Scaling Up Local Food

  • Post published:11/09/2011
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The Solar Dancer greeted all those who gathered at Greenfield Community College last Saturday to hear about and discuss our current local food production and food security and the ways that it might be stepped up. It was an exciting day because we live in a fortunate area that has lots of good farmland, with old (in the sense of established) and new farmers. These farmers operate farmstands and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and participate in area Farmers…

A Marital Discussion

  • Post published:11/07/2011
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This fall I mentioned to my husband that I was amazed at how many beeches there seemed to be in the woods all of a sudden. How had I not noticed all these beeches before when so many of them grew right along the roadside and still retained their leaves when most of the other deciduous trees were bare. I knew that beeches kept many of their leaves until the old leaves were pushed off by new leaves…

Elisabeth C. Miller Botanic Garden and Library

  • Post published:11/02/2011
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When I joined 70 other garden bloggers in Seattle this past summer, one of the first places we visited was the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanic Garden which is a part of the University of Washington. There were familiar plants, and not so familiar plants like these cardoons, which are related to the artichoke and make for some sophisticated eating. Like many botanic gardens there are trial beds and educational projects like this green roof. It looks like it…

Lyman Plant House and Smith College

  • Post published:10/24/2011
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Last week I visited the Lyman Plant House at Smith College in preparation for a column and post about the Annual Chrysanthemum Show which begins Friday, November 5 with a talk by Smith alum and author Paula Dietz about the gardens she has visited and written about in her book, On Gardens. The Smith Botanical Garden and the Lyman Plant House are treasures for the whole community to use. The Lyman Plant House is open every day (except Thanksgiving and…

Yes, You Can!

  • Post published:09/11/2011
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Our area is still picking itself up after Irene left her gifts of washed out roads and bridges, flooded basements and houses. We have been fortunate here at the End of the Road because we never lost power and the water that ran into our dirt floored basement, ran out politely without making a fuss. We thought our only problem was hoping the popcorn supply would last through Sunday afternoon while we read our books. In fact we…

Wheat Conference

  • Post published:07/07/2011
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Bread is called the staff of life and bread means wheat. With our huge wheatfields in the midwest we take wheat for granted. We don't think about the possibility of the supply diminishing or about the changing nutritional value of the wheat. Eli Rogosa and the Heritage Wheat Conservancy,which she founded is collaborating with the Northeast Organic Wheat and UMass Extension to hold a Grain Conference on July 14 and 15. The first day will be held at…

Lens on Outdoor Learning

  • Post published:02/05/2011
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When most of us think about providing play space for our kids in the yard, we usually think about a swing set or a play structure of some sort. Schools tend to take the same sort of approach, but there is another way of looking at ‘play space’ and the potential it holds for learning at school, and at home. Ginny Sullivan began her teaching career at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a first grade…

Sustainable Living in the Hills

  • Post published:01/29/2011
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Nancy and Haynes Turkle have been concerned about the environment and the ways we affect it for a long time. Nancy’s graphic design company even worked for the Department of Environmental Protection for 15 years creating educational recycling materials. During their 20 years living in Groton they were involved in many community activities including helping to found a community garden. As the garden thrived so did  cooperation between the members of the garden and the wider community. They…

Ellen Sousa in The American Garden

  • Post published:11/19/2010
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The November/December issue of The American Gardener: The Magazine of the American Horticultural Society arrived the other day. As I was browsing through it last night I was surprised, but thrilled, to see Ellen Sousa, who lives in Central Massachusetts, quoted in Kris Wetherbee's article Garden Cleanup Reconsidered.  Ellen's own landscape is not only a Certified Wildlife Habitat, it is a Monarch Waystation so it was no surprise to hear her say, "instead of doing the traditional fall…

Celebratory Butterflies

  • Post published:11/09/2010
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This past weekend we were invited to a celebratory 60th birthday party at our local Butterfly House. We thought it was an apt site for the party because while most of us are familiar with the 12 animal Chinese zodiac, the reality is that the complete Chinese zodiac requires going around the 12 year cycle five times - when you begin again. The 60th year can be challenging, but it can also be a time of new beginnings.…