This blog represented Annette’s journey as an urban mom with two small kids going from supermarket to farmer-fresh food one step at a time.

In January 2009 she vowed to re-channel her grocery money away from mono-crop farmers, processed food companies and animal feed lots, buying foods from outside Washington state only after exhausting all local options, and gave up out of season foods.

When it was all said and done, the garden met all vegetable needs for her family of four from May (it was planted in April) until mid December and then started producing again by February.

In 2010 she resolved to grow even more fruits and vegetables in the front and side sections of her in-city 1/5 acre lot. She took out the parking strip and some backyard space and no longer needed to buy any vegetables at any time of year. She added 22 fruits or berries, 2 nut varieties, black pepper, tea, medicinals and countless herbs in addition to backyard chickens, mason bees and composting worms.

Rather than canning, freezing and drying so much food in 2010 she began lacto-fermenting and simply eating seasonally in order to maximize nutritional intake and reduce carbon footprint.

In 2011 she added meat rabbits and ducks and was on the verge of adding dairy goats when she found her dream property outside the city and relocated about 30 minutes from town. At her new property, Dancing Goat Gardens, she grows food together with a handful of other families from the city. She also added turkeys.

In 2012 she plans to add honey bees, mushrooms, pigs, and greenhouse tilapia.

Along the way the blog journey became a book, and co-author Joshua McNichols joins her with posts about his food journey as well.

She still remains rooted in the city, coordinating local bulk produce buys in order to keep local food affordable and ensure that small, diverse permaculture, organic and biodynamic farmers will have guaranteed markets for their crops.

7 Responses to About

  1. I love your site! just found it tonight…can you tell me what your elevation is? I am gardening at 8300′ and would love to know that what you are doing would work here too. thanks

    • Annette Cottrell

      Marilyn I am only at 400′ but it’s heavily wooded. Have you read anything by Sepp Holzer? He is at 900-1400 meters in the Austrian Alps and the techniques he uses might work for you. I am doing what he is doing but on a smaller scale and have not yet blogged about everything I’m doing since I’m just putting it all in place right now.

  2. We just bought our first house in August and are so excited to transform a large section of your yard into gardening. I just discovered your website and in reading through various posts, saw some references to neighborhoods I recognize (Wallingford, etc.) Does this mean you’re in the greater Seattle area? I’m just trying to figure out if I can pretty much follow a lot of what you do for our growing season.

    • Annette Cottrell

      Hi Kry,

      I was just off Sandpoint until last summer so all the gardening information you find on here will be Seattle specific. I am now about 40 minutes outside of town up at 400′ so my dates will be a few weeks behind. Everything that is on the “helpful tools” page is for sea level so should work for you.

  3. love your site! thanks for all the information!
    it’s amazing!

  4. Pingback: asparagus recipes

  5. Wow! Great new look and mass information easily accessable.
    “You are an inspiration to us all!” a quote from Carmen San Diego.
    Blessings and peace to you and yours and the communities you touch!

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