Terror Among the Tomatoes

  • Post published:10/31/2009
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Happy Halloween! One way to strike terror into this night of goblins and ghosts is to think of the fears that plants have generated over the centuries. Deadly nightshade was rightly understood to be a poison, but other members of the family, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers were less deadly and more delicious. The large pale flower of datura, another member of the family, is beautiful but equally deadly. Not all peas (Lathyrus sativus) are benign, or all members…

Technicolored Dream Trees

  • Post published:10/28/2009
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In my youth I only admired brightly colored maples. I don't think I am alone. When people talk about the New England fall and set off leaf peeping, it is the brilliance of the maples that they are looking for. But even maples cannot be counted on to be consistently scarlet. Now that I am older, and spend so much time driving up and down Route 8A which winds through woodlands and along a stream, then onto Route 2,…

Compost – Cold and Hot

  • Post published:10/23/2009
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Some people curse the falling leaves. Not me. Of course, since the wind blows all the leaves off my hill, the only labor I have is to collect the bags of leaves from industrious neighbors. I can never get enough. I learned the technique of Cold Composting from the late Larry Leitner. He collected leaves and pressed them down into fence wire frames that he made in various sizes and shapes. He prepared these cold compost piles in…

My To-Do List

  • Post published:10/19/2009
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The Monday Record was intended to show what I had accomplished in the preceeding week, possibly including Monday itself. However, this week I spent a lot of time looking out the window at rain, and wind, and even snow muttering that if I were a Real Gardener I wouldn't let poor weather stop me from attending to all the chores that needed attending to! After five days of below freezing tempeatures, the low temperature today was 27 degrees. After the…

Surfing Surprise

  • Post published:10/14/2009
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You never know what you'll run into as you surf the garden blogs. Or where. Yolanda, in the Netherlands, on her beautiful blog Bliss is celebrating vegetables with a Beach Boys serenade. Check it out.

Apple Harvest

  • Post published:10/06/2009
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These apples may not be the most beautiful, but they are pretty sound inside which means I spent the afternoon peeling, chopping and boiling them down to make 5 quarts of apple butter, a delicacy I only discovered last year. Two quarts have already been passed along to my oldest daughter and her family. They like apple butter on black pumpernickel bread, we like it on French toast.  There is hardly any way to use apples that is…

Brilliant, and yet again brilliant

  • Post published:10/01/2009
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                                  Foliage-viewing –                Annual failure to slake           Winter’s color thirst.                              In her haiku Carol Purington captures a season and the necessity of trying to prepare for the monochromatic winter landscape.  She captures the colors, creatures and songs of every season at Woodslawn Farm here in western Massachusetts.  This haiku is from her book Woodslawn Farm. To see what other muses are abroad and inspiring us, visit Carolyn gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago, the host of…