Sunrise Farms- Maple Syrup – A Sweet Life

  • Post published:03/02/2018
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Sunrise Farms welcome the sweet life when it's time to boil up the maple syrup. These days we are more likely to see little hoses (called lines in the vernacular) snaking through the snowy woodlands than tin buckets hanging off the maple trees. Maple sugaring has changed over the years and I got to see the whole process at Sunrise Farms in Colrain. The Lively family, mom and dad Marilyn and Rocky, with sons Erik and Jordan welcomed…

Master Gardeners Spring Symposium – March 17, 2018

  • Post published:02/07/2018
  • Post comments:2 Comments

The Western Massachusetts Spring Symposium, Your Living Landscape, is coming right up. Mark your calendars. On March 17, 2018 Henry Homeyer will be the keynote speaker at Frontier High School in South Deerfield. Vermonter Homeyer is an expert on gardening in the Northeast and he talks with humor about life in the garden. Registration form - Cost is $35 for the entire day; additional fee for optional lunch. Register online (extra service fee applies) at WMMGA.ORG or by…

Underutilized Trees and Shrubs

  • Post published:03/31/2017
  • Post comments:2 Comments

Jay Vinskey gave a useful workshop on Underutilized Trees and Shrubs at the WMMGA Spring Garden Symposium last weekend. I attended because I may not be quite finished choosing shrubs for our new Greenfield garden and I was looking for more suggestions. Small trees and shrubs are the elements I am counting on to make this a sustainable, low maintenance garden. Vinskey’s list included trees like paperbark maple, tupelo, ironwood, redbud, stewartia, and pagoda dogwood. His shrub list…

D is for Dandelion on the A to Z Blogger Challenge

D is for Dandelion and the Dandelion is the Common Weed of the commonweeder blog. I consider the dandelion an important element in my Flowery Mead. The Extension Service might call my lawn a typical weedy patch, but I take a different view. The Flowery Mead also sports many violets which I just learned are important in supporting certain butterflies, clover, ground ivy and hawkweeds. While many despise the dandelion, they do have many uses. My Swedish grandfather…

Bringing Nature Home at the Master Gardener’s Spring Symposium

  • Post published:03/30/2013
  • Post comments:4 Comments

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…

Timber Press and a Spring Giveaway

  • Post published:03/17/2012
  • Post comments:2 Comments

I spent today at a wonderful Spring Symposium organized by our local Master Gardeners who do so much to help us all improve our skills while offering us lots of inspiration. I bought a copy of the Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook by Ron Kujawski and his daughter Jennifer, who live near by. I know Ron from his days as a Cooperative Extension educator (and my days on the Extension Board). This sturdy spiral bound book published by Storey Publishing…

Growing at the MG Spring Symposium

  • Post published:03/21/2011
  • Post comments:0 Comments

There was a great crowd at the Master Gardener's Spring Symposium on Saturday. The arrangements were wonderful with a delicious and energizing breakfast buffet, fruit, muffins, juice, coffee and tea - all free.  And later a yummy lunch and great conversation with our fellow gardeners. There were all manner of workshops from fruit tree pruning to roses!  Naturally I went to hear Tracey Culver, who is a head gardener at Smith College, talk about the roses she grows…

Three Special Events for Thursday

  • Post published:03/10/2011
  • Post comments:1 Comment

Some events are not just for one day. The wonderful art exhibit at Mead Art Museum on  the Amherst College campus, will run until May 29.  There is no admission charge and the Mead is open from 9 am til midnight!  There is no excuse for Amherst students to not get their art assignments done.  Closed Mondays, and closed  at 5 pm on Friday and Saturday.  I guess those students need a little time for social life. Orra…

Master Gardener’s Spring Symposium

  • Post published:03/05/2011
  • Post comments:0 Comments

The days are longer and the sun is brighter, so even though snow lies deep on the ground we know that spring is coming.  That means that the annual Master Gardeners Spring Symposium held on Saturday, March 19 at Frontier Regional High School is coming up, too.. This year I am presenting a slide show of Elsa Bakalar’s perennial gardens in all their glory. Elsa passed away last year, but her memory remains green for many of us.…

Spring at last!

  • Post published:03/20/2010
  • Post comments:2 Comments

The calendar says it's spring, but I can drive past my snowy lawn and only DREAM of coltfoot growing at the side of my road. Coltsfoot, an herb, is one of the very first plants to bloom here on the hill. More dreaming - of daffodils - my celebration of the first day of spring. I'm off to the Western Mass Master Gardener's Spring Symposium. I will be sharing what I learn. On Sunday I'm off to the…