May 12, 2017

Maplewood Garden Club Plant Sale

Each spring the Maplewood Garden Club puts on a plant sale and the deals are amazing. The sale is held in the parking lot of the Maplewood community pool. Last year I stopped by “just to look” and walked away with a dozen great plants to add to my garden for $130. Mature hosta for $4? Yes please! Large, healthy vinca for $6? Don’t mind if I do! At this sale a person could completely outfit a spring vegetable garden in one fell swoop and save a bundle in comparison to shopping at the local nurseries.

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October 11, 2016

Get Outside: A Simple Brick Border

This weekend I finally tackled the crazy overgrown mess that was our Butterfly Garden. We put it in late last spring and never really paid it any attention throughout the summer. We were aiming for a fairly wild feeling habitat for pollinators of all sorts and frankly, the weather was so hot this summer that maintaining any sense of order within the bed was pushed to the bottom of the list.

I say the aim was for a wild habitat…

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September 26, 2016

Get Outside: Planting Fall Crops

The attempt I made to rid my abundant kale of pesky whiteflies pretty much failed. The bed was just too infested with the little critters to bounce back and while the steeped garlic concoction seemed to work at least a little bit, the leaves were so covered in sticky eggs that what remained was inedible.

I ended up pulling out the entire bed and giving the soil a good turn. After adding some compost to freshen it up,

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September 09, 2016

Get Outside: Fighting Whiteflies In The Garden

So it seems the weather just won’t cool off and as a result I simply can’t force myself to go out and do a stitch of work in my garden. It’s just too hot! Despite the heat, I am going to have to tackle a little maintenance this weekend for as I went out to snip some kale for dinner last night I was welcomed by a dreaded white cloud. My kale has been infested with whiteflies.

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August 31, 2016

Get Outside: A Week in the Woods

It’s here, the end of summer… where has the time gone? I am away with my family enjoying the last few days of calm before the madness of school sets in. We are spending time swimming, catching frogs and crayfish, playing hours of UNO and grilling hot dogs and corn. It’s a much needed recharge before the busy autumn sets in and I plan to return refreshed and ready for a busy few months. I hope you have managed to pack in some fun this summer!

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August 24, 2016

Get Outside: Wild Blueberries

Last weekend I found myself unable to stop picking blueberries. I didn’t need any more… but I couldn’t help myself! The crop this year has been incredible due to lots of sun, hot days and a perfectly timed rain right as the season kicked off. The result has been gigantic berries in large clusters enabling even a novice picker to score enough berries for a pie in under half an hour. It’s bonkers.

With that said,

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August 23, 2016

Preserving the Summer

I have always been a huge blueberry fan. Since I was a little kid summers were spent at a lake in rural Litchfield County. The lake is rimmed with wild blueberry bushes and my Augusts were consumed with the tiny blue fruit. The only thing I enjoy more than eating wild blueberries straight off the bush is picking them. By the bucket full.

It’s an obsession.

Over the course of a good berry season I inevitably find myself with more fruit than any human can consume at one time.

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August 16, 2016

Get Outside: Planning Fall Crops

Welcome to mid-August! The dog days of summer are in full swing here in SOMA and my garden is overflowing with more produce than I can possibly use. I am busying myself in the kitchen freezing, cooking and canning in order to extend the bounty. It’s exhausting.

While my tomatoes and long beans seem to regenerate every night while I sleep, some of my veggies have reached the end of the line. The snap peas have long since browned and shriveled up,

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August 10, 2016

Get Outside: Encouraging Pollinators

Since planting my first vegetable garden 3 years ago I have become slightly obsessed with pollinators. Well, slightly may be an understatement… I have started keeping honey bees after all, but that’s a topic for another day.

My first few stabs at a bumper crop were disappointing and as I researched successful gardening practices it all seemed to hinge around pollinators. The thing is, without bees, butterflies and other helpful winged creatures we wouldn’t have any pollination and without pollination there are no vegetables!

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August 03, 2016

Get Outside: Garden Pests

This year the garden at 120 Oakview is thriving like never before! Things are growing at an incredible rate and, as a result, I have been enjoying kale salad every night. As I have been watching things progress I have noticed that despite my squash plants doing better than they ever have before, they aren’t producing any fruit. The blossoms are blooming but then… nothing. Concern and curiosity led me into the garden for a closer look and I discovered that all of the blooms are being cleanly severed at the base of the bloom.

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