Monday Record 5-23

  • Post published:05/23/2011
  • Post comments:3 Comments

There isn't much to report about progress in the garden. This report is full of  rain, showers, downpour, drizzle, rain, spitz and fog.   Fortunately a showery day did not deter the Yestermorrow crew who came to Katywil to hold an Earth Oven Building workshop.  The stone foundation had been completed two weeks ago and Saturday was going to see building of a wood fired oven. The workshop participants had to get deep into the mud (earth) and…

Worm Farm Review

  • Post published:02/21/2011
  • Post comments:6 Comments

In July of 2008 my grandsons and I put 1000 red wigglers into a bin we had prepared. We were worm farmers. I wanted worm castings, considered very fine compost, to use in my garden.  The process of making that compost has been a slower process than I expected. Red wigglers are not earthworms. They need to be kept warm - at least warmer than 50 degrees to thrive.  I did not want to keep the worm bin…

Garden Technique Mash-up

  • Post published:11/29/2010
  • Post comments:4 Comments

One of  the best ideas I had this year was to put a small vegetable garden right in front of the eastern end of our house which faces due south. The soil here drains very well and thaws out very early in the spring. If you want to see the 'lasagna garden' method I used on April 4, click here.  The planting bed next to the house included a yellow loosestrife and 'Terra Cotta' achillea next to the…

Elise Schlaikjer

Elise Schlaikjer has named all the houses she has lived in Phoenix House, but when she moved to Greenfield, just two years ago, the name was especially apt. It took a fall and a head injury, but Schlaikjer decided that after 23 years in Michigan it was time to move nearer her daughter Laura, in Greenfield. At the age of 73 she was ready to start a new life, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, reborn and…

Holy Shit!

  • Post published:10/23/2010
  • Post comments:5 Comments

When I was a child being driven from New York City to my uncle’s dairy farm in Charlotte, Vermont, I was sure I knew the minute we crossed the state line because I could smell the scent of manure in the air. For me, Vermont meant a perfumed cow barn and manured fields; I could think of no lovelier fragrance. I still feel that way. Gene Logsdon, farmer, anthropologist, cultural critic and author of Holy Shit: Managing Manure…

We Sow, We Harvest . . . We Celebrate!

  • Post published:09/11/2010
  • Post comments:5 Comments

Lots of sowing was done in the last two years to bring about the harvest of a strong renovated Roundhouse at our wonderful Franklin County Fair. I was glad to be present for the re-dedication - during which many people were thanked, too many to list here, but I was glad that one of my colleagues at The Recoder, Irmarie Jones was thanked for all her help promoting the renovation and fundraising.  While the Fair is 162 years…

Heath School Gardens

  • Post published:09/02/2010
  • Post comments:5 Comments

Over at Garden Rant Mary Gray's guest rant bewailed the state of many school grounds, all concrete and lawn. I am very familiar with the school grounds that she describes, but I feel fortunate that the children in our small town have a very different school experience. The Heath Elementary School, which opened in 1996, was built in a pasture surrounded by woodland. When the school bus pulls off the dirt road onto the driveway it passes a…

Preparing the Planting Bed

  • Post published:08/31/2010
  • Post comments:5 Comments

I never seem to get a Before picture. I don't avoid it on purpose, but I am usually so embarrassed at the state of my garden that I subconsiously don't think of getting the camera until I am a little way into the job.  Just picture this as a weedy area after the spent broccoli has been pulled out. It is about 6 feet long and no more than 2 feet deep. After pulling out all the weeds…

Weeding, Mowing – and a Surprise

  • Post published:08/30/2010
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Mostly I just weeded, and weeded all weekend, while Henry mowed and mowed.  The big job we did, almost, was to take down this Stanley plum tree in our little 'orchard' next to the vegetable garden and rasberry patch. This tree has suffered over the years, most notably during the year we lived in Beijing and had renters;  their horses had a fondness for fruit tree bark.  The chain saw gave out before we got down the main…