Greenfield Winter Fare 2014

  • Post published:01/30/2014
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If I am counting correctly this is the 7th Greenfield Annual Winter Fare which will bring truckloads of fresh local vegetables to Greenfield High School on Saturday, February 1.  Enter from Kent Street off Silver Street. Beyond  vegetables there will be preserved products like pickles and syrup, honey and jams. Frozen meat!  And to keep you shopping from 10 am til 1 pm music will be provided by Last Night's Fun, and soup provided by The Brass Buckle,…

Lyman Plant House for Summer in January

  • Post published:01/10/2014
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The Lyman Plant House at Smith College looked as frosty as anyplace during the recent Polar Vortex. Outside. Inside the Lyman Plant House there is humid warmth and lush growth. Once past the brilliant greenery I passed into the Palm House where I might have been in the jungle. The brilliant January sun shone through the dense palm foliage, but all below was in shadow. I sat on a bench and rested, and debated whether I should follow…

“Let’s Pick a Fight With Kale”

  • Post published:11/04/2013
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"Let's pick a fight with kale," Chris Cima, creative director at Victors & Spoils advertising agency said. The upshot, reported in the NYTimes Sunday Magazine yesterday is a PR campaign to get people to CHOOSE to eat broccoli - and lots of  other vegetables. This a a great article with lots of depressing 2010 statistics:  "diet surpassed smoking as the no.1 risk factor for disease and death in America  . . . One is three children is on…

Bringing Nature Home at the Master Gardener’s Spring Symposium

  • Post published:03/30/2013
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Dr. Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, was the keynote speaker at the Western Massachusetts Master Gardeners Spring Symposium last week. His talk focused on the need for more insects to make our gardens – and the world – healthier and more ecologically balanced. “A mere 1 % [of all insects] interact with humans in negative ways. The other 99 % pollinate plants, return the nutrients tied up in…

Ready, Set, Grow! Timber Press Giveaway

  • Post published:03/18/2013
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With Ready, Set, Grow! Timber Press is giving away books, lots of books, and a Moleskine journal to record your success as you put all the inspiration and advice  to work in your garden for the next three months. Each month, March, April and May they will be giving a library of books away in a lottery. All you have to do is click here and enter.  Whether you win the library or not, by checking this website…

Tulips Are Blooming – Indoors

  • Post published:02/26/2013
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Yesterday I drove into the valley to see tulips, and many other  bulbs and flowers, blooming at the Mt. Holyoke College Talcott Greenhouse and the Smith College Lyman Plant House. Both institutions are preparing for their annual Spring Bulb shows which require attentive and scientific handling of the potted plants, cool and then slowly warming so that they are at the perfect moment for spring-hungry flower lovers to visit them when the shows open on Saturday, March 2.  Both…

Speedy Vegetable Garden Giveway

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how fast does your garden grow? The 208 page Speedy Vegetable Garden by Mark Diacono and Lia Leendertz (Timber Press) will give you a whole new view of how fast you can grow something to eat. This means we can keep some food growing all year long, if only on our windowsill. Impatient children will find that they can harvest some greens in less than two weeks. I have grown sprouts in my kitchen…

C is for Cacao, Cocoa and Cadbury

  • Post published:01/28/2013
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The Cacao bean is native to South America, but it became the cocoa we are familiar with when the Dutch van Houten found a new processing method, and it was  British George Cadbury in 1878 who created a model garden city of Bourneville for his chocolate workers. On this cold and snowy day I have been reading a beautiful and fascinating book, Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History by Bill Laws. Cocoa is popular drink around our house in…

Dormancy – A False Death

  • Post published:01/27/2013
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  The leafless landscape seems dead, but dormancy is only a false death.  In the 1/24 issue of the New York Times Michael Tortorello takes us on a wintry horticultural tour of gardens in New York City and learns that death is not what winter brings. I grant you, the activity he sees in Central Park and other places is rather different from the dormancy I can see in my frozen snowy landscape, but still, his guides make…

Latin for Gardeners by Lorraine Harrison

  • Post published:01/21/2013
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This gray Sunday I am alternating between a view of the swirling snow and my Christmas book Latin for Gardeners: Over 3000 Plant Names Explained and Explored. by Lorraine Harrison.  I never took Latin in school but over the years, almost in spite of myself, I have picked up a fair amount of horticultureal Latin. I don't always remember the Latin names of the plants in my garden, but knowing some Latin has given me information about plants…