Wolfhaus Gardens - News Notes

Wolfhaus Gardens - News Notes


Personal Gardening Journal
Inland Pass 2800ft.
Southern CA, USA

Late May, 2012

Spring has certainly sprung. The biggest news here in the Pass is my tomatoes have over-wintered with tomatoes on them! Peppers and geraniums too!. Gave them some fish emulsion, when seeing how full of life they still were, and now they are full of fresh blooms and are 3+ft high! I have lived in The Pass for 25 years. Never have I seen this with tender plants totally out in the open with no protection. We had 3 snowfalls this year of which reached 3 to 4 inches! With this global warming stuff, even the snow is warmer!!!

Spring 2012

A year has passed. Many changes. Moved to a smaller property, note elevation change, and am now living at my daughters house with my grandson. Tess passed away March 7th this year. She loved flowers, vegetables, and gardening in general, but because of severe chronic illness, she was not allowed to 'touch' dirt! Also plants were not allowed in the house. I tried to make up for it by planting beautiful things outside, and now with her gone, I try to continue the gardening in her memory, to speak for the depth of her love for beautiful things. A healthy producing garden is truly a beautiful thing. Rest in peace my beautiful girl.

End of March 2011

Thought it would nice to reshare our First Lady's Victory Garden vision. I highly commend her for taking this step to shine light on what America eats. Excellent video. Beautiful lady.


Elevation 3200 feet

JUNE 1st, 2011

Well summer is on the way ... can tell by how much I have to water. So many beautiful plants have come up. Planted a lot of seeds this year to save money. Did buy tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and cucumbers, but all the flowers were seeds. Everything is just growing like crazy. I am really excited, and promise to take and post pictures soon, now back to watering, and weeding! LOL


Spring has sprung, and oh it is so welcome. There still is a slight chance of frost so am trying to hold off, at least on getting the tomato starts in the ground. I have noticed 'scarlet runners' sprouting from last year's roots. Amazing. I am looking to cover the back fence in a hurry, so added a few extra seeds to fill in.

To date I have planted beets, carrots, cabbage, kolrabi, broccoli, radish, dill, lettuce, peas ... regular and sugar type, and a lot of cosmos; the seashell colors, and a new orange variety that I save from last years seed. They also reseeded themselves quite a bit which I was also happy to see.

Well, will write more later. I am going back outside. First non-rainy day in weeks. The sun is trying hard to stay out, so I will too!

Happy gardening trails, and until we meet again, best wishes.


Today is Feb. 20th, 2011, and last night we had an inch of snow down at 2500 ft. Sun is now breaking through and it sure is pretty here in The Pass!

Luckily I pulled most of the winter weeds before the front came in. Spring fever is certainly started ... been making 'beds' for a couple of weeks now. Plums and peaches are all abloom, and so pretty.

This year I am really going to focus on root crops;, garlic, onions, greens, and then all my favorite summer crops: tomatoes, cukes, squash, and oodles of peppers. Gosh got my mouth watering all ready and snow is still on the ground!

Get your seeds, start your plants, summer will be here soon, and you don't want to get caught with your cupboard bare. Vegetable prices will continue to rise, and quality will continue to suffer those long rides in those big trucks. Grow your own, even if it is just a big tomato pot on your porch. You won't regret it, and your body will thank you.

Best of wishes for a super gardening season.


January 2011

May 2010

Ah ... Southern California during one of it's 'false Spring' episodes, I think I have gardening fever, in spite of my winter lethargy. Not to last long I am sure, so am trying to curtail my exuberance. Very hard at 70 degrees and smiling!

As I find myself irreversibly getting older and more decrepit, raised beds really turn me on. Simple, and very effective.


May 2010

Can't believe so much time has passed since posting. Life has been happening and gardening took a back burner. In fact due to a move in a few weeks no garden was planned this year. My heart is broken a little bit every day as I watch last years beds go back to the weeds, as the new owners will not water.

What I do know is I must stop sniveling, and this idea jumped out at me, and gave me motivation. What a great idea! So practical, fast, economical, interesting, productive, and even not bad to look at. Perfect for schools with a tight budget!

Please check it out:

Potato Sack Gardening

Other produce surely could be produced on the quick, on the cheap, with a lack of permanence a plus!

Most gardens are already underway. As I remember this time of year is when things are starting their big push ... so exciting.

Also precious little time to read gardening journals! LOL

Dear gardening friends, enjoy every moment ... I am green with envy! Best of wishes, and count me back in for this fall!


Halloween 2009


Well, well facing winter ... couldn't wait for it while it was 107 for days ... now looking at where did I store the frost protectors, where did I put the sweater box, and how many Black Widows have made homes!

Right now though, it is perfect weather ... just can't beat perfect, and that is why I have chose to stay here in the Pass for over twenty years.

This year I stayed at my daughter's new place and gardened there. The soil had never been worked ... basically sand.

In spite of the dirt situation, this was the year of the tomato and the pepper. Corn was good but ground was soil poor so production was spotty. The tast of what came through was blissful .... raw, boiled, or on the Bar-B!

A late season winner with the whole family was what I have always referred to as the 'front-yard company' beans ... scarlet red runners. They are so very beautiful, but not too many people know also what a great eating bean. In the tender early stages the beans averaged 6 inches, the mature stage with the large beautiful cooking, drying and saving anykind of wonder beans has a tough hairy outer pod, but it grows 12 inches and more! Who would have thunk it ... that it could be so tasty ... even got the teenagers to eat it. Served the cooked sliced tender bean pods, with lamb chucks stewed with onions, peppers from the back garden, Italian Parsley, and lots of garlic.(see the recipe at:

Just saw our First Lady's results at: Results of the White House garden


How did it get to be May 2009!

So much to catch up on. Spring has sprung here in The Pass. Just beautiful ... breathtakingly gorgeous. Tomatoes are in and starting to fruit. Have two types this year ... the ever dependable 'Early Girl' and a local cherry tomato type.

This year I have felt the need for some cheering and have put in quite a few six-packs of annuals, a lot from seed saved to cut on costs: asylum, marigold, hollyhock, basil, dill, nasturtium, and a number of others I found 'on sale' at the local drug store. Our local garden center here was helpful in finding decently priced cucs, eggplants, and peppers.

Our weather has been a bit erratic which is normal for our area. Makes life interesting!!!

If you haven't starting your food crops this year ... at least put a pot of tomatoes and/or cucumbers on your porch. I promise you ... you will be glad you did.

Don't forget to breathe!

Happy gardening trails ... now to go and finish the first corn bed.


April 2008

Actually most of my day is spent outside, grateful for the beautiful spring, but there is a dark cloud on the horizon, which prompted the following post:

Well, if I was ever to give advice! LOL!!!

A first suggestion would be to anyone who cares about their families ... if you have the space, get your own chickens to have eggs for protein. Without a rooster, most residential homes, can keep up to 5 or 6 hens, which is plenty of eggs ... this half acre could support plenty, but run usually about 14/15 and give eggs to two other families.

... and start planting beans ... all the beans you can get yours hands on, that you don't have to eat, greens, corn and squash ... summer type, and winter type, and get creative with drying, canning ...save all glass jars with lids, bottles for homemade beer, wine and vinegar, and 'onion' bags ... yeah, plant onions too, and garlic ... and fruit trees if you can ... citrus in the south. I have had some luck with artichokes in my area.

You can even dry beans when still green, by stringing them on regular twine, and hanging in a clean dry place ... leave an inch or so between the beans for good circulation. I have also been pleased with dried tomatoes, grapes (raisins), figs, even cherries! Cut the cherries with a paring knife all the way around, or remove seeds.

Some how I get this creepy, weird feeling, in my gut, that the proverbial shit is going to soon hit the proverbial fan, and relatively soon. I really hope I am wrong.

Is there any healthy type fish farming? ... don't think I would have the guts to do them in though, guess I will stick with eggs. In Peru, I think, they 'do-in' guinea pigs that they keep under their beds. Certain ones the children can keep for pets, and they stew, or bar-be the rest, as needed!!!

Amaranth grain is phenomenal ... great!!! for greens, and makes thousands of seeds ... which makes a great hot cereal ... makes a great thickener too. Even though a seed, it tastes 'green' to me ... keeps all year in a jar ... supposedly enough amino acids for a person to survive on by itself... but I had a horrible time separating the seed from the chaff ... maybe, I just need patience. I guess if my family is starving I find some!

Oh, don't forget the rain catchers!!! Lot's of them!! Plant most of your plants in a 'bowl' or trench deeply around. Mulch!

Best wishes to you and yours, Victoria

P.S. Just have an apartment? ... where ever there is light can be a pot of something, even one pot of tomatoes can help keep sanity ... I know!

March 19, 2008

This year is traveling so fast ... so many garden chores have been put aside, while life had other plans. Now I really see that a true need exists, in our current climate, to grow everything we can ... prices which have already climbed beyond imagination, of just of few short years ago, now are said to continue to rapidly rise ... especially food, especially energy .... that about covers it ... doesn't it?

Time to get busy!

Greens and more greens ... every few weeks for a steady supply. Beans ... lot's and lot's of beans ... you can eat them green, you can dry them green. You can dry them for winter shucked!

Plant beans ... all the varieties you can .... they take very little space, and are beautiful plants ... some with very appealing flowers! They make great fence coverings, and 'patio' towers.

With the beans, and the corn, and squash ... you can survive ... and put in some fruit trees if you can! Actually you will get healthy ... a few chickens for eggs, if you must have animal protein, and you are set. If you are lucky to have enough space, you could even share with neighbors less fortunate. You could make new friends, and brainstorm on how to catch rain-water, and manage the water you do use, on the best varieties for your area.

Here is a final picture to inspire you .... greens, beans, corn, squash , cucumbers, and your own 'out of this world' tomatoes!!! A fresh tomato just off the vine, with a hair of sea salt is certainly a gift.

Think we just had our last frost here ... plums, and peaches are in full bloom ... temperatures from hi thirties at night, to seventies in the day ... soon to be eighties ... we will warm up fast now. Water is really going to be an issue this year, for most of the nation. Use it wisely.

Watch your back ... work smart, and the very best of wishes to you and yours!


Haven't stopped gardening ... did slow down a bit ... just stopped writing about it for awhile.

2007 was a great year for peppers ... had red ones, brown ones, yellow, and green, and all delicious. Especially enjoying the cayenne's which I dried and use almost daily in cooking.Just came upon a great resource from the UK Plants For a Future

Well, now, finally, winter has come to a Southern California pass at 3400 ft. and oh, how pretty the seed catalogs all look, and look at the prices!!!

Happy New Years folks, and may you have the best garden ever!

Gardener's Supply Company

March 2006

For twenty years I have been marking calendars with the weather of the day ... almost every day ... your guess as to the weather when ever you look up into the sky is probably the best guess! Don't get me wrong ... our local guys are GREAT ... great to look at, but even with 'super dopplar' at their beck and call ... they just never seem to get it very right, most of the time. I do appreciate the radar shots though!

Took a chance on some citrus trees this year ... oh, how I long for them, even though my elevation at 3400 is a bit tricky. They are now huddled in their pots, under the southern eves. My fingers are crossed.

My favorite of all citrus, so far, are the little brilliant marvelously sweet Clementines! A neighbor a little down the hill has one and the season seemed to last through most of Jan. and all of Feb. and still giving out a few brave souls this month ... deliciouso!

Gilbert gave me a beautiful little tree, and received a Washington Seedless Navel for this Valentines ... all together now ... awe! A dear friend also gave me a Kumquat! My gift to my daughter was a grapefruit tree ... well, we all had quite a day at the old local nursery on hearts day!

Here is a wish that anyone who reads this, a garden this year with all the things you love, or at least one of the things ... even if it is just one big bright perfect tasting cherry tomato in your best pot under the window, or maybe your own homegrown jalapenos!

Best wishes to you and yours, and whatever you choose to grow ... please grow something.

Hugs all around, Victoria Inland Pass, Southern CA



The end of November 2004

Came across some exceptional links and wanted to share.

Animals = manure = methane = energy ... awesome things being done. Check it out!!!

Straus Family Creamery

More info. on technology: U. S. Department of Energy

Do I got news ... 6-8 inches of snow last night and this morning. Good thing I picked all the green tomatoes for fermenting. Gophers got all my dill though ... pooh!

In twenty years there has only been one other 'heavy snow' and it was wetter and in March ... not so light. These flakes were like 50 cent pieces and floated down like butterflies.

Unfortunately for the local trees which were completely unprepared, as was the local weatherfolks ... we had a lot of limb damage ... a lot ... rarely a tree that has not been affected.

Overall though the scenery today anywhere you looked was just like out of a postcard, and when the sun finally peaked through ... totally awesome!

Tomorrow I will check out what froze tonight ... it is going to be cold.

Soon it will be catalogue time, and like last season ... my dreams more than likely will be bigger than my resouces, but oh what fun the planning will be.

The very best to you and yours, now and later.



February 2004

The winter catalogues have me in their grip ... planning great things for this years garden. Gosh don't they make the pictures beautiful? They get better every year! (My attempts never turn out quite as gorgeous. LOL)

The spaghetti squash would have won an award this last fall for sure. They are still holding well and provide regular meals. They grew huge! I found a fast way to cook them also when I don't have time for the oven. Also it is easier to control their doneness.

Cut in half lengthwise and place in microsafe dish cut side down in a small amount of water. Start with about 5 minutes and add minutes until done.

Peppers did great as did the eggplants. Using eggplants that have been so soaked in salt water, drained, and sauteed can be used in many dishes. My favorite now is cooked and seasoned with garlic and onions, chopped tomatoes and used with a topping of cheese for a great lunch burrito.

Hope you are enjoying the seed catalogues and also looking forward to a terrific spring season.



November 2003

The nightmare of wilfires are now in many memories ... etched in sheer horror at a wall of flames hundreds of feet high coming your way.

If you are able ... contact the Red Cross or another favorite organization and do what you can to help the survivors ... they need it.

Something I wrote last Sept. comes round again ... this time hitting big time:

...The End of September, 2002

Well, we are at the end of another record breaking heat wave. The local mountains have caught on fire, again.

To be a firefighter, in a 150 lbs. of gear, with the weather starting at a 105 degree heat is unbelievable.

You guys and gals are true heros! Please don't forget to take care of yourselves ... bottom line. Your families are looking to you to make it home.

I remember quite well the stories told; my father, as a forest ranger in the Sierras after WWII, facing flames 300 feet high ... our breath held with a hard knot in the chest, until he finally came back.

Thank you for what you do, you are very brave people.

Victoria and her family

October 2003

The full 'Hunter Moon' lights up the garden at night. The days are quite warm, even still hot, but the nights have finally settled down and the coolness is most welcome.

July 2003

As many of you know who have read this newsletter before ... my oldest daughter is very ill, and waiting for a kidney/pancreas transplant ... we take each day ... one at a time. When I can ... I keep as involved with the garden, and update websites, as much as the many hospital/doctor visits, and daily care will allow.

Having said that, so you new folks won't wonder why I am so late in getting this letter out and around ... hello!

It is dark outside again ... the skies pregnant with power ... about to unload any minute. All week it has been like this ... the humidity off the charts.

I put the drying fruit outside in the sun and then it clouds over threatening to rain. Then the sun comes out and out goes the fruit again! The dried plums are awesome. The old tree really out did itself this year.

We are waiting on the peaches now ... the branches so very heavy. All in all it has been a good season so far for the fruit trees, and the apple trees are loaded for early fall harvest.

Due to the late spring our tomotoes are just getting their act together ... grew all kinds but as ususual 'celebrity', and 'early girl' were the winners.

With so many vegetables ripening at one time, it is always a challenge to process them in a timely manner. Here is a simple recipe that includes what ever is most at hand. It makes a marvelous addition sprinkled over a salad, cooked beans, and/or rice, or on top of plain yogurt. It remains one of my favorites and keeps well.

Slow Baked Salsa

Chopped into similar sized chunks:

bell peppers/and or hot peppers, as desired

Bake in a slow oven until well roasted and fragrant.

I usually add some herbs like rosemary and when done sprinkly with garlic salt. Even zuchini, or other squash works with this recipe.

I also roast fruit in over or on the grill ... makes a wonderful topping for fish!

Well, my time is short today ... I will be back!

Have a good one!


April 16th 2003

It is a beautiful blue sky day here ... crisp, and invigorating, after a late winter storm. There is fresh new snow on the peaks, the creeks are running with vigor, and the view is like a fairy tale. Speaking of fairy tales coming true, my beautiful granddaughter Abigail is 3 months old ... today!

The garden calls out strongly, but I have laundry to do, so I type you this update, between loads.

Late on doing all the chores, as usual, LOL, but the fruit trees, artichokes, and roses are trimmed, fertilized and forgiving.

Bright eyed violets have take over ... under sunlight daffodils ... all nestled under the feverfew which is under the lilacs ... I never tire of lilacs... I never get tired of looking at feverfew! The little perfect 'daisies' capture my heart and the smell of the lilac ... my mind.

Oh, and all the California Poppies in California are in bloom ... what a site!

Hope you too are able to enjoy this spring ... balancing the strife and terror in the world. Appreciating the beauty, that what ever Great Spirit you believe in, created, in a sense personally for you ... can't possibly hurt the worlds situation. It may even rest your mind to enable you to continue to be a positive and loving individual contributing your own special resources to peace and sanity on this little blue planet.

April 4th, 2003

With great effort I focus on the garden, with a yellow ribbon tied around my heart, and I wonder how we came this far. My wish for true, and lasting, peace for the world is so desperate, and the wondering 'why' is such a knot in my throat.

The trees are being pruned, the weeds pulled or mowed, and the roses fed. Ground has been cleared for planting. Spring has arrived and waits impatiently.

Best wishes to all, and may your own gardens, continue to lift your spirits and provide for your families in these troubled times.



February 14 th. 2003
Happy Valentines Day to all!

Finally Southern Calif. received some decent rain ... hope it is not the last as our community wells have been way down.

We were lucky here as we had no bad flooding ... just the usual puddles that try to swallow your car, if you don't know where they are!

We are preparing beds for the spring and pruning, while we listen to war talk.

The following is for your information and I thought it might help to reduce some of the panic I have been hearing from people.

The bottom line is DO NOT PANIC!

by SFC Red Thomas (Ret) Armor Master Gunner

Since the media has decided to scare everyone with predictions of chemical,biological, or nuclear warfare on our turf I decided to write a paper and keep things in their proper perspective. I am a retired military weapons, munitions, and training expert.

Lesson number one: In the mid 1990's there were a series of nerve gas attacks on crowded Japanese subway stations. Given perfect conditions for an attack less than 10% of the people there were injured (the injured were better in a few hours) and only one percent of the injured died. 60 Minutes once had a fellow telling us that one drop of nerve gas could kill a thousand people, well he didn't tell you the thousand dead people per drop was theoretical. Drill Sergeants exaggerate how terrible this stuff was to keep the recruits awake in class (I know this because I was a Drill Sergeant too). Forget everything you've ever seen on &g t; TV, in the movies, or read in a novel about this stuff, it was all a lie (read this sentence again out loud!)! These weapons are about terror, if you remain calm, you will probably not die. This is far less scary than the media and their "Experts," make it sound.

Chemical weapons are categorized as Nerve, Blood, Blister, and Incapacitating agents. Contrary to the hype of reporters and politicians they are not weapons of mass destruction they are "Area denial," and terror weapons that don't destroy anything. When you leave the area you almost always leave the risk. That's the difference; you can leave the area and the risk; soldiers may have to stay put and sit through it and that's why they need all that spiffy gear.

These are not gasses, they are vapors and/or air borne particles. The agent must be delivered in sufficient quantity to kill/injure, and that defines when/how it's used. Every day we have a morning and evening inversion where "stuff," suspended in the air gets pushed down. This inversion is why allergies (pol len) and air pollution are worst at these times of the day.

So, a chemical attack will have it's best effect an hour of so either side of sunrise/sunset. Also, being vapors and airborne particles they are heavier than air so they will seek low places like ditches, basements and underground garages. This stuff won't work when it's freezing, it doesn't last when it's hot, and wind spreads it too thin too fast. They've got to get this stuff on you, or, get you to inhale it for it to work. They also have to get the concentration of chemicals high enough to kill or wound you. Too little and it's nothing, too much and it's wasted.

What I hope you've gathered by this point is that a chemical weapons attack that kills a lot of people is incredibly hard to do with military grade agents and equipment so you can imagine how hard it will be for terrorists.

The more you know about this stuff the more you realize how hard it is to use. We'll start by talking about nerve agents. You have these in your house, plain old bug killer (like Raid) is a nerve agent. All nerve agents work the same way; they are cholinesterase inhibitors that mess up the signals your nervous system uses to make your body function. It can harm you if you get it on your skin, but it works best if they can get you to inhale it. If you don't die in the first minute and you can leave the area you're probably gonna live. The military's antidote for all nerve agents is atropine and pralidoxime chloride. Neither one of these does anything to cure the nerve agent, they send your body into overdrive to keep you alive for five minutes, after that the agent is used up. Your best protection is fresh air and staying calm. Listed below are the symptoms for nerve agent poisoning.

Sudden headache, Dimness of vision (someone you're looking at will have pinpointed pupils), Runny nose, Excessive saliva or drooling, Difficulty breathing, Tightness in chest, Nausea, Stomach cramps, Twitching of exposed skin where a liquid just got on you. If you a re in public and you start experiencing these symptoms, first ask yourself, did anything out of the ordinary just happen, a loud pop, did someone spray something on the crowd? Are other people getting sick too? Is there an odor of new mown hay, green corn, something fruity, or camphor where it shouldn't be?

If the answer is yes, then calmly (if you panic you breathe faster and inhale more air/poison) leave the area and head up wind, or, outside. Fresh air is the best "right now antidote". If you have a blob of liquid that looks like molasses or Kayro syrup on you; blot it or scrape it off and away from yourself with anything disposable. This stuff works based on your body weight, what a crop duster uses to kill bugs won't hurt you unless you stand there and breathe it in real deep, then lick the residue off the ground for while. Remember they have to do all the work, they have to get the concentration up and keep it up for several minutes while all you have to do is quit getting it on you/quit breathing it by putting space between you and the attack.

Blood agents are cyanide or arsine which effect your blood's ability to provide oxygen to your tissue. The scenario for attack would be the same as nerve agent. Look for a pop or someone splashing/spraying something and folks around there getting woozy/falling down. The telltale smells are bitter almonds or garlic where it shouldn't be. The symptoms are blue lips, blue under the fingernails, rapid breathing. The military's antidote is amyl nitride and just like nerve agent antidote it just keeps your body working for five minutes till the toxins are used up.

Fresh air is the your best individual chance. Blister agents (distilled mustard) are so nasty that nobody wants to even handle it let alone use it. It's almost impossible to handle safely and may have delayed effect of up to 12 hours. The attack scenario is also limited to the things you'd see from other chemicals. If you do get large, painful blisters for no apparent reason, don't pop them, if you must, don't let the liquid from the blister get on any other area, the stuff just keeps on spreading. It's ju st as likely to harm the user as the target. Soap, water, sunshine, and fresh air are this stuff's enemy.

Bottom line on chemical weapons (it's the same if they use industrial chemical spills); they are intended to make you panic, to terrorize you, to herd you like sheep to the wolves. If there is an attack, leave the area and go upwind, or to the sides of the wind stream. They have to get the stuff to you, and on you. You're more likely to be hurt by a drunk driver on any given day than be hurt by one of these attacks. Your odds get better if you leave the area. Soap, water, time, and fresh air really deal this stuff a knock_out_punch. Don't let fear of an isolated attack rule your life. The odds are really on your side.

Nuclear bombs. These are the only weapons of mass destruction on earth. The effects of a nuclear bomb are heat, blast, EMP, and radiation. If you see a bright flash of light like the sun, where the sun isn't, fall to the ground!

The heat will be over a second. Then there wil l be two blast waves, one outgoing, and one on it's way back. Don't stand up to see what happened after the first wave; anything that's going to happen will have happened in two full minutes.

These will be low yield devices and will not level whole cities. If you live through the heat, blast, and initial burst of radiation, you'll probably live for a very, very long time. Radiation will not create fifty foot tall women, or giant ants and grass hoppers the size of tanks. These will be at the most 1 kiloton bombs; that's the equivalent of 1,000 tons of TNT.

Here's the real deal, flying debris and radiation will kill a lot of exposed (not all!) people within a half mile of the blast. Under perfect conditions this is about a half mile circle of death and destruction, but, when it's done it's done. EMP stands for Electro Magnetic Pulse and it will fry every electronic device for a good distance, it's impossible to say what and how far but probably not over a couple of miles from ground zero is a good guess. Cars, cell phones, computers, ATMs, you name it, all will be out of order.

There are lots of kinds of radiation, you only need to worry about three, the others you have lived with for years. You need to worry about "Ionizing radiation," these are little sub atomic particles that go hizzing along at the speed of light. They hit individual cells in your body, kill the nucleus and keep on going. That's how you get radiation poisoning, you have so many dead cells in your body that the decaying cells poison you. It's the same as people getting radiation treatments for cancer, only a bigger area gets radiated. The good news is you don't have to just sit there and take it, and there's lots you can do rather than panic. First; your skin will stop alpha particles, a page of a news paper or your clothing will stop beta particles, you just gotta try and avoid inhaling dust that's contaminated with atoms that are emitting these things and you'll be generally safe from them.

Gamma rays are particles that travel like rays (quantum physics makes my brain hurt) and the y create the same damage as alpha and beta particles only they keep going and kill lots of cells as they go all the way through your body. It takes a lot to stop these things, lots of dense material, on the other hand it takes a lot of this to kill you.

Your defense is as always to not panic. Basic hygiene and normal preparation are your friends. All canned or frozen food is safe to eat. The radiation poisoning will not effect plants so fruits and vegetables are OK if there's no dust on 'em (rinse 'em off if there is). If you don't have running water and you need to collect rain water or use water from wherever, just let it sit for thirty minutes and skim off the water gently from the top. The dust with the bad stuff in it will settle and the remaining water can be used for the toilet which will still work if you have a bucket of water to pour in the tank.

Finally there's biological warfare. There's not much to cover here. Basic personal hygiene and sanitation will take you further than a million doctors.Wash your hands often, don't sh are drinks, food, sloppy kisses, etc., ... with strangers. Keep your garbage can with a tight lid on it, don't have standing water (like old buckets, ditches, or kiddie pools) laying around to allow mosquitoes breeding room. This stuff is carried by vectors, that is bugs, rodents, and contaminated material. If biological warfare is so easy as the TV makes it sound, why has Saddam Hussein spent twenty years, millions, and millions of dollars trying to get it right? If you're clean of person and home you eat well and are active you're gonna live.

Overall preparation for any terrorist attack is the same as you'd take for a big storm. If you want a gas mask, fine, go get one. I know this stuff and I'm not getting one and I told my Mom not to bother with one either (how's that for confidence). We have a week's worth of cash, several days worth of canned goods and plenty of soap and water. We don't leave stuff out to attract bugs or rodents so we don't have them.

These people can't conceive a nation this big with this much resources. These weapons are made to cause panic, terror, and to demoralize. If we don't run around like sheep they won't use this stuff after they find out it's no fun. The government is going nuts over this stuff because they have to protect every inch of America. You've only gotta protect yourself, and by doing that, you help the country.

Finally, there are millions of caveats to everything I wrote here and you can think up specific scenarios where my advice isn't the best. This letter is supposed to help the greatest number of people under the greatest number of situations. If you don't like my work, don't nit pick, just sit down and explain chemical, nuclear, and biological warfare in a document around three pages long yourself. This is how we the people of the United States can rob these people of their most desired goal, your terror.


Unbelievable, ... this weather!
End of January 2003

I keep waiting for the winter storms to come, so as to update this site for the winter season ... it is a seasonal newsletter! ... guess what?

In an Inland Pass, at about 3400 ft. in Southern Calif. ... there is no winter!

I still have geraniums blooming outside! We have been having intensely beautiful bright, deep blue skies, or high, loose, interesting clouds ... casting shadows on the mountains ... which has made for awesome sunrises and sunsets ... every day for over a month, with temperatures between 75 and 85!

Trees; plum and acacia, and roses are starting to bloom ... it will be so sad when they get their butts kicked in March.

I planted a grape vine: Thompson Seedless, because that's what my spoiled kids think is the best ... can't believe they don't like Muscat's, wild reds, and Concords ... nuts!

Roses are being lined up, to be transplanted for the new driveway ... pruned and getting ready for their new homes. Deciding how to combine all the colors along with the new bushes bought this season is becoming quite a task. I think I will be calling the new beds: kalidiscope!

Want to put in more berries, and am preparing the grounds and soaking the roots of some Black Rasberries ... as the gophers wiped out the first ones which really produced pretty good for a while ... wow, can those little guys wipe out a planting!

This year 'everything' is going in pots buried in the ground, or in chicken wire lined raised beds. I just can not deal with poison or traps.

Once in a while the dogs get them little workers, and so far they are kept in limits. The dogs getting them doesn't bother me ... too much. I figure nature just doing its thing.

Not exactly guilt free, but close!

You all have fun out there and don't hurt yourself this spring.

Best wishes for a productive new seasons. Don't let wars and rumors of wars stop you planting ... remember The Victory Gardens! It is more important than ever to teach your children and grandchildren the ways of such sufficiency.



December 4th

Our first little frost has come ... there is snow up on the peaks that line up around us ... it still is so beautiful.

The seed catalogs are starting to pull at me, from under Christmas wrap and twine. New visions of organization in the garden drop into my dreams ...

Have the very best of Holidays and a Terrific New Year. May all your seeds come up strong and lasting. You know what I mean ... have a good one!

November 25, 2002

After a week of record heat ... up into the 90's!!! ... we are finally looking for rain again ... on Thanksgiving!!!

It has been one heck of a year, personally, weatherwise, and with the garden.

I want to thank those who wrote with such good wishes and inspiring thoughts.


Nov. 9th

It's raining, really raining!

Our Indian Summer seems to have gone and we actually have a soaking rain before the new year ... very rare, and oh so welcome. The ground was dust to say nothing of my skin! Humidity must have been minus 2 ... keeping things watered and alive was next to impossible.

There is a little worry about flooding during any rain here, and our little place basically sits in a drainage ditch, but this rain has been gentle and steady ... just what was needed so desperately.

While walking in the oak woods close by last month, my companions and I saw an anxious deer, down on near the park entrance, and very close to us. He was also looking for the little creek that runs year round close to the main road, before it runs totally underground again ... this year it looked like if any was left it was all under the ground ... the dust swirled high around us as we searched for any wet spots. Finally, after a bit of a hike, us ... and the deer apparently ... saw a few, very small wet pools that were still in operation. Thought I might have to alert the forest service, and/or lug up some 5 gallon barrels for those suffering deer!!!

It is November the 4th, a Monday in this Inland Pass, that is sunny, warm, yet brisk and energizing. Winter is known to be next ... as each blue-sky day is savored in awe. Every yellow walnut and peach leaf is treasured like gold ... maples glory too intense for mere words.

In the garden there are still beautiful tomatoes keeping cool and nice until use. The green ones are made into fermented pickles ... awesome! I shall have to watch closely for the first frost, and process what's left this week. I freeze them whole in baggies, with just a good wash, and will have that real fresh, old fashioned type, tomato taste, clear to next July.

Unfrost just what you need for your sauces, and stews, and the skins will just fall off in your hands as you chop them for the pot. One heck of an easy method. No broken, or leaky jars in your freezer. No hours of regular canning.

There is no replacing that 'grown in the garden' type of flavor ... not by anything I have found in the market. Both the tomatoes and the cucumbers sold at the big supermarkets are just pitiful, and horribly expensive.

If things had been different this year 'say la vie' ...

Well, I had planned to properly dry oodles of both fruits and vegetables, but family emergencies slowed the whole place down significantly, kinda like a locomotive into a barn sized pile of baled hay! Whoosh!

Now we live each day as it comes and try hard to be thankful for the good things, by taking some time to enjoy them. No seeds were saved fresh this year for the public. No little farmers market presented. Pressed flowers were not made. Even the grapes ... first year no wine since they started producing.

There are though, remarkably, a few good looking cucumbers that stubbornly cling to wasted vines, with some small eggplants ... forgotten until now ... and lost in the weeds ... I will get those today!

As I walk slowly, and in my mind, map out homes for this coming year's crops, I wish all of you a wonderful season with your family, and a great new year of your own.

Victoria and Family

The End of September, 2002

Well, we are at the end of another record breaking heat wave. The local mountains have caught on fire, again.

To be a firefighter, in a 150 lbs. of gear, with the weather starting at a 105 degree heat is unbelievable.

You guys and gals are true heros! Please don't forget to take care of yourselves ... bottom line. Your families are looking to you to make it home.

I remember quite well the stories told; my father, as a forest ranger in the Sierras after WWII, facing flames 300 feet high ... our breath held with a hard knot in the chest, until he finally came back.

Thank you for what you do, you are very brave people.

Victoria and her family

PS: The good thing about this heat (I do try to look positively) is that almost dead cucumber plants have partially come back and going for crop two! It is so hot the anphids groaked! LOL

Hang in there folks and remember the important things in life ... your health ... your family and loved ones.

Hang on the the good things ... keep positive thoughts. The cucumbers that are still producing. The tomatoes still loading the vines. Grapes waiting to be gathered for wine. 5 perfect brown eggs and one big white one! The passion vine clutching the fence and daring to produce quite unusual seed pods, after producing the most fantastic of flowers for a very long season of wonder.

Previous Newsletter:


Southern Calif. 3400 feet, Inland Pass, USA

Yesterday, and today hottest on record ... 112F, and 113F in nearby Hemet! Yikes!

This garden update is dedicated to an angel ... a lovely, beautiful lady from the Southern Hemisphere, who has never met me, but yet took the time to write encouragement, and remind me how beautiful life is, and how really blessed I am. I do know I am truly blessed in many ways ... but some reminding occasionally apparently helps me regain and retain my intended focus. Thanks are in order.

As I write this the sweat is stinging my eyes, I am itchy all over from crawling through the wild sunflowers, and waist high crabgrass ... there may be a spider bite on my arm, and I am happier than I have been in a long time. On the kitchen counter is at least 50 lb. of the prettiest tomatoes, and the tastiest cucumbers imaginable. I have a good life. I live in a beautiful area, with a whole half acre and a large pool to play in. The passion vine, I just noticed today, is filled with fruit. The apple tree covered with apples, the Asian Pear's branches about to break (they are selling them 'puppies' for $1.39 each at our local supermarket!) The peaches are as big as cantaloupes! The ones in the picture above, with now 11 year old Steeny Cat, are from 2 years ago. This years peaches look like cantaloupes, I tell ya' ... well, at least as big as large grapefruit!

As I tried to explain to grandson this morning, life is like a market scale. There is good things on one side and not so good on the other. That's life. One's activities every day can help balance that scale. The focus on 'the glass half full' rather than 'half empty' can make all the difference to one's ultimate happiness.

Inspired by that dear friend to get off my duff and attack my crabgrass, I noticed how much I really do enjoy the garden. It is so easy to get distracted by the thousand chores nagging at me in the house. But once in the garden ... I always feel it is the right place for me to be. Nature happening makes me instantly realize that the what goes on in the universe is really beyond my control. I can ride the waves, doing the best I can, or I can struggle, whine, and drown.

Fall Harvest '02

Well, I must fess up to the things that didn't exactly work this year, and are going to be on my major list of challenges for next.

The eggplants, and peppers were duds - too dry I think, or just not enough water and poor soil. I do try to remember to compost all the kitchen scraps but the need for compost outweighs by far the production. Putting back into the soil is very important, and when not done ... the results are usually quite obvious.

The corn fed the crows! The snails, which I never had a problem with before (I catch and feed to delighted chickens) ... and never even saw 15 years ago when I first moved here, ate every single bean plant.

The Brown Turkey Fig was almost lost to gophers. The Bartlett Pear finally hit the dust due to a critter girdling the trunk a few years back. The mixed varieties of cukes, though terrifically tasty and tender early in the season, have been now decimated by aphids and ants. Winners: Early Girl Tomatoes, Celebrity Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, and Japanese Long Cucumbers (2 months solid production until aphid takeover.)

Wow, the power of plants! I was watering very late due to unexpected errands ... there was no choice, as a long hot day had seriously crippled most growing things, and was caught going back up to the main house in the dark ... with no flashlight or moon light at hand. As I walked under the trees, through the orchard and around the vegetable patches, I could distinctly feel where I was and what I was next to. I did not trip once or get disorientated. I could feel the plants guide me the 60 or so feet to the now dark house. Amazing experience ... as even the smell of some of the plants provided strong clues. The mosquitoes seemed to find their way around also! LOL

May you and all you love, have a wonderful fall/ or spring season, and a terrific new year filled with blessings.


Prev. Newsletter

Spring Cherries and Fall Apples

Our days have been hot, but with our nights still cool ... well, it is pretty dang nice. This grandma has even been swimmin' ....... later ...... emotions stuffed for now ... I know we will probably be ... fairly blasted out of here, with unbelievably strings ... of hot, dry, and windy weeks ... at temperatures running 105-107 average.........

(UPDATE 7/9 ... we are into a week now of over a hundred ... 105 Mon. and 103 yesterday! ... heading into August ... Woah!!! Water is going to be a big problem this year. ABC/Rebecca's Garden has some great tips for draught plants and methods to conserve and stretch the water that you do use.)

Now, I eat big, black fat cherries 'till I worry about my bottom end holding up, while I look up at a thick and totally packed 'granny smith' apple tree! And now, I feel guilty for having such beauty surrounding me, when others are suffering so.

Then I say, well, since it is here now ... it would be more of a sin to not appreciate the beauty and enjoy as often as possible.

(Knowing personally what it is like to be in the path of an out of control wildfire, I deeply sympathize and empathize with the folks in Colorado, and now Arizona. It is very, very scary ... to lose everything in a minute or two ... it's like your whole life, at least the record of it, just goes poof!

The biggest fire, I have experienced, flew past our place, in '96, I think, at a height of more than seemed scientifically possible. Some of our close neighbors lost their homes. I was sure we would lose ours, but we were spared ... only by grace.

Transfixed to our roof holding our hoses, wet bandanas on faces, and praying that the helicopters, with baskets that almost touched our heads, would use the water in our pool and stay near us, instead of going over to a little lake nearby. Normally I hate helicopters ... that day I wanted them with my family and cheered them on each return they made out of the orange abyss.

Strange how the memories are etched so solidly in my mind, and all the details, and the fear, can be brought forth in an instant. Having been through a couple of close shots, and expecting more ... although we live in S. California, and in earshot of a giant freeway on a still night ... we also live right on the edge of wilderness.

Very, very scary stuff ... fire. It is sorta strange, but the noise scared me most of all, which really surprised me. Fire is also a natural thing, I know ... even some seeds must be burnt to sprout ... but that don't mean much, when it comes knocking on YOUR door.

Best wishes to all suffering now ... may an odd deep beautiful rain come and break the summer into manageable pieces, and quench your nerves as well as your home and gardens. Thank whatever God you believe in, for the firefighters on the front line, and the police who stay in harms way trying to get folks to leave in time ... true heroes!)

Now to report on the garden results in a Southern Calif. inland pass at 3400 feet elevation at the edge of the San Bernardino National Forest.


Tomatoes are over waist high, packed with green softballs, and really ready to produce a marvelous crop. The first is Early Girl, then Romas with some Celebrity for the main crop, and of course one bush of cherry tomatoes for the kids and one Beefstake for the big guy!

The plants were buried quite deep, past the first set of leaves, in the bottom of dirt bowls for spot soaking. I find that I still need to water often and wonder how it will go when August and early Sept. hit. As mentioned before, we can stay up around 105 F for weeks at a time, broken only by spells of "only a hundred today, honey!"

The cucumbers fried on the vines last year in full sun, grown on the edge of the orchard facing south, this year I have moved them in between the trees facing west and they seem to be thriving with early morning sun sneaking under the trees to warm them, and then full sun in the afternoon as the sun passes the trees. The taste of cukes of the vine seem from a different planet than those from the super market. I eat one or two while watering ... absolutely delicious!

Problem: does anyone know the secret of growing good dill? There must be some chemical in my soil that dill does just not like. It always seems spindly and then usually just keels over. It may be just to sensitive to surface moisture which burns off fast here. Any ideas are appreciated.

Due to the crazy weather patterns this last year, there were no apricots at all this year, and only a couple of plums. Plums that the family already have their names on! Hope the massive bird population here don't get in their plans. I think I may go out and put a cage, and a label, with my name, on mine! LOL

Attention! Crabgrass in the lead over the Wolf. Snails have definately won over 3 starts of beans and now have moved to the eggplants. One Red Runner bean doggedly survives and has taken over the Santa Rosa Plum tree for a wonderful effect.

Best wishes for a terrifically productive summer to you and yours.

Think peace, understanding, and love ..... for all of creation. Gardeners, even if only in spirit, surely know that the slightest change of imput can affect output! Let's watch what we put out.

Out back 'til later,




As I sit and write this ... it is the first day of spring. This morning I finally planted the passion vine I bought last week. I think that particular vine has the most incredible flowers I have ever seen. Both Christians and Pagans, and a lot of other folks, see 'hope' in the symbolism that the flower exhibits.

That is my wish for Spring and the future of the world ... hope ... hope for a future that we are proud to hand to our children.

The fruit trees here in The Pass suffered from early warmth and then another freeze ... I have no idea what type of production to expect ... if any. Hope we have fruit!

Swiss Chard seems especially to like the weather .... awesomely beautiful and deeply delicious!

Spring - Monet Bench - 7

If you have tree prunings, save the straight and strong and try a hand at weaving arbors ... great fun! ... and no waste! One I did a few years ago supports a Blaze Climber on one side and an unknown lavender climber ... what a spring show they put on as they bloom at the same time ... under the apricot branch arbor sits a bench for two. The background in photos are great for weddings and such.

The other arbor that I am working on since last year is a bit bigger (hope to put table for six underneath) is made from the branches of a Green Gage, which provides plenty of material, and yearly needs copious pruning!

On both arbors, I started with chest high, rusted wire fencing stabilized with stakes on each side. Using the strongest branch trimmings at the side and over the top ... then took the longest and most flexible and weaved them in the old in and out pattern. Wear gloves as it is really easy to pinch skin while wrestling with the twigs to perform as you command.

A little practice and more and more trimmings each year ... well you can make some really cute, and useful, garden structures. Each year add some fresh branches to keep form strong and tight ... take out any that are too dry, broken, or lose.

Spring - Slugs - 6

The roses this year also got hit by the false summer. They shot out of their cut back branches like rockets, only to be attacked by a late frost. I see them recovering and making new plans, but it will delay things a bit. Maybe another dose of fish emulsion with give them the strength to cope.

Have a glorious Spring. Keep hope alive and well.

Until the next time,
Happy times,


The Last Day of February 2002

Oh, how I would love to go! Visiting the website is better than nothing though:

Welcome to the Philadelphia Flower Show

Wow, and more wow!

Are you warmer than usual too? We are hotter than usual ... getting up to the 90's ... in February!!! Very scary ... weather now is like late June ... Well, due to the above, I am frantically trying to finish pruning my 'way too early' blooming trees ... aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I can't imagine what type of production we are going to get this year. A few years back we had a couple of March miracles as far as rain and snow goes, but when the trees have already set fruit ... it is bye bye crop.

By the way, the winds (up to 60+ gusts!!!) are also blowing, while I am trying to do this! LOL Next year, if there is one and a meteor don't hit us first, I am going to have to hire someone. I must say it will be hard, because each tree that I have planted in the past 15 years has been personally designed by ... me, and the wind of course. Each is like a 'nature painting' ... if pruned by another they would have looked, and acted different. Maybe I will just have to take on a directorial role.

Previous News Note:

January 2002

Best wishes to you and yours for a great, productive, and happy new year!

So far only a couple of light frosts and a couple of decent rains. As usual (at least for the last fifteen years) late fall/early winter is absolutely awesome here in the valley of cherries, peaches, plums, palms, oaks, and apples. Very clear electric blue skies light up, brightly bringing out the contrasts of color, with many local trees in vivid yellow/orange or even red, standing out against the vivid greens of the conifers.

Well, yesterday I did it. Went out to the garden and pulled and poked and dragged and lifted and moved. Trying to use this slow time productively and fix all the fencing (we have seven dogs)and make new planter beds, refurbish old ones ... OH, MY BACK! (Please be smarter than me and don't try doing everything in one day!)

The artichokes are starting their cycle ... looking absolutely beautiful with their gray-green fern look. I see them being utilized in decorative ways more and more. On a recent trip to the Descanso Gardens, here in Southern Calif. I even saw them spray painted gold and made into gorgeously creative decorations and wreaths for the Winter Holiday Season.

It is a good time to separate, re-pot the babies, and fertilize with fish emulsion or something equal.

Garden resolutions are bubbling around my brain as I salivate over the latest gardening catalogs - online and off. One of my main promises to myself, as an artist and a gardener, is to grow more gourds. Want to inspire yourself? What a fun site to visit.

Well, here comes tree pruning. Wish I was 20 years younger. Did I tell you? My Christmas gift was a Giant Fuyu Persimmon?

Later, Many happy paths!,


Check the great prices at DirectGardening.com

Frozen in Time
author unknown

The Bible Says: "The Lord will provide"

And he did But no More than we needed

First came the Sun to warm us and light our way
Next the Earth to be our home

Then the water and plants
To provide the Oxygen we needed

And the World was in balance For millions of years
Plants and Animals flourished

Then came Man and Man said: "The Lord helps him who helps himself"

Man helped himself to more than he needed not caring that it condemned
another to less than he needed

One by one the Animals disappeared
One by one the Plants disappeared

Little by little the deserts grew

Soon there will be only Man and deserts
The deserts can't provide the oxygen

So Man will disappear

One by one the Plants appear
One by one the Animals appear

Little by little the desert retreats

And the Lord will try again.


Want to know what edibles produce in the shade?

Well, lettuce, and spinach, of course. But did you also know that you might have luck with beets, carrots, stringbeans, and cabbages? Not all day shade, but they can get by with a lot less sun than you might think. Also, try radishes, turnips, peas, green onions, and even some raspberries!

Some of the herbs you might try could include thymes of all types, sages dill, oregano, borage, lovage, parsley, basil and chamomile.

Production may not be as heavy, but if your space is limited and you are stuck with tall buildings or neighbors trees, well , don't let half a days shade stop you from your dreams of growing your own vegetables and herbs. The flavor will reward you significantly!



Please leave your email address with any gardening questions you might have. I will try to include the answer in the next News-post. Your address will be used by me to send 'only' garden updates in a sorta monthly cycle ... Wolfhaus Garden News-notes. LOL OK! Let's call it relatively seasonal.

Really would love to hear your gardening news! If your story is OK to publish ... please say so! Thanks! Send short (av. page length or smaller) articles, poems, ... stories related to the natural world, or gardening specific, to:

The Wolf House

Please include submission for the garden in subject line. Thanks, and looking forward to 'meeting' you!

Hey we can share My Space and Facebook info. Wow, the modern age technology is a hoot!


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Colorado State Atmospheric Scientist Believes Number Of Influences Are Overlooked In U.S.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Colorado State University for journalists and other members of the public. If you wish to quote from any part of this story, please credit Colorado State University as the original source. You may also wish to include the following link in any citation:

Science Daily


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