Photo by John Bernasconi.

Celebrating the New Year with a Giant Potato

No need for me and my fellow Idahoans to sit at home and watch the New Yorkers having all the fun… now Boise has a locally grown New Year’s Eve tradition: an evening of magic shows, live music, street food, and general merrymaking, capped off by dropping a giant styrofoam potato off a tall building. […]

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Posted by on January 1, 2014 at 4:42 am   This post has 11 responses.

Snow Challenged Chickens

We love to think of chickens frolicking in open pastures, living the “sustainable” life by chasing bugs and laying big, beautiful eggs. But have you ever wondered what happens when winter arrives and those free-ranging hens have to deal with snow? When I started our flock in the salad...

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Posted by on December 20, 2013 at 8:44 am   This post has 7 responses.

I was a Lab Rat for GMO Apples

How does a gardenblogger find something to write about in December?  By jumping at the chance to taste-test produce for the USDA, that’s how, at least if it’s just 5 minutes from home.  Anyway, I was curious about the process, starting with the detailed pre-test instructions – no eating/drinking...

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Posted by on December 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm   This post has 47 responses.

More than just seed porn

It’s ironic that by far the largest and most beautiful garden catalogs I receive are for the smallest commodities. And some might find it sad that I never buy any of these small items. Seeds are really cheap for all they can deliver, and nobody celebrates the glory of...

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Posted by on November 25, 2013 at 8:56 am   This post has 4 responses.

No poo for you, organic farmers!

If the FDA’s proposed food safety regulations go through, the use of animal manure on farms over a certain size, or which supply food to supermarkets, will be severely limited. According to this NPR story (and I am sure it has appeared in other news outlets), when farmers spread...

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Posted by on November 21, 2013 at 9:38 am   This post has 25 responses.

For Goodness Sake: The Future in Blue Corduroy

They arrived in cars, vans, and buses from  all over the United States. The National FFA Organization (formerly The Future Farmers of America) came to Louisville in late October for their annual convention. Nearly 50,000 thousand boys and girls swarmed the city, decked out in perma-press white shirts, neckties...

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Posted by on November 13, 2013 at 7:20 am   This post has 6 responses.

Surprise Me With Grits and Weeds For the Sweet Hereafter

A few years ago, the father of a friend lay near death, and there were the usual matters to clean up before the end. His last will sorted out, the bedridden father was asked: “Do you want to be buried or cremated?” He propped up on his elbows, cocked...

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Posted by on October 23, 2013 at 8:10 am   This post has 6 responses.

White House Kitchen Garden in Shutdown Mode

On the White House food policy blog Obama Foodorama, this post about the condition of the kitchen garden is making headlines.  Seriously.  Are people surprised that gardens need regular staff time or they’ll go to weed?  Maybe readers are glad to see that even this famous garden turns into...

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Posted by on October 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm   This post has 15 responses.

Feral

In the same way as dog lovers sometimes appreciate cats, vegetable gardeners–who have to exert a great deal of control over their domain–sometimes appreciate a crop that has no particular need for the gardener’s hand. That would mainly be tomatillos. Plant them once, and you need never plant them...

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Posted by on September 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm   This post has 3 responses.

A Bantam Fan

  I like having bantam hens for the same reason that I like having girl children: pretty. A joy to watch. It was the girls who chose the fancy bantams from the McMurray’s catalog.  They are an assortment, Silkies with fur apres-ski hats, fat little Cochins in black, brown...

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Posted by on September 14, 2013 at 7:24 am   This post has 4 responses.

Have Scythe, Will Farm

I recently woke up with a badly aching right elbow. In fact, I could barely use my arm. Must be Lyme disease, I concluded. Pain in the joints is a primary symptom and I knew I’d been bitten by at least one tick since we purchased a farm property...

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Posted by on September 12, 2013 at 6:46 am   This post has 9 responses.

Please Call them Vegetables–and a Giveaway!

  It started with the pigweed that came up in the rose pot on the edge of my terrace. I didn’t know it was pigweed (and even “pigweed” is problematic since the common name belongs to more than one plant). But eventually I whittled down the rose-invader’s ID to...

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Posted by on September 11, 2013 at 5:57 am   This post has 26 responses.

The Philosopher Shrugs

It was a sorry tomato season.  Never really hot enough.  Too rainy.  For the first time in a long time, I didn’t start my own seedlings, but bought them at the farmer’s market.  Lots of Brandywines, instead of what I’d have started myself: Paul Robesons, Pineapples, Orange Pastes and...

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Posted by on September 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm   This post has 11 responses.

This Week in Crazy Rhubarb Lady

By now you’ve probably all seen the viral internet video of the crazy, foul-mouthed woman stealing rhubarb from her neighbor’s alley.  If you haven’t, you can watch the video in full here–and remember that it is NSFW.  (And that stands for Not Safe For Work, for those of you...

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 at 6:25 am   This post has 7 responses.

Peach Patrol

Behold a tree that is embroiled in more controversy,  pawed over more regularly, and assaulted by more attention, admiration, disgust, falling maple branches, and drunken wonder than a Real Housewife of Orange County.  A ‘Garnet Beauty’ variety, its checkered history began when the gardener ordered it bare-root from Fedco...

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Posted by on July 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm   This post has 10 responses.

The Redventure Romp Cocktail

  Many thanks to Beth Evans-Ramos at Mama Knows Her Cocktails for letting us share this bit of deliciousness. Cheers!   My Redventure celery is finally red and ready! I cut my first batch of it for an appetizer plate I was putting together to take to our friends’ house. I...

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Posted by on July 24, 2013 at 6:21 am   This post has 2 responses.

Sweat Shopping

First of all, thanks to Amy, Susan, and Elizabeth for your extreme patience in letting me spend 7 or 8 months attempting to organize my life rather than blog posts. Thanks also to the Garden Rant community for your kind words!  I am back in the garden, more or...

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 at 6:03 am   This post has 11 responses.

Don’t engineers even grow tomatoes?

Guest Rant by Rebecca Caley The tomato plants are so thick and sturdy, nothing can bring them down.  That’s their story and they’re sticking to it.  Never trust a tomato.  Their goal is to reproduce by getting rotten tomatoes on the ground.  They will fight the trellis, the cage,...

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Posted by on July 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm   This post has 54 responses.

Grafted Tomatoes! A Million of Them!

Holy Brandywine, did you know that over a million grafted tomatoes have been sold in the United States? It’s true! So says Anne Raver in the NYT’s latest dip into the grafted veggie thing. So. Massive, disease-resistant, hardy rootstock pumping out more tomatoes than ever before. Have you tried...

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Posted by on June 5, 2013 at 6:15 am   This post has 14 responses.

I’ll Have My Aronia Cocktail Now, Please.

Earlier this year at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show,  I was hanging out with Jessi Bloom of NW Bloom (and author of Free-Range Chicken Gardens) in her exhibit booth. She had brought a selection of edible landscaping plants — reliable, hardworking shrubs, vines, trees and the like that...

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Posted by on May 28, 2013 at 6:44 am   This post has 7 responses.
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