Black Knot on My Plum

  • Post published:05/19/2011
  • Post comments:4 Comments

It's been raining for almost a week. This means the conditions are good for the spread of black knot. We have slowly been removing the plum trees from our orchard and the time has come to take down the last tree.  I loved the occasional harvests of Stanley plums which I mostly canned, but I think we will just content ourselves with the three semi-dwarf apple trees. This gall, one of several, is about 6 inches long and…

Fall’s Fruitfullness

  • Post published:10/14/2010
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Lots of people in Heath have an old apple tree or two. Sometimes the apples aren't beautiful, but they certainly can make good eating. I've been using the generous harvest from this unnamed tree to make apple sauce and apple butter. French toast with apple butter or apple sauce makes an easy  and nutritious breakfast. My neighbor called me to say he and his wife had collected three big buckets of black walnuts from their two back yard…

Weeding, Mowing – and a Surprise

  • Post published:08/30/2010
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Mostly I just weeded, and weeded all weekend, while Henry mowed and mowed.  The big job we did, almost, was to take down this Stanley plum tree in our little 'orchard' next to the vegetable garden and rasberry patch. This tree has suffered over the years, most notably during the year we lived in Beijing and had renters;  their horses had a fondness for fruit tree bark.  The chain saw gave out before we got down the main…

Hurry to Hawley

  • Post published:07/03/2010
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Who would not like to live on Pudding Hollow Road? It is clearly a road steeped in the history of Hawley, a town settled in 1760, and a unique pudding contest which took place in the late 1770s.  Farms and food have always been important parts of Hawley’s history and culture so I could not resist the opportunity to visit the newest farm and an old established garden, both on Pudding Hollow Road, and both a part of…


  • Post published:05/11/2010
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The first unpleasant surprise was frost!  The 7 am temperature on our thermometer on the north side of the house, but in the sun, said 42 degrees and I rejoiced. But my husband brought in the cat's frozen water dish from the welcoming platform. The first shock. Then I went out to open our ad hoc cold frame and the inside was all frosty. I'd better mark this frost date in my Journal. The second, and final, unpleasant…

All Kinds of Apple Trees

  • Post published:05/05/2010
  • Post comments:2 Comments

When we first moved into our old farmhouse in Heath in November of 1979, I cooked in what the previous owners called ‘the summer kitchen’ although there was no other kitchen. It was small and oddly shaped because of the stairway that went up to a loft/attic space. The 1930s era stove was on the north wall next to a small window that looked up the hill, across the field to an old apple tree. When the wind…

Laughing Dog Farm

  • Post published:01/13/2010
  • Post comments:5 Comments

December is not usually a good time to visit a small farm in action, but when I visited Daniel Botkin and his wife, Divya, at Laughing Dog Farm in Gill I got a tour of a thriving garden in the big hoop house (or long tunnel) and a lunch of delicious vegetable soup with bread and goat cheese made that very morning. This is local food at its finest. I had specifically gone to Laughing Dog Farm to…

Apple Harvest

  • Post published:10/06/2009
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These apples may not be the most beautiful, but they are pretty sound inside which means I spent the afternoon peeling, chopping and boiling them down to make 5 quarts of apple butter, a delicacy I only discovered last year. Two quarts have already been passed along to my oldest daughter and her family. They like apple butter on black pumpernickel bread, we like it on French toast.  There is hardly any way to use apples that is…

Bloom Day May 15, 2009

Dandelions and violets in the flowery mead are still blooming. Johnny jump ups are scattered everywhere. Where do they all come from? I wonder what a johnny jump up seed looks like flying on the wind. I'm not sounding like much of a gardener so far. Many of the daffodils are starting to wind down, but others like this pheasant eye daff (Poeticus) bloom late. When I visited the daffodils at Tower Hill Botanic Garden last year I…