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 military camps and cow manure, a […]

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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.

Seed Stars of 2010

Merry Christmas! 2010 was a great year in my vegetable garden, and the third year in a row that I have managed my garden with almost no irrigation, not even bothering to set up my sprinkler on a timer.  But, unlike in 2008 and 2009, it wasn't raining buckets....

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Posted by on December 24, 2010 at 4:45 am   This post has 12 responses.

Dangerous safety? I don’t think so.

Here’s my favorite provision of S-510, otherwise known as the Food Safety Modernization Act, and just approved unanimously by the Senate Sunday: it allows the FDA to recall foods linked to illness. We would no longer have to depend on the kindness of corporations to do the right thing...

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Posted by on December 21, 2010 at 5:00 am   This post has 10 responses.

Virtual veggies

Look, we’re trying to get into the holiday spirit, we really are. But it’s hard. When the EPA decides the P in its acronym means poison, we get discouraged. And then there’s this from our friends at Pinnacle Foods. Birds Eye® is on a mission to inspire a love...

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Posted by on December 19, 2010 at 9:14 am   This post has 9 responses.

Edible Madness

Much will be said in the coming weeks and months about Michele Owen's amazing new book Grow the Good Life, most of it by me. (With that link I send you to IndieBound, the website of independent booksellers, in hopes that you will pre-order a copy through your local...

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Posted by on December 8, 2010 at 5:07 am   This post has 17 responses.

Meet Gordon Clark and Montgomery Victory Gardens

Here's a brief introduction to today's guest ranter Gordon Clark (from the Advisory Board info on the Montgomery Victory Gardens website).  Gordon Clark is the founder and Project Director of Montgomery Victory Gardens. A lifelong activist and organizer, Gordon served as the national Executive Director of Peace Action, the...

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Posted by on December 6, 2010 at 5:41 am   This post has 3 responses.

Report from the Trenches: The Fight for School Gardens and Fresh Food for Kids

Guest Rant by Gordon Clark, Project Director, Montgomery Victory Gardens   When will access to affordable, fresh, healthy food, including the ability to grow it or know the people who grow it, be recognized as a basic human right?  Seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it?  And in the midst of...

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Posted by on December 6, 2010 at 4:43 am   This post has 9 responses.

Pesticides, why?

My mother-in-law steered me to this outrageous story: California is now allowing its strawberry growers to use an all-purpose fumigant on their crops that is linked to cancer and thyroid disease–something so poisonous, it is injected into the soil only by specialists and treated areas have to be covered...

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Posted by on December 4, 2010 at 7:57 am   This post has 21 responses.

What About Hunting?

Like many gardeners in this land-rich country, I often wake up on a weekend morning to see a graceful herd of deer grazing beside my vegetable garden, browsing my young fruit trees to a nub. I am increasingly troubled by one thought: Why aren't we shooting and eating some...

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Posted by on December 3, 2010 at 3:10 am   This post has 44 responses.

The Winners Are…

Thanks to our commenters for your lovely stories about someone who influenced your gardening style.  I asked our guest ranter Susan Heeger to choose the two winners of her book with Jimmy Williams From Seed to Skillet.  It was a tough decision, but she settled on Laura Bell and...

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Posted by on November 28, 2010 at 6:58 am   This post has 2 responses.

Ten Things I’m Grateful For

Tolerance from my family.  I spend a lot of time growing food, cooking food, and talking about food. While my husband and children do let me know how bored they are by my obsessions, often while helping themselves to seconds at dinner, they don't really stand in my way. ...

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Posted by on November 26, 2010 at 4:14 am   This post has 11 responses.

My husband wants to start a vegetable garden

Always looking for answers … So? That’s what many of you reading this will be thinking, as well as “why not?” and “everybody should have a vegetable garden!” And “why is this a big deal?” And, maybe, “what’s wrong with her?” But you don’t understand. This is very much...

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Posted by on November 23, 2010 at 5:00 am   This post has 32 responses.

Another Life-Changing Gardening Partnership

Jimmy Williams and Susan Heeger Garden Rant is a unlikely partnership that has made my life infinitely more fun. Here is another great gardening-based partnership: writer Susan Heeger, a contributing editor for Coastal Living and Martha Stewart Living, and city farmer Jimmy Williams.  Their book From Seed to Skillet...

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Posted by on November 20, 2010 at 6:35 am   This post has 24 responses.

Banishing the Uninvited

My garden on the mulch I know that mulches are not traditionally used in vegetable gardens, but flossing, driving cars with decent gas mileage, and using Wikipedia to settle dinner-table debates are not traditional, either, and we find that stuff reasonable at this stage of human development. When considering...

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Posted by on November 19, 2010 at 4:40 am   This post has 40 responses.

Lotsa Name Calling

Last week, I posted about the joys of experimenting with different seeds in the vegetable garden. This week, somebody tipped me off to the hair-pulling and biting surrounding the non-profit Seed Savers Exchange, a pioneering organization that recognized very early the importance of preserving the genetic diversity of our...

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Posted by on November 12, 2010 at 6:29 am   This post has 13 responses.

Still Going Strong

No type of pundit is more annoying to me than the food "realists," people like the Freakonomics guys or this guy, who seem to know nothing about growing food and precious little about cooking or eating it either, but feel qualified to make statements like this one: First, how...

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Posted by on November 5, 2010 at 8:42 am   This post has 23 responses.

Give Seeds A Chance

I think of my vegetable garden as one big science experiment of the kind that I was not allowed to do at home when I was ten, on account of the colossal mess I generally made. (God, adulthood is wonderful!) I'll plant a bit of the tried and true...

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Posted by on November 5, 2010 at 5:02 am   This post has 14 responses.

Is Time Nothing in a Garden, Or Everything?

My vegetable garden, 2007 By the time I moved eight years ago, I'd made a really nice vegetable garden at my first house, backed by a lovely bed of roses and foxgloves.  A few people said to me, "Aren't you sorry to leave your garden behind?" And my feeling...

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Posted by on October 29, 2010 at 5:12 am   This post has 17 responses.

Every Day Low Prices

The NY Times reported yesterday that Wal-Mart is going to buy more local food, as well as rate the food in its stores for sustainability.  It is really amazing, the way Wal-Mart has turned around its reputation in the last five years. And I think Wal-Mart has a chance...

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Posted by on October 15, 2010 at 4:52 am   This post has 15 responses.
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