Cultivating Life: February/March 2013

Four of my favorite shrubs to get a Portland gardener through winter


By LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly

I sniffed the air as I exited my car in the driveway. I could smell it. A plant in bloom. Big fragrant bloom. I inhaled …

Cultivating Life: January/February 2013

Practicing gratitude
By LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly

There’s a reason this column is called “Cultivating Life.” Yes, it’s about cultivating plants in your garden or good food in your kitchen. But it’s also about basic tenets of simple things that bring us …

Cultivating Life: December/January 2012-13

When is a salad a salad?
By LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly

When my grandparents moved from their rural farm house into a retirement home “in town,” I inherited my grandmother’s recipe cards. To me, these recipes are a window into a period …

Cultivating Life: November/December 2012

Recycle window frame supporting a clematis vine in the garden


Preventing the great flop with good garden supports
By LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly

It comes with the territory. In the spring, our rich soil combines with plentiful rain and fairly non-dramatic temperatures, and our gardens explode with growth. I’ve literally watched vigorous …

Cultivating Life: October/November 2012


The personal politics of food


By LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly

It’s easy to feel the swirl of politics as beyond ourselves, “put there” beyond our reach of personal impact or action. With so much money being spent on simply getting elected versus …

Cultivating Life: September/October 2012


Tomatoes are calling: Are you answering?
by LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly

Caramelized Tomato Tarte TatinJust because the stores are touting back to school specials and trucking out their Halloween décor does not mean summer is over in Portland. I insist it’s high …

Cultivating Life: August/September 2012


The backyard buzz
by LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly


Zenger Farm’s monthly Bee Group mentors backyard bee enthusiasts with hands on experiences with their onsite apiary. Photo courtesy of Zenger Farm

The whirl and swirl of a living, breathing beehive is mesmerizing, and they …

Cultivating Life: July/August 2012


Meditation and chaos: the garden holds both
by LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly


Meditation or monotony. Creative play or chore. Grounding or to-do list. Which lens do you view gardening through? Is it a wonderful way to stretch your body, or is it …

Cultivating Life: June/July 2012


Pride always feels personal
by LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly


Fifteen years ago, I went to my first gay Pride parade. I was just coming out and figuring out what it meant to be queer. I read a lot of great books during …

Cultivating Life: May/June 2012


What I believe: A gardening manifesto
by LeAnn Locher, PQ Monthly


I believe I’ve always been a gardener.I used to get nervous about my gardening. “Am I doing it right?” “When do I plant what?” “Is everything going to die and I’m …