Barnyard

Navigating an Early Season in The Garden

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Well, it certainly feels as if we’ve thwarted the groundhog. Yet I have thought this many times during my life on the East Coast and ended up with two inch green stubs to harvest for an evening’s Caesar salad. Winter will bite back before it is all done, and neither we nor our plants will [...]

The Gardener’s Autumn Wardrobe

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“WHAT are you wearing?!?” I was asked this the other day by a friend who dropped by to find me clothed in some terrible mixture of camisole and cargo short paired with heavy boots. I wasn’t winning fashion awards, but such is my summertime garden wardrobe and I told her so – explaining why sandals [...]

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR GARDENERS

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In my part of the world, Winter arrives as a gentle jolly spirit and departs like a raving banshee. However, before I start navigating three-inch ice with an ancient Land Cruiser, I plan to enjoy the next month of merry merry merry. In order to do that, I need to be organized. In order [...]

Urban Chickens: The bigger picture

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Urban chickens a nuisance? I had four in this coop and no one ever knew... Well, the chickens have won. Not of course the literal chickens, exiled as pets by virtue of prejudice and ignorance, but the figurative chickens – our local leaders who would rather stand obstinately on a disintegrating platform than [...]

The Merry Month of Mud Time

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Whether Robert Frost originally coined the term or not I do not know, but 'mud time' must be the simplest and most accurate expression to describe the period from the last snow melt to the first tulip blush. It has arrived, and each day is a new adventure in negotiating paths, roads, chicken coops and [...]

Barn Coat: Zhivago-style

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Tragic lovers - but at least they were warm tragic lovers. There is nothing attractive about a woman who has utilized every piece of warm clothing in her closet to keep Jack Frost as far as possible from a square inch of bare flesh. Hipster jeans and loose weave sweaters that [...]

Cluck Cluck

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The topic of backyard chickens has reared its feathered head again, causing a spate of ruffled feathers and poor puns throughout local newspapers. It has been over five years since we fought and lost this particular battle in Brunswick. Situated as I am now, comfortably out of city limits and ever more comfortably outside the [...]

Winter’s Salvation

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Never has a topic been so thoroughly explored and exhausted as that of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug infestation that has plagued the East Coast for several years. I use the word 'exhausted' very deliberately. One grows bone-weary of reading articles filled with half-truths and empty promises regarding physical or chemical control; and [...]

Friendly Freeloaders

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Pepper the house cat on a rare foray in the garden. A barn cat is a feral thing. A spitting, skittish ball of fur, happy to lay in the sun but happier when you resist the urge to bend down and pet it. Or at least that's what I imagined. Someone forgot to [...]

A Bee Is a Bee Is a Bee – Or Is It?

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I am morbidly afraid of wasps.  As I teenager I was chased around a lake one fateful summer’s day after stepping near a nest of ground wasps.  I endured so many painful stings from the horrible little creatures that the fear of them has never left me.  To this day should a wasp decide to [...]