November 2020

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For shy people,finding ourselves prominently displayed in a newspaper can be unnerving. But Phyl Newbeck’s story on our evolving garden in the DYI section of the Burlington Free Press on June 26,2012,treated us gently and gave us a chance to share a bit of what we’ve learned over the years. Here are [...]

Zoned Out

Garlic recovered from its weather-beaten start and grows strong and healthy.

Somehow the mild winter and abnormally early spring of 2012,while extremely pleasant,caused a severe case of writer’s block. Perhaps welcoming the end of the world with a lovely brunch on the deck in March (to paraphrase Peter Segal) created too much [...]

New and Improved Seed Storage System

Old seed storage system on left,new system in the middle and jars for the home-grown seeds on the right.

‘Tis the season of seeds! A time to organize and order seeds for the up-coming season while other garden-related tasks are at a standstill and before the seed companies get too busy.

My [...]


Chester and Baruk cozifying with the potted rosemary and cacti during a December snow storm.

In June,when trees are in full leaf,flowers abound and breezes pass through the permeable boundary between indoors and out,I occasionally pause to remind myself that in less than six months all will be radically transformed. [...]

Sliding into fallSliding into fall

Transplants in peat pots ready for fall.

August —the best of the summer months,when the weather more often than not cooperates for outdoor fun,the biting bugs diminish and the great season of bountiful harvests begins. But I can already feel the hours of daylight diminishing rapidly. Crickets now dominate the evening [...]

When Summer ComesWhen Summer Comes

Snow pea blossoms (dwarf grey sugar) on eve of summer solstice 2010.

Summer solstice,the longest day,reaches it’s apex at 7:28 a.m.,Monday,June 21st. This point in the revolution of our tiny planet around the sun is notable in Zone 4,not only for the luxuriously extended hours of daylight and the [...]

Dandelions - the ultimate spring tonicDandelions –the ultimate spring tonic

Dandelions ready to cook

Nan would look out at the bright dandelions in the pasture near her home and remember fondly how her mother and grandmother would fill their aprons with the greens in spring. She spoke longingly of the how delicious they were,simmered in a big pot for hours,seasoned with salt [...]

Eating the landscapeEating the landscape

Newest generation of foragers –Brynna with wild leeks

Since late November until just last week,walks in the woods and fields have been a little dull. Animal tracking can keep the brain cells active on winter walks,but for us non-hunters and foragers,the flush of green on the forest floor stimulates a [...]

Scenes from a summer weekend in April

Boiling last of the maple sap on an 80 degree day,drinking maple mojitos and listening to Bachata tunes.

Red maple blossoms and golden stems of willow,wash the hillsides with a faint echo of fall colors.

Hoop house ignites with green growth.

Duckies snarfling for slimy goodies in the [...]

Meet Juliet and Cosmonaut VolkovMeet Juliet and Cosmonaut Volkov

In the great,northeastern tomato die-off of 2009,when late blight,riding the cool,moisture-laden air of an exceptionally rainy summer,infected nearly every tomato plant in the region,two tomato varieties emerged as my heroes,enabling us to eat fresh tomatoes until Thanksgiving and even preserve some. Juliet,the blight-resistant ”sweet plum cluster”tomato [...]