole face out lol thanks another blog to follow! Hubby says “dont u have enough of peoples lives you read about???” Oh im a 36 yr young mom of three, daughters 8 and 11 and son 14! Been married 15 yrs 🙂 so proud of that as it doesnt happen to often these dats. My highschool boyfriend, very first boyfriend, didnt date anothjer so. We will have been together 21 yrs this july!!!

  36. BRENDA


  37. Dear Scott and Kendra,
    Congratulations! I have awarded you the One Lovely Blog Award. You have a wonderful blog, a fantastic looking garden and such fun tutorials!
    If you would like to accept, the Rules for Award participation are as follows:
    1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
    2. Paste the award image on your blog, anywhere.
    3. Tell them 7 facts about yourself.
    4. Nominate 9 other blogs you like for this award
    5. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated
    Check out my site to see the post with the official nomination, seedsandstones.wordpress.com and you can find the graphic there as well.
    All the best, Erin

  38. Hello!! I found your blog while searching about how to use orange peels:) I am so inspired by what you have accomplished with your hard work and tenacity! You have beautiful products and I am amazed at all of your skills!! I have only read a couple of your recipes so I don’t know if you sell from home? My husband and I will be in the area for a couple of weeks for my sister’s wedding. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your recipes for different products. I pray to make time in the future to try a few!!

  39. Elizabeth

    Hi! I found your blog looking for homemade body-care recipes. Love your blog and information! I’ve been having hair-care success with corn starch to absorb extra oils (I’m blonde), and baking soda to wash. Still trying to find the right combo for a conditioner/detangler for fine, dry hair. I live near Occidental, but garden in west Santa Rosa where it’s warmer. The last two years I’ve canned tomatoes, peaches, pickles, and pickled green beans using http://www.pickyourown.org as a guide. This year I’m experimenting with using the ’66 VW beetle as a portable sprouting greenhouse. So far, so good!

  40. Laura

    In the comments on your hand lotion, I saw that one of you is a designer by trade. We have a label/logo that we need to have designed and wonder if you would be interested in working on it. It’s just a little job. My son (17 yrs.) is working on developing a business.

  41. Barbara

    After reading your blog about watering Taylor’s with 18″ PVC pipe, I just had to try it. My one question is: how often do you water? My plants are approx. 18 – 20″ and have been water in the traditional soak the moat way. Any advice is greatly appreciated as my husband and I can’t wait for big, juicy tomatoes!
    Happy trails,

  42. Hi Scott and Kendra! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, and have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You can learn more about the award here: http://gatherandgrow.org/2013/12/02/versatile-blogger-award/
    – Mari

  43. Loralee

    Hello from a neighbor in Glen Ellen. I happened upon your blog because I was mourning the fact that I couldn’t have a garden this year. You’ve given me hope that I might be able to enjoy yummy heirloom tomatoes after all!
    Thank you!

  44. Starla

    Hello, A Sonoma Garden,
    I enjoy your blog very much; thank you for the lovely pictures and verbal window into your world. I notice that you haven’t posted since the middle of December, although historically you usually post fairly regularly. Hopefully you’re just crazy busy and nothing too challenging has come up!
    Looking forward to more words soon,

  45. I’m missing your posts, hoping that all is well and that you’re just inundated with life’s demands.

  46. Seems your Pinterest link is not working and I can’t find you on there either. Just thought you should know.

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