All posts filed under: garden

feed the birds

We knew moving away from the city would be a huge transition. Though we grew up in rural areas, Chris and I had both been in and around Boston for more than 10 years (Chris closer to 20 years). That would be 10+ years of living a short walk to a convenience store, having any type of cuisine imaginable delivered to our home, a steady hum of noise, short walks to the park, unplanned visits with our neighbors, and being mere minutes from any sort of cultural activity we could dream of in Boston. We also spent years longing for more space, less traffic, and more nature. 

garden prep and compost FAQ

We are probably moving this year.  It is all still a big question mark, but we’re about 90% certain. I had decided not to try to start seeds indoors this year and not to purchase any seeds at all.  We’ll be selling our home, right?  Why spend the time? Then spring started to happen.  My dad gave me some of his leftover seeds.  I starting thinking about growing kale the first time, which would be planted now.  In the end, I just couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t not grow things.


must watch this week #1: Rachel Parent, Kevin O’Leary, and the ickiest corporation out there–Monsanto

I originally intended to quickly share a selection of things watched and read that I found inspiring so far this week, but as it turns out, I have a lot to say about some of these things!  So, for the next four days, I’ll share with you one interesting thing to watch or read each day.  This first item is a video that you must watch and I’ve provided an opinionated context for you if you aren’t in the know regarding Monsanto.   Rachel Parent Rips Kevin O’Leary a New One in GMO debate This is actually not new at all, but it was new to me.  Rachel Parent, a 14 year old activist (founder of Kids Right to Know) is quite vocal regarding Montsanto and the lack of GMO labeling.  Her young, articulate, fresh voice gained media attention and she challenged Kevin O’Leary (business/finance guru and journalist, though I use the word “journalist” loosely) to a debate, which he accepted and had her on his show.  Click here to watch the video.  If …

how does our garden grow?

There are spots of our little yard that are totally overgrown.  I have a forsythia and a blackberry bush ready to take over one side of my house and a grapevine that blows my mind whenever I pull in my driveway.  How can one vine coming up out of the ground take up 15-20 feet of fence?   I love looking at it!  There are also spots that are loaded with weeds that I just can’t get to right now and I’ve found peace with it for now.  That said, I’m pretty proud of what we do have growing and that things are in relatively decent shape.  I’ll never know how Chris and I fit so much into one little yard. I had the opportunity to borrow a lens (Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime) and play with it a bit.  It isn’t a macro lens, but I couldn’t resist running around my yard to capture botanical details and the beautiful bokeh (blurred background) that happens with an aperture of 1.8.  All photos in this post were …

letting go

I love hot yoga.  I love my yoga studio.  I love my yoga partner, Scott.  I have a particular love for a certain yoga teacher named Tony.  He is a naturally gifted yoga instructor.  He doesn’t rush.  He makes sure you set yourself up properly in each pose so that you get the most from every second of class.  It is easy to forget to square your hips to the front of the room while setting up your Warrior I, but Tony reminds you.  He makes you work hard for your Savasana; you feel like you’ve truly earned it.  He also continually reminds you that you have to let go.  Let go of the nagging thought. Let go of the hectic day.  Let go of your to-do list.  Let go of a jealous feeling you have about someone else or a negative feeling you may have about yourself.  Let go of the chaotic mess in your brain that accumulates throughout the day. I’m not able to spend an hour and a half with him as …

seed starting tips

I’m beyond giddy.  This is my very favorite time of year. Between packets I had, packets I picked up, and a special care package from my dad, I have most of the seeds that I need (thought I still need to place a last minute order from Johnny’s). Last week, I started… Marketmore and Sweet Marketmore cucumbers California Wonder 300 and Orange Sun peppers Russian Tarragon Tomatoes: Mountain Magic Vine Hybrid, Ananas Noir (won from Down to Earth Digs), Best Boy, Supersweet 100 Cherry Hybrid, Amish Paste Heirloom, Crimson Cusion Beefsteak Heirloom, Burpee Big Boy, and Brandywine Red. Red Velvet Celosia Marigolds Nasturtium: Jewel Mix and Empress of India Gigante Verde Tomatillos I’m particularly excited about tomatillos.  I’ve never grown them before and I love them as a snack if they are fresh from a garden (not the ones in the grocery store – ew). We have a grow light shelf similar to this one, only deeper and with four shelves (and we bought ours on Craigslist a few years ago because the price is …

happy spring!

I saw tulips peeking out the other day. Spring is officially here today, even though New England still has snow on the ground from our latest storm.  Every year at this time, I clip a few twigs from the red leaf plum tree out front, followed by forsythia, and place them in water to force the blooms.  It is my own farewell to winter. Here is a little forced red leaf plum photo shoot. The photos are taken with my iphone and a Sigma Merrill DP-3.  I also took photos with a Diana/120 film, but unfortunately they aren’t developed yet.  I’ll add them to to this post at a later time.  

leaning string bean trellis

All of a sudden, I saw the numbers going up–quickly–on my blog readership.  I realized that tons of people were searching for things like “cucumber trellis” and “twine trellis for pickles” and things like that.  It was rapidly becoming my most popular post in terms of random Web searches.  I called the man responsible for that post (dad-the handiest of the handymen) and told him.  He didn’t say much, but I could tell that he was proud. I also realized I still haven’t posted our (ha – I say “our”) green bean trellis how-to, which is working out quite nicely I might add.  But…if I find the bug who is treating my bean leaves like a free all-you-can-eat-buffet, he or she is going down. If you are just getting around to planting your green beans, or the seeds have sprouted and the plants are looking for a place to grow on, we’ve…um…my dad has just the thing for you. This trellis is meant to be placed in a spot where it can lean against something.  …

building a cucumber trellis

Pickles are an obsession of mine. I’ve been known to eat a whole jar in one sitting.  The absolute best in my opinion are Woodstock Farms Organic Kosher Baby Dill Pickles.  This year, I’ve decided to make my own baby dill pickles. I have tons of dill sprouting. Lots of garlic growing. There are also plenty of harmonie cucumber seedlings thriving that were started indoors and transplanted outside just yesterday.  This cucumber variation is meant for baby gherkins. Thanks to my dad’s handy skills, I also have two big trellises made of birch scavenged from my parents’ house and lots of hemp twine. These trellises are space savers and they can handle many cucumber plants, which is a good thing because I will need a ton of cucumbers for pickles! step-by-step First, you’ll need three long branches from a tree of your choice. I’d suggest at least four feet depending on how tall you’d like your trellises to be and how big your pots are.  The branches we used were somewhere around six feet long. step 1: Push the three branches down a few inches …