Five Things to Love About Blueberries

  • Post published:09/03/2014
  • Post comments:7 Comments

There are more than five things to love about blueberries, but these are my top five things to love. First blueberries are hardy and really easy to grow, especially in Heath where the soil is suitably acid. Blueberries require a pH between 4 and 5.5. I never tested the soil in the berry patch, but my highbush blueberries are  healthy, big and productive. And have been for 30 years. This year I am getting a bumper crop. Blueberries…

Elderberries, Chokeberries and Good Health

  • Post published:07/26/2014
  • Post comments:1 Comment

Elderberries and chokeberries are not as beautiful or familiar as spring’s strawberry, but these small dark berries that ripen in late summer pack a nutritional wallop. I’ve know the elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) since childhood, but the chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) is fairly new to me. Whether you call the elderberry a tree or a bush, it is having a very good year. I seem to see elderberry bushes everywhere I go. I can easily identify the bushes with large…

Autumn Crocus and Other September Surprises

  • Post published:09/30/2013
  • Post comments:2 Comments

I was surprised to find these autumn crocus in bloom right out in front of the house next to the wisteria trunk. And under overgrown lemon balm. I keep promising to move them to a better spot, but invisible as  they are in July when that move should occur it never happens. Maybe next year. Since I have not been out to weed or care for the garden in what seems like weeks, there were other surprises like…

Walk on the Wildside with Sue Bridge

  • Post published:08/31/2013
  • Post comments:1 Comment

How would you plan your retirement if you had already received a degree from Wellesley College, earned a further degree in Russian and Middle Eastern Studies, hitchhiked to Morocco, lived in Paris, worked for the United Nations, as well as in the cable TV world, and for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper? Sue Bridge, with the urging of a Northampton friend, bought eight acres of hilly land in Conway. For the past seven years her retirement project has…

Black Raspberries – Thorny and Thirsty

  • Post published:08/11/2013
  • Post comments:1 Comment

Black Raspberries Black raspberries are delicious and make great jam, but they will take more care than blueberries or red raspberries. To begin, black raspberries, sometimes called blackcaps, need a site that gets full sun, and has access to watering. In my own experience I have found that regular watering, two inches a week, is essential. I lost most of my first two crops because of the lack of watering. The berries were small and almost instantly dried…

Blueberries and Raspberries, Easy, Delicious and Nutritious

  • Post published:08/04/2013
  • Post comments:1 Comment

  Blueberries and raspberries  are easy food crops that can save you money and are amazingly nutritious. Berries are expensive in the market because they require so much labor to pick, are perishable and need to be shipped quickly. Yet it does not take much time or trouble to go out a pick enough for a family. Blueberries I think blueberries are about the easiest berry to grow. Blueberries are hardy, a native plant that loves our acid…

Cranberries in the Garden

  • Post published:11/20/2010
  • Post comments:6 Comments

As I was baking cranberry bread yesterday, I remembered an interview I did  with Wil Kiendzior and his wife Louisa Sapienza about their cranberry beds. Cranberries are another perennial crop that can be added to your edible garden. Wil Kiendzior started gardening when two things converged in his life.  His two daughters were born and he started teaching high school courses on ecology and the environment, using Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as a text. His first gardens grew…

Cindy’s Mosaics

  • Post published:11/11/2010
  • Post comments:0 Comments

Saturday was a big day in Shelburne Falls, home of the Bridge of Flowers. There had been events at the Buckland Shelburne Community Hall for Cider Day but there was also a dedication of the 12 vitreous glass mosaics created by Cynthia Fisher of Big Bang Mosaics in cooperation with students from the elementary and high schools, as well as members of the community. Ten of the 3 x 3 foot mosaics depict iconographic aspects of the ten…

Robert Dane Loves the Blues

  • Post published:08/10/2010
  • Post comments:2 Comments

Bob Dane loves the blueberries Heath is famous for. He also loves the blueberry fields where they are grown which is why he has donated these sweet blueberry bud vases to the Franklin Land Trust to use as a gift for all those who donate $250 or more to the FLT and ear mark that gift "The Benson Place" to support the Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR)  and trail easement that has been awarded to the Benson Place Blueberry…

A Berry Blue Summer

  • Post published:07/19/2010
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Netting the blueberries was the big garden task of the weekend.  Between the heat, the thunderstorms, adventures with visiting grandson Tynan, picking raspberries and preparing to host the  Heath Gourmet Club on Saturday night, this job kept getting postponed. Finally, on Sunday, with the sun shining and a deliciously cool breeze blowing, we set to. The berries are just starting to  ripen here at the End of the Road, but the birds are starting to circle. We planted our blueberry…