Edibles

End of season wrap up: My favorite plants of 2017

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  Now that the garden has gently shifted into architecture and mush, it’s time to reflect on the plants we grew this season and decide whether we’ll continue to grow them for seasons to come. Whether sexy new introductions or old favorites, plants excite each one of us for totally different reasons and what lights [...]

One Last Tomato Harvest: Three Ways of Dealing With It.

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The last of the tomatoes are ripening on the vine. Many more are currently ripening on the ground after a spate of blustery weather, and it takes a Herculean effort on my part to pick them this morning, as it is not just the harvesting but the promise of preparation implicit in the gathering that [...]

Planning Now for a More Manageable Garden Later

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Many believe wholeheartedly that the time to plan your garden is in the depths of winter. Perhaps this is true in terms of the minutiae; but after years of implementing the overreach that winter weather inspires in the bedraggled, I cannot recommend it.  No, the time to plan next year’s garden is now, before the [...]

Preserving the Harvest or Preserving My Sanity?

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I have been in and out of canning jars for three days now, trying in turns to preserve the harvest, fulfil my writing deadlines, manage my family’s outrageous expectations of motherhood, and to do all of this without losing my ever-living mind. Oh, and there’s something else…What was it?….Ah yes.  The garden.  I actually have [...]

Facing, and Enjoying, The Garden in August

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Where do you and your garden stand right now?  Let me take a wild guess. The spring flush of puppy love is gone, obviously.  That was so yesterday. I’m betting your excitement over a summer romance is also over. These things never last. In fact, with the first volunteer pumpkins ripening on the compost pile, [...]

Gardens Bring Buffalo Back to Life: A Story of Urban Renewal

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Are you struggling with the neighborhood in which you live?  Are the 'cons' besting the 'pros' no matter how long you make that list?  Are promises of 'urban renewal' by elected officials merely promises, or worse, unsophisticated attempts lacking vision and funding?  Most importantly, are you unable or unwilling to move? Maybe you have more [...]

Time For a Tomato Tasting!

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Are you proud of what’s coloring up the garden this year?  Are you wondering if all the time, energy and money you have spent on growing the perfect tomato is worth it?  Perhaps it’s time for an outside opinion.  Perhaps it’s time for a tomato tasting. 'Midnight Snack' - (Park Seed) An All-America Selections [...]

There’s Still Time to Plant for Summer!

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This week I have been clearing a couple of my raised vegetable beds of cabbage, garlic, shallots and ancient pea vines to make room for a few last chance direct sowings of carrots, turnips, chard, beets, beans and squash.  Some might term this a fall sowing, but mentally I’m not quite there yet, preferring instead [...]

Creation vs. Maintenance: A Balancing Act

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One of the most popular talks I've been giving lately deals with maintenance and balancing one’s life with one’s garden – more specifically, not taking on a project that creates six new maintenance projects in the foreseeable hereafter when the lifeboat is already taking on water. And to those watching me bounce around the podium, [...]

Don’t Agonize. Strategize.

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Temperatures are rising, and motivation to cultivate the garden around us is dropping – even if such cultivation is as simple as waving a hose over a tasteful assortment of patio pots.   Verbascum thapsus colonizing the site of a crumbled bank barn.   You are no doubt seeing the beginnings of stress [...]