I am still floating around out here. Ha ha!

I graduated in May from the Urban Horticulture program at my community college and I am also still the Land Lab Technician there too.

So far I am still raising chickens and ducks for meat and eggs. My garden is super sad right now with not having a lot of time to devote to it but this Fall it is going to ROCK!!

I am working on a website where I will be posting items available for sale from the farm.

That is the latest and greatest from me. I look forward to posting more and getting my name out there. ūüôā



Howdy! I have been away for quite some time but I’M BAAAACK!! Ha ha!

Ron Finley quote


Anywho, I am still hacking my way through my classes and getting closer everyday to my degree. To which my focus has shifted just slightly. I guess it has broadened not shifted, I still MUST be a farmer!

After attending a lecture on Aquaponics at ASU, I watched a TEDtalk from Ron Finley about his start in gardening and was instantly inspired. He is from South Central Los Angeles and revitalizes vacant lots into amazing urban farms and gardens. I am going to figure out how to incorporate something like that into my urban farm.

This is just a little update to let you all know that I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth just digging in it!

I have attached some photos from the greenhouse and urban farm at Mesa Community College where I am the Greenhouse Technician. Enjoy!


MCC Greenhouse & Garden

MCC Greenhouse

MCC Farm

Name change!

I have decided to change the name of this blog to be consistent with my farm name, Handbasket Farm. I thought that was the best option¬†in creating my “brand”.

I am making some progress with my little farm. This week I was able to get some seeds planted and put in my greenhouse. The baby chicks are getting so big and I am trying to decide when to introduce them to the rest of the girls. I have to be careful though because they can fit under the fence and the neighbor dogs sure do like chicken. I am also hoping that my doe is bred and that she will kid in March. To be on the safe side I did the CD/T shots last weekend.

We have added a horse to our menagerie. She is a 15 year old AQH mare that we have named Dot. She still has quite a bit of spunk but is also super gentle around the kids.

Here is a picture of¬†Dot. If the link doesn’t work I will get some loaded soon.

Now I am off to do some homework!

Handbasket Farm

That is the name that I have chosen to represent my farm. I am truly excited about it and can’t wait for it to really blossom.
I chose Handbasket Farm because once I am able to actually able to operate my little market my customers will use a handbasket to gather the items they are purchasing.
The name makes me giggle and buzz with happiness and hope.
It will be bigtime folks!!!


After receiving the expected phone call from my Dr’s office to scold me about my cholesterol yesterday I have a new resolve. His assistant was also kind enough to inform me of my potential for developing type-II diabetes. How lovely! I guess my love of all things carb is catching up to me and must have me by the ankle. Son-of-a…..! I have had the elevated cholesterol for about 12 years now and have been on and off of medication since I cannot seem to discipline myself enough to just eat properly. *sigh* That is another reason for my passion for gardening, then I can eat what I grow and reduce my cholesterol. My Mom died from complications¬†from surgery that was supposed to “fix” her poor circulation in her legs from years of plaque buildup in her arteries. She was also diagnosed as “pre-diabetic”. So needless to say I am a little more than freaked about the condition of my health which is why I was up at 5am and on the treadmill for 40 minutes and then it was on to P90x¬†Yoga. I WILL commit this time! I quit smoking 2 years ago for pete’s¬†sake, I have at least 1 feather in my cap. My next obstacle is my love of Coca Cola. UGH! I just hope my friends and family are¬†patient with¬†me in¬†this endeavor.

I will log my progress on here as well. Goodness knows I need all the support I can get. Here’s to the next mile!

Fall semester

photo taken by me









I am super excited for the upcoming Fall school semester. I have signed myself up for a full load, 14 credit hours, and I cannot wait! I am going to take Photography, Environmental Biology, Intro to Communication, Computer Information Systems and Intro into Computer Graphics. I am still trying to figure out what I want to do/be when I grow up. Ha ha! I am still sure that I want to own and operate a B&B but in the off-season and in the in between spaces I will need to be able to make money. So my thoughts are to learn more computer-based things so that I can supplement my income with design, writing and photography projects for myself, friends, clients and publications if possible.

I am still shooting to find an interesting part-time job to keep the lights on, so to speak. I have applied to a few places but nothing has materialized yet. *sigh* I will be WAY more flexible when school starts for the kiddos¬†in August because then I can go and do “face time” and hand out my resume instead of it going over the internet. So far I haven’t seen anything super fabulous on the internet anyway.¬†I would much rather go into businesses that I would be interested in working for and see if they have a openning. Maybe I can find a job in a neat little bookstore or some place funky where I can make a little money, meet people and learn stuff.

Words from my past

I am going to share a poem I wrote in high school that was published in the school’s newspaper. I was and am still very proud of this poem. It was written in 1986 by me, well, my maiden named me Christee Maraschiello.

Back Porch Swing

As the leaves turn to yellow and the grass withers away,

it reveals the bare red earth below.

The sun is swallowed behind the sloping mountains so high and

the all-knowing wind blows a fierce warning against my face.

Lost in thought of long ago,

I focus on the old swing out back. On that swing we shared

many highs and many lows, me and you.

We yelled and we whispered.

Together we carved the memories into the wood.

So much love we had.

Then the harvest moon swept it up along with unshed tears.

Friends ask “What happened”.

Birds chirp “What went wrong?”.

The wolves howl a mournful goodbye

to the one I loved long ago

on the back porch swing.


I have a few more that I will post once I find them.


Ramblings from my head

I sit here and stare out the window in the kitchen where the desk is and watch the chickens, kids, goats and wild birds do as they please in the dirt out back. The sun is going down and it is nice to look out and it not be so bright from the AZ summer sun. The color gradient is picking up some pink and purple as the sun begins to set.

I am imagining looking out the window in my future mountain home and seeing the same scene with a lot more green injected. I must admit that I am a sucker for greenery. I love all things green! I am not one of those people whose ideal vacation is a trip to the beach. Nope, not me! I will always take the mountains. Now, if the mountain happens to be on the coast that will work too. I want a large front porch with about 3 steps up so that I can place potted plants along the sides and additional pots on the porch. There will be comfy chairs to sit in and watch things go by as well as a hammock to swing in the breeze.

Our dream/plan is to work super hard this year so we can move up north to the White Mountains and start making it work. I know that there are folks out there who will say we are crazy, why would we want to do something like that and didn’t we learn our lesson in New Mexico. Well New Mexico wasn’t the awesome move that it was supposed to be¬†and I am glad for the experience.¬†But this time I will heed the mountains call.¬†taken by Me

My handsome rooster

My handsome rooster

A new photo of Cody, my handsome rooster. He paused to let me take his picture before chasing down one of his hens for “playtime”. Ha ha!

Dawning on me….

I have been struggling with what I want to be when I grow up and now that I have reached the neat age of 40 the ideas become less appealing. A long time ago I had bought a book titled “How to Own and Operate a Bed and Breakfast” and I found when I was packing for the move back to AZ. I toyed with the idea of taking it to the used bookstore I loved in NM but I decided against it and put it in the box. Now it is in the section on my bookshelf where some of my favorite homesteading and farming books reside. I picked it up and re-read the intro after I had the same haunting thoughts of what to be when I grow up and thought that having a B&B might be just up my alley. I love to cook, decorate, set a beautiful table and entertain enough that this might just be the¬†missing puzzle piece that I have been looking for. I am enrolled for the Fall semester at the college and I won’t drop the classes since they all still fall into the prerequisite¬†category and I still want to pursue writing in some aspect that hasn’t made itself clear to me yet but I trust that it will.

I will use this blog to craft and design my dream of owning and operating a Bed & Breakfast. My plan is to find out everything that I will need to know and have for this endeavor to take flight. I plan to start this up in the mountains, ideally on 5 acres so I can keep my chickens, goats and eventually horses and still grow a garden to try to keep food costs lower and then selling any surplus I might have. I am considering different options for accommodating the guests also. My Mom and I had talked in the past about B&B’s (since she had bought the same book) and different set-ups. One of our ideas was to have a couple of little camp-type trailers totally cleaned up, restored and decorated nicely for guests to rent. That way if we couldn’t quite afford to have a big house for guests as well as a personal residence the trailers would be a starting point. My further thought was that guests would be invited for¬†meals in our home, as well as use of¬†the bath for showering and bathing since the little trailers would only have a toilet.

This is still a rough sketch inmy mind’s eye but with the help of this blog I can smooth out the edges and polish it so it shines and reflects aspects of mine and my Moms dreams.

June 2018
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