Seeds: Heritage, Hybrid, GMO

  • Post published:02/25/2012
  • Post comments:3 Comments

The Native Seeds/SEARCH catalog arrived in my mailbox this past week. This company located in Tucson is new to me, and so is the term native seeds. Included with the catalog that offers a variety of open pollinated seed from amaranth to watermelon was a tiny separate chart listing the best ways to choose seed. They say “Whenever possible, source your seeds first from the area where you live. Seed libraries, seed exchanges and local seed companies that…

The Curious and Sometimes Lascivious History of Vegetables

  • Post published:02/17/2012
  • Post comments:4 Comments

According to the historical record the soldiers inside the Trojan horse gorged themselves on carrots to 'bind their bowels' an important precaution, but other records tell of the emperor Caligula "who had a fun-loving streak, once fed the entire Roman Senate a feast of carrots in hopes of watching them run sexually amok." Carrots have fascinated more modern characters like Henry Ford who was anti-milk, and anti-meat, but crazy about vegetables, especially the carrot. At one point he…

New Goals For the New Year

  • Post published:01/07/2012
  • Post comments:4 Comments

“What news? What news?” was often the cry when E. F. Benson’s delightfully pretentious Lucia met her neighbor Georgie coming across the Riseholm village green in “Queen Lucia,” the first of several books about the life in an English village before WWII. When I return from Saturday morning rounds in my own rural village my husband always wants to know what news I bring home. “What’s new?” is our inevitable query of neighbors at local gatherings. The desire…

Look At My Loot

  • Post published:01/05/2012
  • Post comments:4 Comments

As Christmas drew near a  friend asked if I his Christmas gift had been delivered. I said no deliveries and then waited every day for my treat to arrive. I did get a Package Too Big notice from the Post Office and picked up this bag of compost that had a mailing label right on the bag. I assumed it was some sort of sample from the Seven Years Gold company, although it did seem an odd time…

Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

  • Post published:09/26/2011
  • Post comments:3 Comments

In yesterday's NY Times Mark Bittman asked the question, Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? Can you really feed a family for less at McDonalds than at your own table filled with home cooked food.  In spite of the protestations that a bag of chips is cheaper than a head of broccoli and other such, the answer is NO!  A meal for a family of four at McDonald's will come to between $23 and $28.  How many groceries can…

Maize Maze

  • Post published:09/17/2011
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Paul Hicks has been farming in Charlemont just about since the day he was born 54 years ago, following in his father’s and grandfather’s steps. Now grandsons Tucker and Brody (aged four and two) are out in the barn and advising their father on how to drive the oxen. Of course, the farm has changed over the years. Paul’s father Richard and his uncle Walter had dairy herds. My husband and I got to know them because they…

Real Pickles Redux

  • Post published:09/13/2011
  • Post comments:0 Comments

Last Friday a group of Herb Society of American members, and I, toured the Franklin County Community Development Corporation to see how foods and libations are being prepared in their commercial kitchens and special facilities. I've already described our tearful demonstration of the making of horseradish sauce. We also went across the street from the CDC to visit with Real Pickles founder Dan Rosenberg. Rosenberg used the CDC facilities for several years until he was successful enough to…

Yes, You Can!

  • Post published:09/11/2011
  • Post comments:2 Comments

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…

Seen in Seattle

  • Post published:07/25/2011
  • Post comments:5 Comments

As we 74 garden bloggers have toured Seattle we have visited private gardens, public gardens, and semi-public gardens to admire and learn about plants and Seattle's history. Here is a mock orange at the Dunn Gardens. All kinds of lavender everywhere. Bicyclists on their own path. Fabulous fruits at the Farmer's Market. Cherries, peaches, all kinds of berries - vegetables, too. Magnificent trees, towering. Potted plants everywhere, in the gardens and on the street. Fountains in the Mall…

Three Tours Today

  • Post published:07/09/2011
  • Post comments:1 Comment

A visitor on the Franklin Land Trust Farm and Garden Tour last weekend noted that one of the benefits of local garden tours is they allow us to see what lies hidden behind the beautiful flower beds, fields and forests: creativity, art, industry, history, and strong community. On the weekend of July 9, all of these elements will be in full view as the artisans, conservationists, and creative gardeners of Hawley, Colrain and Greenfield open their worlds to…