Why Wasps, Hornets and Yellowjackets Are Good

We Have a Live and Let Live Policy

A recent visitor was aghast that we’ve allowed this nest to get so big. Ok, huge. What were we thinking?! Especially since this is a hornet nest and they are considered more aggressive than paper wasps. (We also have a bunch of those nests around but they’re not as impressive.)

wasp nest on porch

Paper wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets all belong to the Vespidae family. All of them provide valuable ecological services, including pollination, predation, and parasitism.

So, what I was thinking was that I was thankful to have more pollinators to help with my garden and more insect eaters to help keep the garden insect population down […]

2021-09-16T09:44:21-04:00September 10th, 2021|My Garden / Recipes, Nature|0 Comments

Perfectly Crisp Kale Chips Recipe

There’s a trick to getting not-soggy, not chewy, but perfectly CRISP kale chips every time. And I’m going to share 2 of my secrets to ensure your success. But first the recipe!

1.   Start with a bunch or two of kale and rinse well. (As it so happens, I have several bunches from the garden that need using.)

2.  Use a salad spinner to dry well. [SECRET #1: You need to start with very dry kale pieces—moisture contributes to sogginess.]

3.  Cut out the stem that runs down the middle. You could leave them if you wanted but I find them a little too woody.

4. Tear/cut into chip-size pieces. […]

2021-07-18T19:22:54-04:00July 1st, 2021|My Garden / Recipes|0 Comments

In the Middle of a Snow Storm, I’m Thinking Green

Ok, between covid cabin fever and winter snowstorms, I am SO over it. To keep myself sane, I’m thinking green!

As in this kind of green. I’m dreaming and planning for my summer gardens.

vegetable garden

Over the years, my gardens have shrunk in size for lack of time to keep up with them.

I started going back to raised beds this past summer. For now, this is the perfect, manageable size.

raised beds

But I’m thinking of going one step further. I’ve been looking into setting up tall raised beds for two reasons. 1. It’s easier on the back. 2. Keeps rabbits and other small ground-dwelling critters out. I’ve […]

2021-02-15T10:20:54-05:00February 15th, 2021|My Garden / Recipes|0 Comments

Maple Sugaring Season Just in Time!

So it seems that tapping 2 maple trees gives us just enough syrup to get through until the next maple tap.

But I knew as soon as my family got a taste of this, I’d have to be making more. So, along with their annual garlic allotment,  I’ll be adding 2 more trees into maple production for this year.

Though, at the moment, with daytime temps in the minus digits, it’s looking like we’re still a few weeks away. It’ll be a race to the finish.

winter outdoor landscape


Speaking of which, if you haven’t read this book, it will change the way you think about trees. And […]

2020-08-25T09:46:55-04:00February 15th, 2020|My Garden / Recipes, Nature's Grocery Store|0 Comments

What to Do With a Bumper Crop of Asian Pears

While this year has seen some damages to some of my fruit trees–I lost all my plum trees and one cherry tree–I continue to get a bumper crop of Asian Pears.

My three trees are bearing so many pears this year that I had to pick at least half before they were fully ripe to prevent the branches from breaking from the weight. Even with that, I lost one limb in a windstorm.

So what do you do with the first wave?

2 baskets of asian pears

You go pick a bunch of raspberries and you make scrumptious Raspberry Asian Pear Salad with Raspberry Puree. Thinly slice a few pears, puree some raspberries. add a little […]

2019-08-31T14:16:14-04:00September 12th, 2019|My Garden / Recipes|0 Comments

Planting Sustainable Outdoor Snacking Stations

I was just reading an article about planting a food forest by a farmer whose philosophy I share. And it reminded me that I’ve been doing a variation on this with my property for about 10 years. I call it creating “Snacking Stations.”

I started doing this with an eye toward building in “passive food providers” onto my property so that even if I might not have time for a large garden every year, I would still be able to enjoy fresh food provided by nature. It’s all part of my growing interest in sustainability–a way of thinking that seems more appropriate than ever.

The idea was to plant fruit trees […]

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