Chinese Cabbage – Beijing 1989

  • Post published:02/19/2014
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In the fall of 1989 there was a bumper crop of Chinese Cabbage in Beijing. This was before 'capitalism with Chinese characteristics' and everyone was required to buy 40 kilograms (over 80 pounds of cabbage). The Chinese cabbages were trucked into Beijing, piled up on street corners, in front of the state stores - and everywhere. Then it had to be bought, taken home and stored, in courtyards, in apartment building hallways and balconies - everywhere. Chinese cabbage…

Microgreens with Dinner Tonight!

  • Post published:02/13/2014
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I planted these microgreens on February 2 and tonight I am harvesting them for our supper. Nothing could be simpler. Put seed starting mix in a container, press it down slightly, scatter your seeds which can be a mix from a company like Botanical Interests which I used, or seeds of any greens you have on hand - asian greens, radishes, beets etc. - and in two weeks or  so you will have a harvestable crop. In addition,…

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Catalog – First of the Year

  • Post published:11/21/2013
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The new Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog for 2014 came in the mail the other day. For the past few years the Baker Creek catalog has been a thing of beauty, but this year's Whole Seed Catalog, billed as the World Largest Seed Catalog, is 355 glossy pages of fabulous photographs of heirloomvegetables. There are famous, beautiful and excellent nursery catalogs, but this book has taken the seed catalog to a whole new level. Jere Gettle is an…

Broccoli – The Alpha Vegetable

  • Post published:11/17/2013
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  Broccoli is a popular vegetable at our house. I like to have a head of broccoli on hand and I’m always happy during gardening season when I go out and get enough for supper any time I like. Even after harvesting the main head of broccoli, I can always collect a few of the numerous side sprouts that appear over  time, sufficient for dinner for two. I had never thought of broccoli as anything other except a…

“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…

Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

  • Post published:09/14/2013
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Deborah Madison is well known as a chef, and queen of vegetables. In Vegetable Literacy (Ten Speed Press $40) her new cookbook, I learned she had never been much of a gardener until her mid-thirties. I have always said that a walk down the garden path is a walk into the fields of history, literature, myth and science. In the beautifully illustrated Vegetable Literacy, Madison takes us along on her journey from the kitchen into the vegetable garden,…

A Family of Gardeners – the Hollisters

  • Post published:08/17/2013
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  Kevin Hollister and his family live across the lawn and through the woods right next door to his sister Sarah Hollister. Together they share multiple gardens. Sarah has lots of vegetables for the two families, many of them growing on utilitarian or whimsical structures. Kevin hosts Tomato World and Blueberry World, dozens of trellised tomatoes of every sort, and a large patch of blueberry bushes, bent with the weight of the fruit and covered with old tobacco…

August Bloomers on August 1, 2013

  • Post published:08/02/2013
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Of all the August Bloomers, the Daylily Bank makes the biggest statement even though it has started to pass its peak. Other August bloomer are just beginning. The most notable in this photo is the classic Echinacea or coneflower, with Russian sage in front and pink and white phlox on the other side of the bed. The phlox is late, with light bloom, because the deer had been snacking on the buds. Only once clump of Paradise Blue…

Digging, Weeding and Planting Season in High Gear

  • Post published:05/06/2013
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This is the season of digging, weeding and planting. The priority this weekend was to get plants dug for the two big plant sales coming up. The Greenfield Garden Club, of which I am a member, will have its plant sale on Saturday, May 11 at Trap Plain, at Siver and Federal Streets, and the following weekend, May 18, the Bridge of Flowers will have its plant sale at the Trinity Church's Baptist Lot in Shelburne Falls. This…

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…