Fresh Dirt

3 new gadgets that will help you save water

Make every drop count with one of the latest in smart watering gadgets. The best thing about this new generation of smart water controllers? They all have an app, so all it takes to make sure your tomatoes are getting watered is the tap of a finger.

The best drought resources for Western gardens

The wildflowers and redwoods at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden are nice, but when I visited last summer I was particularly impressed by the Home Demonstration Garden, which showcases water-conserving plants and is a natural outgrowth of the garden’s focus on California native plants. More recently, as I pulled together an online guide to our 15 favorite Western botanic gardens, […]

A skunk in the henhouse

I am not an urban farmer nor do I play one on TV. But for the last three weeks I have been helping my wife and daughters take care of the three beautiful chickens who live across the street from us in San Francisco.

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Western wildfires: 8 ways to protect your property

The wildfires burning in California today—like the Wragg fire near Lake Barryessa (pictured) and in various spots around the West, including Glacier National Park, Montana—are stark reminders: Our grassy and forested landscapes are crackling dry from drought, and the wildfire season is heating up. What to do? Read on…