Making the Case for Good Food

I was in New York on Sunday, and some friends invited me to an event sponsored by the picky eater offshoots of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Big Food and the Food Justice committee of Occupy Wall Street. The event included a farmers' rally in an East Village community garden and then a march to Zuccotti Park. […]

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Posted by on December 9, 2011 at 7:52 am   This post has 8 responses.

Fruit Trees: A Triumph of Hope Over Experience

Rest in peace Of all the amazing plants in my garden–'Scheherezade' lilies 8 feet tall, 'Big Smile' tulips the size and shape of a dinosaur's egg, 'Russelliana' roses that explode into phosphorescent magenta blooms in June–there is only one that causes gasps of astonishment…and that is my peach trees....

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Posted by on December 2, 2011 at 7:48 am   This post has 20 responses.

Turkey madness

Photo by kc kratt. Up until now, on Thanksgivings when I cook, I’ve been satisfied with small fresh turkeys that didn’t seem to be injected with anything weird. I was never one to sign up for the expensive “organic” birds through the local food co-op. In my view, the...

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Posted by on November 21, 2011 at 5:30 am   This post has 10 responses.

Curry Please

I really enjoyed my visit to Cornell Plantations this week, particularly the herb garden, which was still looking good after several hard frosts. Even in the relatively chilly November air, I was overpowered by scent as I passed one of the 17 theme beds.  This was clearly the "tussie...

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 at 5:07 am   This post has 8 responses.

Just for looks?

What we took for a centerpiece at a recent al fresco lunch* turned out to be an appetizer—baby carrots, tiny radishes, and micro-greens planted in an edible “dirt” made out of dried malt and chocolate. It was granular and only slightly sweet, not at all like the crushed cookie...

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Posted by on September 19, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 10 responses.

Grafted Tomato Update

Throughout the summer I've been reporting on the grafted tomatoes, called Mighty Matos, that Log House Plants sent me to try out.  Go here to see the earlier posts. As I've said before, it is hardly fair to send a tomato to my house and expect it to live. ...

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Posted by on September 7, 2011 at 4:11 am   This post has 10 responses.

Farmers Markets and the Etsy Problem

Apparently, in some parts of the country, farmers markets have expanded so much that they've run out of customers to sell to, and they're finding it hard to command the premium price they'd grown accustomed to. This poses a problem for those of us who would like to see...

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Posted by on August 31, 2011 at 4:30 am   This post has 31 responses.

The Grafted Tomato Test Continues

As I reported last month, I'm testing a few varieties of grated tomatoes from Log House Plants. I'm very excited about the possibility of Super Yields!  Stronger!  Faster!  Fights Off Disease and Pests! as promised in the literature about these plants.  To say that my climate is a challenge...

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Posted by on August 3, 2011 at 5:25 am   This post has 8 responses.

Veg-growing in the city

More evidence that food-growing is hot?  DC’s first-ever tour of vegetable gardens, sponsored by a local food website. First up, the only “farm” in town - Common Good City Farm, featured right here when Prince Charles visited this summer. I loved the private backyard garden of photo editor Eva...

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Posted by on July 25, 2011 at 10:32 pm   This post has 5 responses.

Speaking of Tomatoes…

I am not a fan of plastic tomato supports, and this proves the point.  I was sent this to try out a few years ago, and I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the company that makes it.  Anyway, I think I did give it...

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 at 7:55 pm   This post has 34 responses.

The Tomato Report

As I reported last week, I'm trying out some grafted tomatoes that Log House Plants sent me. I've got a grafted and non-grafted Big Beef planted right next to each other (along with a Sweet 100 that I picked up in a much larger size at the garden center.) ...

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 at 4:37 am   This post has 5 responses.

The Grafted Tomato Challenge

Okay, Log House Plants, I’m in.  This Oregon nursery has developed a line of grafted tomato plants that they have branded “Mighty ‘Mato.”   As I understand it, these tomatoes are available online this year and are starting to be distributed at independent garden centers. The idea is this:  Commercial...

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Posted by on June 29, 2011 at 4:58 am   This post has 16 responses.

Prince in town to promote sustainable farming

If you wondered why Prince Charles was here in DC just 5 days after the really big show in London, it was to speak to a conference about food.  And if this report is accurate, his views are awfully sympatico with my own – except he's been saying all...

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Posted by on May 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm   This post has 8 responses.

Do Expensive Grow Lights Matter?

Okay, it's one thing if you are growing a cash crop like marijuana in the guest room and need super high-intensity light to bring the crop in before the cops arrive. Or if you live in Alaska and morale depends on growing peppers in the house. But what if...

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Posted by on April 15, 2011 at 4:45 am   This post has 16 responses.

Why Is That Woman Still Going On About Onions?

Why am I still writing about onions? Because at this time of year, when I'm grumpy about the seed-starting thing…Why won't those peppers and eggplants germinate?  Why am I spending all this time in my dank basement, where some previous owner covered over all the windows with plywood?  Why...

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Posted by on March 25, 2011 at 4:19 am   This post has 10 responses.

They Tell Me Spring Will Come…

It's blizzarding today.  It's beautiful, but it's late winter.  I'm ready to stop shovelling snow and to start eating the mache in my garden that germinated last fall but is now hidden under snow.  High Mowing Seeds, a Vermont-based seed company that is unusual in that it only sells...

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Posted by on February 25, 2011 at 11:41 am   This post has 59 responses.

The Most Inept School Garden Fundraiser in History

My friend Carol Maxwell and I are about to embark on our third season as heads of the Lake Avenue Elementary School Garden Club. We have an ideal division of labor. Carol does all the organizational stuff. In addition, she does most of the requisite charming of obstinate adults...

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Posted by on February 11, 2011 at 4:07 am   This post has 11 responses.

The Bright Line Between Farmer and Gardener

The Northeast Organic Farming Assocation of New York had its winter meeting in my town of Saratoga Springs last weekend.  Seems like a great organization.  The meeting was focussed on helping new farmers.  One of the resolutions they were voting on was whether "organic" chicken should mean chicken fed...

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Posted by on January 28, 2011 at 4:25 am   This post has 11 responses.

One Word: Hotbeds

I spoke at the Connecticut Horticultural Society's monthly meeting last night  Lovely people. And definitely one of those situations where I learned more from them than they learned from me. At the end of my talk, which revolved around soil management, with detours into parasitic worms, sanitary conditions in...

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Posted by on January 21, 2011 at 5:54 am   This post has 13 responses.

The Awesomeness of Raintree Nursery

When I moved to Eureka, the first order of business was to buy an apple tree.  We may not be able to grow tomatoes in the fog, but we sure can grow some apples.  I didn't know anything about apples.  I called Raintree Nursery and was treated to a...

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Posted by on January 19, 2011 at 4:45 am   This post has 19 responses.
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