Edibles

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 [...]

Falling behind on the planting schedule?

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By this point in your seed starting efforts, you are most likely aware of what is working and what is not.     Perhaps you have a plastic container full of seed packets you were supposed to start and probably won’t, and a large basketful of empty seed packets you were supposed to record and [...]

Work or Pleasure? Well, that’s complicated.

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Last week, an audience member at a lecture asked me how I take time to enjoy my garden.  She liked to sit down, she said, and had benches everywhere to that end, but the minute she actually relaxed into one of them, her eyes would see a weed, or a wilting flower, or one of [...]